Illegal Possession of a Firearm
Although most citizens have the right to own firearms in general, the laws pertaining to the specific types that are permitted are a little more complex. In Michigan, it’s a serious crime to possess certain types of firearms, ammunition, or firearm modifications.
If you’re facing charges for illegal firearms possession, you need the help of an experienced Michigan firearms lawyer for your criminal defense. A conviction could end in a lengthy prison term and other serious consequences.
Michigan statute 750.224b prohibits making, manufacturing, transferring or possessing a short-barreled shotgun or rifle. There are exceptions for short-barreled shotguns that are legally possessed under federal law.
Michigan statute 750.224c prohibits the manufacturing, distribution, sale, or use of armor piercing ammunition.
Michigan statute 750.224e prohibits the manufacturing, sale, distribution, or possession of a semiautomatic firearm that has been modified into a fully automatic firearm. It also prohibits showing someone else how to make such a modification. A fully automatic firearm is one that loads successive cartridges into the magazine without renewed pressure on the trigger each time.
Under Michigan statutes, possessing a short-barreled shotgun is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Using armor piercing ammunition is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
Possessing a semiautomatic firearm that has been converted to fully automatic, or showing someone how to make such a modification, is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
However, the penalties reflected in the statutes may not be what a judge imposes if you’re convicted. A recent Michigan Supreme Court case gives judges the authority to decide “reasonable” sentences for criminal convictions. An experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer can talk to you about what this might mean for you. A lawyer also can advocate for a lighter sentence if you’re convicted.
Michigan Firearm Consequences
If you’re convicted of the possession of an illegal firearm, an illegally modified firearm, or illegal ammunition, you may face additional consequences that could impact your life for years to come, including:
- A lengthy probation term that will cost time, money, and require random drug and alcohol testing
- Difficulty securing employment
- Difficulty being admitted to certain professional associations
- Difficulty securing housing
- Restriction from buying, owning, or carrying firearms in the future
- Inability to pass a background check
- Loss of voting rights while carrying out sentence
- Difficulty obtaining a passport
Defending your Illegal Possession Charge
All criminal charges should be taken seriously, but felony convictions especially can end in jail time and other significant disruptions to your life. Michigan courts take weapons charges very seriously, especially in light of escalating gun violence around the country and high-profile crimes involving both legally and illegal obtained firearms.
If you’ve been charged with the possession of an illegal firearm, an illegally modified firearm, or illegal ammunition, you need a skilled Michigan criminal defense lawyer on your side to guide you through the Michigan criminal process and help you fight your charge. Our experienced Michigan firearms lawyers are ready to do whatever it takes to achieve the most favorable outcome, whether it be fighting for you during plea negotiations, or at trial.
An experienced Michigan firearms lawyer will explore many possible defenses to your charge, including:
- The evidence against you was obtained illegally
- The search warrant used to obtain evidence against was issued without sufficient basis
- Your arrest was unlawful
- Incriminating statements you made were unlawfully obtained
- The firearm in question is not actually fully automatic
- You possessed a short-barreled shotgun in accordance with some Federal law
- You did not know or have reason to know that the firearm in question was fully automatic
Every case and every charge present unique challenges and opportunities. An experienced Michigan firearms lawyer can evaluate your case and explain your options and advise you about how to best proceed.
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