Our Gun Crimes Attorney Team Helps Individuals Facing Criminal Weapon Charges in Michigan and Indiana. Don’t Leave Your Freedom to Chance — Call LaBre Law Office Today.
Do You Need Help and Guidance from a Gun Crimes Attorney in Response to Gun Charges or Allegations?
Facing gun crime charges can be an incredibly stressful experience. Dwelling on the reality of potentially severe penalties such as imprisonment, heavy fines, and the loss of gun rights can create a persistent state of anxiety and fear. You may be grappling with numerous questions about your future, your rights, and the legal process. An experienced gun crimes attorney can guide you through this process if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
The uncertainty and complexity of the legal system can add to your stress from criminal allegations. Understanding the charges, potential consequences, and legal jargon can be overwhelming. Furthermore, the potential impact on your personal and professional life can cause further distress. At LaBre Law Office, we understand the struggle you face and can help you.
A skilled gun crimes defense attorney can explain your charges and potential consequences in clear terms while guiding you and working to develop a robust defense strategy. Depending on the facts and issues in your case, available strategies could include questioning the legitimacy of the evidence, challenging the legality of any search and seizure, and/or exploring opportunities for plea bargaining.
Your gun crimes defense attorney can reassure you while fighting for your rights, pursuing your interests, and guiding you through the complicated legal process. Despite the seriousness of the charges, remember that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Contact LaBre Law Office today to schedule a consultation so we can assess the appropriate options and strategies to defend against the charges.
Penalties and Classifications for Different Types of Misdemeanor and Felony Gun Crimes
Gun charges in Michigan can range from misdemeanors to felonies, each involving different circumstances and carrying different penalties. Depending on the severity of the crime, you could face long prison sentences, heavy fines, and felony charges. If convicted under some charges, you could lose your gun rights permanently. The impact extends far beyond legal penalties — it can affect your reputation, employment prospects, and family life.
Misdemeanor Gun Charges
- Possession of a Firearm in a Gun-Free Zone: Carrying a firearm, even with a valid permit, in designated gun-free zones such as schools, bars, or places of worship is a misdemeanor tha can lead to up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $100.
- Brandishing a Firearm in Public: Waving or displaying a firearm in a threatening manner in public is a misdemeanor offense that can lead to up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $100.
Felony Gun Charges
- Carrying a Concealed Weapon Without a Permit: If you’re found carrying a concealed firearm without the appropriate permit or license, it’s considered a felony that can lead to up to 5 years in prison and/or fines up to $2,500.
- Felon in Possession of a Firearm: If you have a prior felony conviction, it’s illegal for you to possess a firearm. This crime is a felony that can lead to up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- Illegal Sale or Transfer of a Firearm: Unlawfully selling or transferring a firearm to someone not legally allowed to own one, or doing so without the appropriate paperwork, is a felony that can lead to up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony (Felony Firearm): If you use a firearm while committing a felony, you can face additional charges. This is a felony that carries a mandatory sentence of 2 years in prison for a first offense, which must be served consecutively with any other sentence.
These are general guidelines. The exact penalties can vary based on the specifics of your case and your criminal history. Consult a knowledgeable gun crimes criminal defense attorney if you face gun crime charges in Michigan.
Common Defenses for Gun Charges
The following are common defenses against gun crime charges in Michigan:
- Lack of Knowledge: If you didn’t know you were in possession of a firearm, this could be a valid defense. For instance, if someone else left a firearm in your vehicle without your knowledge, this defense could apply.
- Lack of Intent: If you had no intention of using a firearm in the commission of a crime, this could be used as a defense. This would be applicable in situations where a firearm was present but not used or intended to be used in any illegal activity.
- Self-Defense: If you used a firearm to protect yourself or others from immediate danger or harm, you might be able to claim self-defense. This defense is highly dependent on the specific circumstances of the case.
- Unlawful Search and Seizure: If the firearm was discovered during an illegal search of your property, any evidence collected could be thrown out. This is based on the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects against unlawful searches and seizures.
- Possession for Lawful Purpose: If you possessed the gun for a lawful purpose such as hunting or target shooting, it might serve as a defense, depending on the specific charges and circumstances.
- Mistaken Identity or False Accusation: If you’ve been wrongly identified or falsely accused, these would form the basis of your defense. Evidence such as alibis, witness testimony, and surveillance footage could be used to support these defenses.
Your appropriate defense strategy will depend on various factors including the specifics of your charges, the circumstances surrounding your alleged offense, the manner in which the evidence was collected, and your personal and criminal history. An experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate all these factors to develop the right defense strategy for your case.
Understanding the Laws and Pitfalls Surrounding Concealed Carry and Open Carry in Michigan
Although Concealed Carry is legal in Michigan if you have a permit, there are limits regarding where you can carry a firearm. Additionally, Open Carry of a pistol is legal under many circumstances, but this is likewise restricted in gun-free zones. Your ability to possess a firearm may be further restricted if you have a past involving domestic violence or a criminal history including a felony.
Concealed Carry with a Permit/License (CPL)
Michigan generally prohibits any person from carrying a concealed handgun on or about his or her person without a concealed handgun license, also known as a Concealed Pistol License (CPL). To apply for a CPL in Michigan, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old — except for members of the military, who can conceal carry from eighteen years old upwards. It is illegal to be under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances while concealed-carrying a firearm.
