Detroit Metro Airport Weapons Charges
It is common for people to get charged with weapons offenses at Detroit Metro Airport, even those with no wrongful intention. In many cases, people are unaware they have something the TSA considers a weapon.
Prohibition of Weapons at the Airport – Generally
Detroit Metropolitan Airport and Willow Run Airport are under the Wayne County Airport Authority’s auspices. This authority has issued an Airport Ordinance document with all the rules people must follow when at the airport. Because of the seriousness of these charges, you will want the representation of the best airport weapons charges attorney you can get.
Of course, security is of prime importance in any airport, and there are many rules that people visiting the airport must be aware of to avoid being charged with a crime. Many of the things prohibited at the airport are understandable, such as you cannot take a gun into the passenger compartment of a plane. You may not know you cannot have a weapon even in the airport parking lot. The pertinent part of the Wayne County Airport Authority Ordinance states no person shall “Possess a dangerous weapon in any area of the Airport.” “Any area” includes, but is not limited to, all Airport buildings, Airport terminals, airfields, parking lots, Aircraft and vehicles using the Airport, and any building or gate that opens onto the airfield.” Reviewing the ordinance if you go to the airport with anything law enforcement might consider a weapon, even if you plan to leave it in your car, is essential.
Penalties for Airport Weapons Charges
Someone convicted of possessing a weapon illegally at the airport can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony offense depending upon the circumstances. Simple possession of a weapon or dangerous item at the airport is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, two years of probation, and a fine of up to $1,000. When an individual attempts to go through security and board an airplane with a prohibited item or weapon, it is a felony offense that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Misdemeanors and the earliest stages of felony cases are handled at the 34th District Court in Romulus. If sufficient evidence is found at a preliminary examination on a felony charge, it is sent to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit. Your best hope of avoiding a conviction and jail time is with a qualified, top-rated airport weapons charges defense attorney.
Inadvertent or Unknowing Possession of a Weapon
Situations where a person is simply unaware or forgot they possessed an item prohibited at the airport, are more common than you may think. In cases where someone has a concealed weapon permit and frequently possesses a firearm, it can be a thoughtless mistake not to remove and store the firearm before going through security. In other cases, an airport passenger may not be aware that an item within their possession is considered a “weapon.” A wrongfully accused person must have an experienced, effective airport weapons charges attorney.
The TSA defines “weapon” broadly, and an unwitting person can find themselves detained and charged with a criminal offense. Things considered weapons include:
- box cutter
- pocket knife
- kitchen knife
- brass knuckles
- imitation firearm or explosive device
- axes or hatchets
- baseball bats
- bear spray
- billy clubs
- bottle opener
- bow or arrows
- cap guns or pellet guns
- razors (even safety razors)
- gun lighters
- sharp tools
- martial arts weapons
- starter pistols
- tent spikes
- torch lighters
What to do if arrested at the airport:
Any of the following agencies have the power to arrest at the Detroit Metro Airport:
- Romulus Police,
- Airport Police,
- Federal Transportation Authority officer, and
- Wayne County Deputy Sheriff.
All of these agencies have concurrent jurisdiction over the airport. You could end up facing state, local, or federal charges. If arrested, the first thing you should politely say to the officer is that you respectfully decline to make a statement until you have spoken to your attorney. Being polite will go a long way later when your attorney attempts to get the charges dismissed. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is known to all law enforcement authorities above, and its defense attorneys are well-respected.
Do I have to return to Michigan if I live in another state?
In many cases, a lawyer with advanced knowledge of the 34th District Court and the prosecutor in Wayne County will be able to handle your case without the need to travel back to Michigan. Although there is no way to guarantee that you will not have to appear personally, the Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can frequently resolve Detroit Metro Airport cases without the client needing to appear before the judge personally.
Pre-Charge Representation – “Can I keep my case out of court?”
Typically, a person stopped at security with a “dangerous weapon” will be issued a misdemeanor citation similar to a traffic ticket. The airport police or Romulus police will complete a police report detailing the incident and any pertinent information. The law enforcement agency submits the report to the prosecutor, who drafts a “complaint and warrant.” A detective or Office in Charge brings the complaint and warrant to the court, and a judge or magistrate signs the warrant. After the warrant is signed, the 34th District Court opens a formal case and enters the warrant into the law enforcement database.
So, how can I stop my case from getting to court? Sometimes it is impossible to stop a formal charge from reaching court; however, our team knows what steps to take to stop charges when possible. If someone is proactive and hires our team on a pre-charge representation basis, we might be able to prevent the charge from getting filed in court. If we can stop the charge from getting to court, there will be no public record of the ticket’s issuance. If we cannot prevent the charge, we will take measures to make it easier to resolve the case in court and get the charges dismissed or reduced to something noncriminal, if possible.
Each Airport Weapons Charges Attorney with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has Extensive Experience.
We pride ourselves on having a good and respectful relationship with all law enforcement groups and prosecutor’s offices, which handle airport cases. Our reputation with airport law enforcement and prosecutors helps us achieve extraordinary results.
In an international airport, some rights are waived, such as the need for consent to search someone or their belongings. Some searches at an airport would be unconstitutional in the community. Therefore, there is often little “wiggle room” in defending airport cases because the government has so much freedom and power. The services of a respected, astute criminal lawyer are essential for success in these cases.
The dedicated, experienced, and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented many clients charged with crimes allegedly occurring at Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus, Michigan. Romulus is located in Wayne County. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.