MICHIGAN FELONY FIREARM CHARGES

Felony firearm is a common, yet devastating charge one can receive.  In essence, if you are in possession of a firearm when committing a felony or attempted felony, you can be charged with the additional charge of felony firearm.  A felony firearm charge is quite brutal in its punishment, as it requires one convicted of it to automatically serve two years in prison.  This is the case, even if you are found not guilty of the underlying felony.  The felony firearm statute, MCL §750.227b, offers no general exceptions to this two year prison period.

As southeast Michigan felony firearm lawyers, we have handled many felony firearm cases, including winning jury trials and successfully having the felony firearm charges dismissed.  A major issue from our clients, or what is better described as disbelief, is the mandatory prison time for a felony firearm charge, regardless of what the underlying felony is.  We have handled cases including felony firearm charges resulting from larceny of a firearm, drug cases, and assaultive cases.  In many of these cases, the guns at the foundation of the felony firearm charge are not even on the client when they are arrested.  A prime example of this is when a house is raided for drugs and guns are found in a different room.  Many prosecutors offices will simply charge the felony firearm charge, even if there is no evidence that the guns were actually used in commission of a felony.

In order to prove felony firearm, the prosecutor must show that the defendant possessed or carried a firearm during the course of a felony or attempted felony.  Wayne County Prosecutor v Recorder’s Court Judge, 406 Mich 374, 397–398 (1979)  The firearm does not have to be loaded or even operable. People v Prather, 121 Mich App 324, 328 NW2d 556 (1982) 

Michigan’s felony firearm law is extremely broad and results in many people being charged with felony firearm, even though the gun possessed had nothing to do with the underlying felony.  Because of this, many prosecutors offices use the felony firearm charge to bully people into taking felony pleas as the threat of prison is too much for many, even if they are innocent of the underlying felony.  Some prosecutor’s offices, such as the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, requires defendants to make special requests to their prosecutor ‘gun board’ in order to receive a plea which dismisses the felony firearm.

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Jim Amberg is a partner at the lawfirm of Amberg & Amberg, PLLC.  Jim has tried and won misdemeanor, felony, and federal jury trials and routinely handles everything from Major Narcotics Conspiracy to Murder cases.  He argued and won the legally significant case of United States v Presley in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Jim also has sued courts to stop the practice of illegally incarcerating minors.  Jim is an active member of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, the Michigan Association for Justice, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  He has been named a Superlawyer by Superlawyer Magazine, a Top Lawyer by DBusiness Magazine, AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and has a rating of Superb by AVVO.com.

If you have any legal questions regarding your case, please feel free to contact Jim at (248) 681-6255 or email at jamberg@amberglaw.net.