Defense Attorney for Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
If you face a Reckless Discharge of Firearm charge in Michigan, you will face harsh judges and biased prosecutors, both under extreme political pressure to make an example out of you.
What You Need to Know About Reckless Discharge of Firearm Charges
Under Michigan law, anyone who recklessly, heedlessly, willfully, or wantonly uses, carries, handles, or discharges a firearm without due caution and circumspection for the rights, safety, or property of others commits a misdemeanor. The offense is called “Reckless Discharge of a Firearm.” Recklessly or heedlessly mean without thought as to potential consequences. Willful or wonton means an utter indifference to or conscious disregard for the safety of others or their property.
Penalty for Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
A Reckless Discharge of a Firearm conviction can result in up to 90 days in jail, two (2) years of probation, loss of a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) for eight (8) years, mandatory firearms training, compulsory mental health therapy, and more. Additionally, the judge may suspend the hunting privileges of the defendant for three (3) years. Judges and prosecutors are under extreme political pressure to charge and punish crimes involving firearms in Michigan.
Because of the increasing number of public shootings and firearms-related injuries and deaths, the government can be overzealous in prosecuting and punishing law-abiding people who mistakenly discharge a firearm. It takes a well-known, reputable defense lawyer to persuade a judge or prosecutor that their client is ordinarily cautious and responsible if they face this type of allegation.
Is Reckless Discharge of a Firearm the Same as Careless Discharge of a Firearm?
No, the offenses are different. A person who carelessly or negligently (but not willfully or wantonly) causes or allows a firearm under their control to discharge and injure the property of another is guilty of a misdemeanor. Reckless Discharge of a Firearm is not the same. Careless discharge of a firearm is not a crime unless there is property damage, personal injury, or death.
If the property damage is less than $50.00, the offense is punishable by 90 days in jail and up to two (2) years of probation. If the damage exceeds $50.00, the misdemeanor penalty increases to a maximum of one year in jail. Additionally, the court may suspend the person’s hunting privileges for up to three (3) years.
If someone’s careless discharge of a firearm results in an injury or death, they are guilty of a high-court misdemeanor punishable by up to two (2) years in prison and five (5) years of probation.
Defense Against Charges for Recklessly Firing a Gun
A savvy defense lawyer can raise multiple defenses to Reckless Discharge of Firearm charges in Michigan. Some of the defenses include the following:
- Mistaken Identity (the government cannot prove the defendant was the person who discharged the firearm).
- Firearm Defect (the firearm did now work as designed due to a manufacturing defect).
- Self-Defense (the accused discharged the firearm because they reasonably feared bodily injury from a perceived attack).
- Insufficient Evidence of Firearm Discharge (a witness falsely alleges the discharge of a firearm).
- Equitable Considerations – A defense lawyer can negotiate with the prosecutor and the judge for a reduction in charges and a lenient sentence based on the defendant’s good character and reputation.
Is the penalty the same for causing an injury with a bow and arrow?
The penalty for the careless, reckless, or negligent use of a bow and arrow causing injury or death is up to two (2) years in prison and five (5) years of probation. If the accused acted willfully or wantonly, the offense is more severe and can result in decades in prison. The judge can decide to reduce the crime to a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in a county jail. Persuading the judge to reduce the offense to a misdemeanor is the only way for the accused to retain their firearm rights. If the arrow only causes property damage, the offense is a misdemeanor.
Defense Lawyer for Firearms Charges in Michigan
Your best defense is with a lawyer who will faithfully, fearlessly, and zealously defend and protect you in and out of court. If you face Reckless Discharge of a Firearm accusation, even if you are not yet charged, hiring an experienced defense lawyer is your best chance of avoiding a conviction. The LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. Firearms Defense Team has an unparalleled track record of helping clients avoid charges and convictions in jurisdictions throughout Michigan. Our team is well-known to prosecutors and judges, and the firm’s reputation allows us to achieve outcomes unattainable by many other lawyers. Call us for a free consultation. We will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and find a way to help you.
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.