The Michigan Court of Appeals recently decided the case of People vs. Minch. In the case, the Fruitport Police Department seized over 80 firearms from the home of Kurtis Minch. The police never instituted a civil forfeiture action to keep the firearms, so Minch filed a motion to order the release of the firearms. Because Minch was a convicted felon, he could not possess or distribute the firearms himself, but he could be charged with being a felon in possession. Therefore, Minch asked that the firearms be given to his mother to hold until he was again allowed to possess the guns by restoring his firearm rights in the Michigan courts. The prosecutors objected, saying Minch designating his mother to hold the guns was the same thing as distributing the firearms himself. Both the trial court and the appeals court disagreed with the prosecutors and ruled that Minch’s due process rights were violated when the police kept the firearms without instituting a forfeiture action.
Federal prosecutors take firearm offenses seriously
As criminal defense attorneys, we know how serious it is to be charged with a firearm offense in Michigan. Some of these charges include carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a gun during the commission of a felony, and brandishing a weapon. Federal prosecutors take firearm offenses seriously and sometimes add federal charges. Additionally, some firearm crimes carry mandatory minimum sentencing for those who are convicted.
Because of the seriousness of firearm offenses, people who are being investigated for, or who have been charged with, a gun, weapon or firearm crime in Michigan should immediately contact a skilled attorney. An attorney will know how to best handle the person’s defense, including what arguments to make to the judge or jury. As with all criminal cases, the sooner a person hires their attorney, the better. In addition, those convicted of prior felony charges in Michigan should have their attorney begin the process to restore their rights to possess a gun, as soon as legally possible.