Possession of firearms by those with previous convictions for domestic violence

A recent federal case was decided in the Sixth Circuit that will impact any future prosecution of an individual for Possession of a Firearm After a Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Conviction under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9). United States v. Castleman, No. 10-5912 (2012).

The Court used the categorical approach to find that the misdemeanor domestic violence conviction be one that “has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force.” The court further went on to say that “physical force” is not the same as the scientific principle of force which requires merely asserting a level of energy from one object to another. The “physical force” that is required for a predicate offense to a violation of 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9) is “a crime involving strong and violent physical force, capable of causing physical pain or injury to another person.”

Michigan’s Domestic Violence statute does not have a requirement or element requiring – a strong and violent physical force, capable of causing physical pain or injury to another person.” There may be an argument that aggravated domestic violence could serve as a predicate offense but it would be highly unlikely that a simple domestic abuse misdemeanor would be enough under the ruling in Castleman.

If you are charged with a felony, a misdemeanor, Domestic Violence, a gun charge or if you have a gun rights restoration question, a criminal defense specialist at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can help you. Please call us at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and a highly experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer will promptly contact you.

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