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Attorney For Violent & Non-Violent Gun Crimes
In the United States, firearm ownership and usage has a long history dating back to the original settlement of the New World by European explorers. Codified in the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment grants the right to bear arms to the citizens of this country, something truly unique in the Western world. However, each individual state is responsible for the creation and enforcement of rules, laws and regulations surrounding the ownership, possession and use of firearms within their own borders.
Like any other state, Michigan has a multitude of firearms laws on the books that have been created by the legislature since the state was founded in 1837. While Michigan has relatively strong gun rights, they are not without limits. It is therefore important that anyone who owns, uses or is involved with firearms in any manner understand the laws and regulations surrounding them.
This is especially important for individuals who may be facing weapons charges. Accusations and criminal charges for illegal firearm possession or use are very serious, with a conviction having the potential to have life altering consequences. Due to the complex nature of firearms laws, it is strongly advised to work directly with a criminal defense attorney specializing in this area of law in order to ensure the best outcome possible under the circumstances.
Michigan Firearms Laws
While the state’s firearms laws are indeed complex, they are also clearly spelled out with well defined penalties. While there are many different types of firearms offenses one can be charged with in Michigan, below are some of the most common:
- Illegal CCW (Carrying Concealed Weapon)
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
- Illegal possession of unregistered NFA (National Firearms Act) weapons, such as short barreled firearms with a shoulder stock and machine guns
- Being in possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony
- Carrying a firearm in a prohibited place, such as a sports area, school, etc.
Penalties for Firearms Offenses
As with the laws regulating firearms possession and use, the penalties outlined in Michigan’s Penal Code are extensive and complex. This is made even more complicated by the possibility of federal firearms charges being involved as well. Because of this spiderweb of firearms laws at both the state and federal levels, it is critical for Michiganders to fully understand the very real possibility of a conviction resulting in life altering consequences. Those found guilty of state or federal firearms violations within Michigan should expect:
- Considerable jail or prison time
- Long-term or even permanent inability to legally own a firearm
- Abnormally high court costs and fines compared to similar level non-firearm offenses
- Loss of professional licenses, such as a doctors medical license
- Permanent criminal record that will hamper future job and housing opportunities
- Creation of issues for those in possession of green cards or visas, resulting in the revocation of these privileges or even possible deportation
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I get a concealed weapons permit with a DUI?
The short answer is most likely not, but it’s possible depending on whether it is a felony or misdemeanor drunk driving conviction. For felony DUI, it is a definite no – in fact the mere possession of a firearm is prohibited. For misdemeanor DUI, as long as a certain time period has passed since the conviction (in most cases eight years), then there is the possibility that an individual can be eligible for a Concealed Weapons License.
Q. What crime is pointing a gun at someone?
Legally termed as Brandishing a Firearm in Public, this charge not only includes pointing a firearm at another person but also includes waving or displaying a firearm in a manner that is intended to cause fear or intimidation to another individual.
Q. How much jail time for a gun charge?
This varies considerably depending on the exact nature of the charge, as well as whether it is a state or federal level violation. In general, one can expect up to five years in prison for state level violations, and up to ten years for certain federal crimes such as NFA violations.
Q. What can prevent you from getting a concealed weapons permit?
There are a number of restrictions for the issuance of a concealed weapons permit in Michigan. Officially known as a Concealed Pistol License, this permit has numerous restrictions upon those required for simply purchasing and owning a firearm. The Michigan State Police conduct a thorough background check on all CPL applications, with a host of different factors that can disqualify someone from receiving a permit.
Q. Can you get your concealed weapons permit with a misdemeanor?
Yes and no. Certain misdemeanor offenses are not an issue as long as they are older than eight years prior to the date of application. Other less serious misdemeanors are less restrictive and the applicant can file for their permit as long as the conviction occurred at least three years prior to their CPL application. The Michigan State Police has a comprehensive guide that details these different levels of misdemeanor restrictions for the issuance of a CPL.
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