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Illegal Discharge of a Firearm


What is the careless, reckless, or negligent use of a firearm?

Even during instances of legal gun possession, a person may still be arrested for careless, reckless, or negligent use of firearms. Discharging a weapon with a reckless disregard for other’s safety or property, during a holiday celebration, or in a heavily populated area can lead to arrest in such cases.


In general, any person who carries, handles, or discharges any gun in a reckless or heedless manner without taking due caution regarding the safety or rights of others, or concern for their property, may be charged with a misdemeanor.


What is the Sentence for Illegal Discharge of a Firearm?

If a person carelessly, negligently, or recklessly—but not willfully or wantonly—allows a gun under his or her direct control to discharge to injure or kill another person, then a misdemeanor charge may occur. The maximum penalty is 2 years in prison, or a fine up to $2,000.00,or by imprisonment in the county jail for 1 year, at the court’s discretion. (MCL 752.861)  Don’t be mislead by the Michigan Legislature’s use of the term “misdemeanor” here.


Any crime that you can go to prison for is a felony and for virtually all purposes under Michigan law, a conviction for this crime will be treated as a felony. Also, keep in mind that the prosecutor has the option of charging you with several crimes arising out of the same factual scenario.


If the discharge results in the injury of another person’s real or personal property, a misdemeanor may also result.  The maximum penalty is 90 days in the county jail, or by a fine up to $100.00, if the injury to the property does not exceed a $50.00 value. If the injury exceeds this amount, the maximum penalty is up to 1 year in the county jail, or by a fine up to $500.00.


What about my Hunting Privileges?

In addition to the other penalties, the court can suspend the hunting privileges of any person convicted of such an offense, not to exceed 3 years from the conviction date.  You will want to carefully examine the collateral consequences of a firearms conviction with your attorney.  Here are some questions you should always discuss with your lawyer:

  • Will I be able to vote if I am convicted?
  • Will I be able to hunt if I am convicted?
  • Will I go to prison if I am convicted?
  • Will I go to jail if I am convicted?
  • Will I loose my CPL if I am convicted?
  • Will I loose my job if I am convicted?
  • How long will I be on probation if I am convicted?
  • Will I be able to appeal if I am convicted?
  • Will I loose my right possess firearms if I am convicted?


The answers to these questions often depend on what is happening in your case.  Therefore, they are best discussed with the attorney once you have retained your law firm. However, you should not make important decisions about your case unless you can answer each of these questions.


Our Strategy with Firearms Charges

Whenever a client faces firearm charges, we examine the angles thoroughly. In some instances, we have successfully had criminal charges dismissed or reduced. However, every case is different and so we use a team approach to determine the best possible defense for your individual circumstances. Our aggressive and highly experienced lawyers have vast knowledge and skill in dealing with all types of weapons charges.


However, you should keep in mind that the most important decisions that will be made in your case are yours to make.  We will help you, but ultimately only you can decide the direction that your case will take.  For example, when there is a plea offer from the prosecution, only you can decide if that works for you or not.  You should listen to our advice and benefit from our extensive experience.  However, in the end, we will listen to your decision.  We work for you.


Expert Michigan Gun Crime Defense

The attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have a strong reputation and proven record  of helping clients beat gun charges. When we agree to represent you in a criminal firearm charge, we have one goal in mind—to win. By representing you well, we put you in a position to avoid jail, avoid prison and avoid the loss of your firearm privileges.


Our case strategies are set once we meet with you.  We believe in the team approach to criminal defense and you are an important part of the team.  Working together, we will strive to find solutions that work for you.  We are committed to that process.  If you are looking for an attorney to work with you, and not just for you, call us at (866) 766-5245.




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