Firearms Lawyer – Gun Charges Defense Attorney
Lawyers Dedicated to the Tenacious Defense of Those Charged in Michigan with Firearms Charges and Other Gun Crimes and the Advancement of Second Amendment Rights
Michigan Has Over-Zealous Prosecutors and Harsh Punishments for Gun Crimes
In Michigan, judges impose harsh penalties on gun cases, and expert prosecutors are often assigned to ensure the best chances of conviction. Because the stakes are so high, the gun charges defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are committed to providing fearless and passionate representation of our clients and their Second Amendment rights. No matter how aggressive and persistent a gun crimes prosecutor can be, we will not stop until we have done whatever is necessary to achieve an extraordinary result for our clients!
Our Gun Charges Defense Attorneys Can Help You
The best defense is a good offense. When an aggressive prosecutor goes after one of our clients, our team of firearms charges defense attorneys will stand up to them and use a tenacious, intelligent, and creative approach to find a way to help. If you or a loved one is facing charges or under investigation for an offense involving possession, use, theft, or sale of a firearm or other weapon, gun charges defense attorneys would like to take the time to talk to you and find a way to help you.
Gun Charges and Criminal Penalties
Weapon offenses in Michigan range from misdemeanors to felonies. Misdemeanors are offenses punishable by one year or less in jail and up to two (2) years of probation. Felony offenses carry the possibility of prison time greater than one year up to life and five years of probation. Prior convictions can increase the maximum sentence. For example, suppose someone faces a felony charge with a five (5) year maximum sentence. If that person has one prior felony conviction, the maximum increases to 7.5 years. If they have three (3) previous convictions, their maximum rises to 15 years. If the original offense were punishable by greater than five (5) years, the maximum would be as high as life in prison.
To determine the maximum sentence and exposure for any particular case, someone must consult an experienced firearms defense lawyer. While firearm charges can result in significant incarceration, most do not require imprisonment. A skilled attorney can negotiate a reduction or dismissal of the charge and/or a lenient sentence.
While many firearms and weapons charges are prosecuted in Michigan, these are the most common:
Carrying a Concealed Weapon (AKA Illegal Possession of a Gun or CCW)
This offense applies to all types of dangerous weapons and non-hunting knives. Guns and all kinds of firearms are dangerous weapons. A concealed weapon or a weapon inside a motor vehicle is a felony in Michigan. It is punishable by up to five years in prison if the person does not have a concealed weapons permit (CPL). It is not a defense that a gun is “registered” unless the holder has a permit to carry the firearm. Even lawfully concealed guns are prohibited in certain zones like schools, churches, hospitals, sporting arenas, and other places. Having a legally concealed weapon in a prohibited zone is also a crime. Your best defense against CCW and other firearm-related offenses is an experienced gun charges defense attorney at your side. Carrying a concealed weapon is a felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison, five (5) years of probation, and a $2,500 fine.
Maybe the most serious charge in Michigan regarding firearms is the charge of felony firearm. The Michigan felony firearms statute requires a two-year mandatory prison sentence for a FIRST offense. A judge has no discretion and must impose a two-year prison sentence, not a day less or more. A second offense carries a mandatory five years in the Michigan Department of Corrections. For the crime of felony firearm, there is no distinction between legally or illegally possessed guns. The only issue is whether the defendant possessed a firearm during the commission of a felony. Many prosecutors broadly and liberally define “possession.” The theory of constructive possession is often used to imprison as many defendants as possible. The sentence for felony firearm must be served consecutively instead of concurrently with the sentence given for all other charges in a case. Even in cases with overwhelming evidence, a savvy, experienced gun charges defense attorney can negotiate a dismissal of some charges to reduce a client’s exposure to jail.
More Gun and Firearm Charges in Michigan
Illegal Sale, Purchase, or Possession of a Firearm by a Felon
Moreover, it is also unlawful for convicted felons to buy, sell, possess, or carry any firearm or weapon for several years after completing their sentences. Being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition is a felony and carries a penalty of up to five (5) years in prison.
Illegal Discharge of a Firearm
The illegal discharge of a firearm is a crime in Michigan. Illegal discharge is the discharge of a gun unsafely or recklessly, even if it is lawfully possessed. When deciding whether to charge a suspect, prosecutors have wide and broad discretion in determining what is unsafe. The maximum penalty for illegally discharging a firearm is 90 days in jail, $100.00 fine, and up to two (2) years of probation.
Felonious Assault or Assault with a Gun
Felonious Assault is an assault with a gun, revolver, pistol, knife, iron bar, club, brass knuckles, or another dangerous weapon. An assault does not require an injury or a touching; it only requires an action that puts another person in fear of an imminent battery. Felonious Assault carries a maximum possible sentence of up to four (4) years in prison, five (5) years of probation, and a fine.
Charges Involving Automatic Guns
Defendants accused of possessing or transferring ownership of automatic firearms or machine guns face the possibility of stiff penalties in state and federal courts. Serious firearms charges can result in decades in prison under aggravated circumstances. In machine gun cases, the experience and skill of gun charges defense attorneys can make the difference between dismissal or probation and years in federal prison. Possession of a machine gun is a five (5) year felony in Michigan and is punishable by up to 10 years in federal court.
Transporting or Possessing Loaded Firearm In or Upon Vehicle
It is illegal to transport or possess a loaded firearm, other than a pistol, in or upon a land or sea vehicle. This includes firearms firing bullets and pneumatic guns that fire metallic BBs or metallic pellets greater than .177 caliber. This offense is considered a high misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years and a fine of not more than $2,500.00.
How Our Gun Charges Defense Attorneys Can Help You
When LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is retained to represent someone who is either charged with a weapons crime or under investigation for a crime with a gun, our team mobilizes to intervene, limit damage, collect evidence, preserve exculpatory evidence, attack scientific proofs, and do the necessary legal research to gain every possible advantage for our clients. Our highest priority is to achieve a dismissal of all charges when possible. In those cases where a dismissal is not possible, our gun charges defense attorneys work to achieve a highly favorable settlement when desired by the client or fight for an acquittal at trial when appropriate.
Gun Charges Defense Attorney in Michigan
You need a lawyer who faithfully, honestly, and fearlessly represents you and protects you in court on firearms charges. The defense team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is comprised of dedicated criminal defense attorneys who are handpicked to be among the best litigators in Michigan. If there is no room for errors, mistakes, weakness, or false promises, you need LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. by your side. Our good, affordable criminal defense lawyers are not afraid to win!
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.