A felony conviction is not necessarily a bar to possessing a gun in Michigan. In fact, gun rights can be restored for many who have felony convictions on their criminal records. While specific conditions must be met for this to happen, Michigan law does establish criminal charges for illegal possession of a gun by a felon. A conviction on these charges can bring severe penalties.
For felons who want to own a gun, as well as those charged with felon in possession of a firearm (FPF), understanding how Michigan weapons laws allow and restrict the possession of guns for felons is crucial. It can be the key to protecting their rights in and outside the courtroom. In light of that, the following shares important information about when convicted felons can legally possess guns and what charges they can face for illegal possession of firearms in Michigan.
As helpful as this information is, a 5-star Lansing criminal defense attorney at O’Keefe Law can provide more answers and case-specific advice whenever you need it.
Convicted felons must wait a certain period of time and satisfy other requirements in order to restore their gun rights and legally be able to possess a gun in Michigan. In particular, individuals with a felony conviction can only restore their rights to own, carry, buy, and sell a gun in Michigan if they do all of the following in connection with their previous felony case:
Once these conditions have been satisfied, a 3-year waiting period takes effect. That means, the convicted felon will have to wait at least 3 years, after completely satisfying all of the above-listed conditions, before (s)he has the opportunity to restore his or her gun rights.
Expungements effectively erase a criminal record. So, anyone who is successful in getting a felon conviction expunged from their record can still legally possess a gun in Michigan as long as:
While convicted felons in Michigan can get their gun rights restored, these rights will not be restored at a federal level. That means, for the purposes of federal law, it will still be illegal for convicted felons to possess firearms—even if they have done everything they should to get their gun rights restored by the state of Michigan.
So, federal agents, like Drug Enforcement Agents (DEA) and border patrol, can and likely will arrest felons for possession of a firearm if they encounter them. Consequently, it’s best for convicted felons to be extremely careful when and where they choose to own, possess, use, buy, and sell guns once they do get their firearm rights restored in Michigan.
As a class E felony, FPF charges can be punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines. These charges and penalties can be brought even if:
There is no one-option-fits-all defense for charges of felon in possession of a firearm. Instead, the best defense cases against these charges will be structured around the:
More specifically, these tactics can take form through defense arguments like:
If you or someone you love has been charged with felon in possession of a firearm, you need fierce defense representation if you’re serious about safeguarding your rights and your freedom. You need Lansing Criminal Defense Lawyer Patrick William O’Keefe.
Call 517-273-0421 or email O’Keefe Law for a free, confidential consultation and important advice about your defense options.
The truth is that felons who face new criminal charges can have an even harder time during a subsequent go around with the criminal justice system. That can mean good people who have made mistakes in their past end up in the crosshairs of the law—and that a trial-tested attorney can be pivotal to helping them clear their name in court.
When it’s time to put up a fight in these cases and seek the best possible resolutions, Attorney Patrick William O’Keefe can provide strong, strategic representation at every stage of a case.
Remember, it is never too early to hire the right attorney, but it could be too late.
If you contact just one attorney, you must contact board-certified Attorney Patrick William O’Keefe. He provides the representation, support, and service he would demand in your shoes, and he always strives for optimal resolutions, including dismissals, acquittals, and the many alternatives to incarceration whenever possible.
The team at O’Keefe Law looks forward to helping you with a weapons case or any criminal case. In the meantime, check out some of our previous results and client testimonials to learn more about why we are a 5-star criminal defense law firm in and around Lansing, MI.
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