In Michigan, gun charges can arise from a number of different contexts. They include but are not limited to:
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent
- Illegal discharge of a weapon
- Illegal possession of a firearm
- Felon in possession of a firearm
Although most gun crimes are connected to other illegal activities such as armed robbery, assault, and murder, people have been charged even if they possess a valid permit such as a concealed pistol license (CPL) and did not intend to do anything illegal. For example:
- Firing a gun outside to celebrate a holiday such as New Year’s or the Fourth of July
- Forgetting that they have the gun on them when they walk into certain buildings, such as schools, courthouses, and post offices
In general, any person who carries or uses a gun recklessly without taking the safety of others into account can be charged with a misdemeanor. In more extreme causes, felony charges can even levied.
If you are charged with a gun crime in Michigan, here are four things you must do either immediately or as soon as circumstances permit.
Show Your Concealed Pistol License
A concealed weapons charge arising from a pistol found on your person can be challenged if you demonstrate to the police that you are licensed to carry in the state of Michigan. Even if you do not have a license, Michigan law allows you to carry a concealed firearm or other weapon in your home, place of business, or other land that you own.
Call an Attorney
Anyone charged with a gun crime needs to call a Michigan defense attorney with experience in defending gun crimes. They will review the circumstances of your arrest and determine the best possible defense strategy. For example: you may have been carrying an inoperable firearm, and the arresting officer’s understanding of the statutory definition may be erroneous.
Get Your Gun Rights Restored Under State Law
If your gun rights are revoked as a result of the charges, the process of restoring them depends on the situation in which they were originally taken from you. Individuals convicted of most felonies can generally have their gun rights restored three years after they have paid all fines, served any sentence imposed, and completed all conditions of probation or parole. Certain specified felonies punishable by four years or more in prison require a five-year waiting period.
Restore Your Gun Rights Under Federal Law
If you lose your firearm rights under state law you are also likely to lose them under federal law, and restoring them is a lot more complicated. Essentially, you must get a pardon or record expungement before your gun rights are restored at the federal level. Your gun crimes defense attorney can assist you in this regard.
If you are charged with a gun crime in Michigan, call the Law Office of Melissa M. Pearce today. We understand the intricacies of Michigan criminal law when it comes to gun offenses and will present the strongest defense for your particular circumstances.