Legal Open Carry of a Pistol in Michigan
A person without a CPL may legally open carry a pistol as long as they are 18 years of age and have lawfully purchased the pistol. Michigan law allows you to open carry (excluding prohibited places where firearms are off-limits), as long as the firearm is not concealed.
Reciprocity for Resident Concealed Carry Permits
Michigan recognizes resident permits from all states, regardless of the age of the license holder. However, Michigan does not honor non-resident permits/licenses.
Restrictions on Concealed Carry in Prohibited Places for Firearms
Certain locations are off-limits for concealed carrying of firearms, even with a permit. A CPL-holder’s pistol is subject to immediate seizure at these prohibited locations, and the consequences include suspension or revocation of your concealed carry permit and serious criminal charges that deeply threaten various facets of your life and your future opportunities. Check before carrying if you have any question or concern about a place where you will visit.
Consider the following extensive list of prohibited places for firearms if you choose to carry a gun in Michigan:
- Schools and School Premises
- College and University Premises — including Dormitories
- Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, Temples, and premises operated by Places of Worship
- Financial Institutions (such as Banks and Credit Unions)
- Sports Arenas and Stadiums
- Bars and Taverns
- Entertainment Venues (including Movie Theaters and Performance Venues with capacity of 2,500+ people)
- Daycare Facilities
- Child Placing Agencies
- Casinos (a pistol is subject to seizure in casinos, whether concealed or open-carried and exposed)
- Private Property (with a “No Gun” sign)
- Posted Gun-Free Zones (including commercial locations with “No Guns” signs or business policies)
- Courtrooms, Court Offices, and other Places of Official Court Business
- Airports (secure areas — prohibited past TSA checkpoints; you may check legal firearms if the firearm is legal at your destination)
- Amtrak (there are no checked baggage stations in Michigan)
- Correctional Facilities (Jails and Prisons)
- State Government Facilities
- Federal Facilities
- National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges
- Some Indian Reservations
In many cases, the parking areas of these locations do not have the same prohibitions as the locations themselves. Learn the policies for a location if you have any questions before proceeding to carry a firearm while visiting, as the consequences for breaking these gun laws can lead to a deep negative impact on your life and your future.
Penalties for Illegally Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Prohibited Places With a Permit in Michigan
The consequences can be extremely severe for individuals with a CPL who carry a concealed firearm to prohibited places:
- First Offense — This is a State Civil Infraction with a 6-month suspension of your CPL and a $500 fine.
- Second Offense — You will face a 90-day Misdemeanor, along with revocation of your CPL and a $1,000 fine.
- Third Offense & Subsequent Offenses — This is a 4-year felony. Your CPL will be revoked, and you will be fined $5,000.
Many people may find it counterintuitive that openly carrying a firearm is often treated with fewer restrictions than concealing a firearm. The range of locations where firearms are restricted can create a minefield where well-meaning and otherwise law-abiding people may inadvertently run afoul of the law while seeking to open carry or concealed carry a gun in Michigan. Understand and mind these laws at all times if you choose to carry a firearm. Contact our gun crime attorney team at LaBre Law Office if you have questions about your gun rights in Michigan or if you face gun crime charges for illegally carrying a firearm.
Important Details that May Affect your Gun Charges Defense Strategy
One defense approach is to scrutinize the legitimacy of the evidence against you. Was it collected legally? Is the evidence reliable? If there are any doubts about the evidence’s legitimacy, it may be possible exclude it from the case. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unlawful search and seizure. If law enforcement did not have a valid warrant or probable cause to search your property, any evidence collected at that time might be deemed inadmissible in court.
Depending on the details, plea bargaining may be an effective option for you. In some cases, negotiating with the prosecution for a plea deal can lead to reduced charges or lesser penalties. This strategy depends heavily on the specifics of your case. Speak with your gun crimes defense attorney to identify details that may open up opportunities for your defense strategy.
Contact LaBre Law Office to Discuss Your Gun Crime Case and Begin Planning Your Criminal Defense Strategy
It is deeply important to promptly contact an experienced gun crime attorney to begin building your criminal defense strategy if you are facing gun crime charges or you expect you may soon be charged. Depending on the situation, we may be able to take early steps to reduce or prevent charges.
Our gun rights lawyer team can assess the details surrounding illegal carrying allegations and build a case in defense of your future ability to keep and bear arms in line with your 2nd Amendment rights while guiding you to avoid future charges.
At LaBre Law Office, we understand your anxiety and concerns, and we are prepared to guide and defend you during this difficult time. We serve clients throughout the “Michiana” area, as we are licensed on both sides of the Michigan-Indiana border.
Contact LaBre Law Office today to schedule a consultation. We will discuss the unique details of your gun crime charges and the surrounding events before building your criminal defense strategy.
LaBre Law Office — Excellence is Our Standard
Every situation is different and requires personalized legal strategy and attention. Tell us about your current situation and we would be happy to discuss your legal options. We have the skills, experience and resources needed to provide you with compassionate legal service.
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Why Choose LaBre Law Office?
Our clients in the Michiana area have confidence when LaBre Law Office handles their legal issues because our general practice law firm has established a record as a trusted member of the community for over four decades, serving our neighbors:
- Caring, aggressive advocacy for your interests in many practice areas
- We represent clients in both Michigan and Indiana
- Straightforward, assertive, and dependable guidance
- Unique legal strategies tailored to each specific case
- We fully address your concerns so you always understand your case’s status
- We will be here for you long after your legal issue is resolved
Excellence is our standard. Call today to schedule a consultation.
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