The offense of felony firearm means that a person is accused of carrying or possessing a firearm when committing or attempting to commit a felony. It’s a separate and additional felony charge and conviction. For example, pointing a gun at a person who is placed in fear of being shot is called a felonious assault. The second felony occurs because the individual is in possession of the gun.
The penalty for being convicted of felony firearm for a first offense is a mandatory two years in prison. A second offense is five years in prison and a third offense is 10 years. There’s no probation or parole. If that isn’t harsh enough, these sentences must be served consecutively to any other jail or prison sentence. Therefore, if a person is convicted of the felonious assault and felony firearm and is sentenced to one year in jail for the felonious assault, they must serve the one year first then serve the two years for the felony firearm after or consecutive to the first sentence.
The harsh nature of the felony firearm penalty points out the legislature’s intent to discourage the use of firearms while engaged in felonious acts. The use of firearms exponentially increases the risk of serious injury or death to all persons involved. An experienced felony firearm lawyer in Michigan can ensure your rights and best interests are fully protected.
Effective defenses to a felony firearm charge include establishing there’s no proof of knowledge of the existence or location of the firearm. The prosecution must also prove that the firearm was accessible to the defendant at the time of the felonious activity. The actual existence of felonious activity is also a defense. Self-defense is also a valid defense. The law does not apply to a police officer who’s authorized to carry a firearm during the official performance of their duties.
It doesn’t matter if the firearm was not operable or unloaded. Nor is there a requirement that the firearm is owned by the person who was in possession of it.
As you can see, a felony firearm charge is a serious offense in the Michigan judicial system. Now is not the time to price shop attorneys, certainly not if getting acquitted or a reduced charge are your goals. Our attorneys can help you.