On November 20, 2023 Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a new law mandating that anyone with a conviction for Domestic Violence (MCL 750.81) will be prohibited from possessing, using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving or distributing either a firearm or ammunition until 8 years have passed from the completion of any probation or jail sentence for the domestic violence conviction. While this brings Michigan into compliance with current Federal laws on the same subject matter, it is, interestingly, a longer term of years to wait for misdemeanor domestic violence (8 years) than is required for those convicted of felony level offenses (either 3 or 5 years, depending on the felony offense) to have your gun rights restored. It is also a felony level offense to violate this new law with the maximum penalty of imprisonment for up to 5 years and a fine of not more than $5,000.00. This new law can be found at MCL 750.224f.
Furthermore, under this new law the legislature clarified who the victims of domestic violence can be. It still means a spouse or former spouse, someone who is currently dating or was previously dating, individuals having or having had a child in common or residents or having been residents of the same household. But “dating relationship” is now clarified and defined as people who have “frequent, intimate associations” where there is expected affection between the individuals. “Casual” or “business” relationships are not included in the definition of a “dating relationship”, though casual and business relationships are not themselves defined.
What does this all mean? First, it means the consequences of a domestic violence conviction have become more significant. Second, it means it is all the more important to retain an attorney to assist you if you are charged with domestic violence so you know all the various options available to you. We here at West Michigan Defense Team have represented hundreds, if not thousands, of people charged with domestic violence. If you have been charged with domestic violence, contact us for a free consultation and protect your gun rights