Pursuant to Michigan State and federal laws, it’s against the law for a felon to be in possession of a firearm. For state law purposes, a felony is punishable by up to four years in prison. Unless the offense is a specified felony, the law forbids possession within three years after the conviction. If the felony involves drugs, firearms, or explosives, the time period is five years. Federal law forbids firearm possession by persons convicted of an offense that carries one or more years in jail. 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 in fear of being shot is called a felonious assault. The second felony occurs because the individual is in possession of the gun.
Also, if a person is carrying a gun on themselves while selling marijuana to another, they may be charged with a felony firearm charge. When the police raid a home and find evidence that the homeowner is unlawfully possessing controlled substances with the intent to deliver them, and there’s a firearm located inside the home, felony firearm is often also charged. Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) for a third offense qualifies as an underlying felony. Another common accompanying felony is the felon being in possession of a firearm offense.
Facing a felony firearm charge? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation with a felony firearm defense attorney in Michigan.
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.
To prove possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, the prosecution must prove:
- You possessed or received a firearm or ammunition
- You have a felony conviction on your record, or you are awaiting trial for a felony charge
In Michigan, MCL 750.224(f) refers to the crime of a felon being in possession of a firearm. In Michigan, when a convicted felon distributes, receives, ships, carries, purchases, sells, transports, uses, or possesses a firearm, they will be charged under this law. If convicted, you’ll be facing a five year felony and a fine of up to $5,000.
If you’re convicted of a state or federal gun crime, you’ll be facing very stiff penalties. You need an experienced gun crime defense attorney in Michigan on your side.
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 during 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 Michigan gun crimes attorneys can help you.
Facing a felony firearm charge? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.