Felony Criminal Possession of a Firearm Attorneys in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Firearm-related crimes are prosecuted harshly and carry mandatory minimum sentences in Michigan. This means, no matter the circumstances of the crime, you will be sentenced to time behind bars upon conviction. One of such crimes is felony criminal possession of a firearm, which is also known as a “felony firearm offense” in Michigan.  

Because the stakes are so high, you don't want to leave your future in the hands of a judge or jury or just plead guilty. When you have West Michigan Defense Team in your corner, you have the opportunity to effectively defend yourself against felony firearm charges.  

We work as a team and bring an impressive over 85 years of combined legal experience defending people like you. Our felony defense attorneys in Grand Rapids, Michigan, serve clients in Holland, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Grand Haven, and Western Michigan. Contact us today to enlist knowledgeable, zealous representation.  

What Is Felony Criminal Possession of a Firearm in Michigan?

In Michigan, felony criminal possession of a firearm, commonly referred to as a “felony firearm offense,” is when an individual possesses a firearm at the time of committing or attempting to commit a felony (Michigan Penal Code § 750.227b).  

For example, if someone is in the process of committing a sex crime or assault and they are in possession of a firearm, they could face charges for the underlying offense (sex crime or assault) and the felony firearm offense.  

If convicted of felony criminal possession of a firearm and the underlying offense, the person could end up serving two sentences. This punishment can be especially harsh considering that Michigan’s state guidelines call for a mandatory minimum sentence for felony firearm convictions.  

To convict someone of felony criminal possession of a firearm, the prosecution must prove two elements:  

  1. The defendant had knowledge of the existence or location of the firearm; and 

  1. The firearm was accessible to the defendant at the time of the crime.  

These elements create opportunities for defense if you are represented by an experienced felony criminal possession of a firearm attorney in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who can argue you (a) were not aware about the firearm’s existence or location or (b) the firearm was not accessible to you.  

Penalties for Felony Criminal Possession of a Firearm

A person convicted of a felony firearm in Michigan will face a mandatory minimum sentence of:  

  • Two years for the first offense;  

  • Five years for the second offense; or 

  • Ten years for a third or subsequent offense.  

Felony criminal possession of a firearm carries no possibility of parole. The stakes are simply too high to trust your future to an attorney with little to no experience.  

West Michigan Defense Team is a team of three results-driven and dedicated attorneys with over 85 years of cumulative experience and we are ready to work tirelessly to defend you, your freedom, and your future.  

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Possible Defenses to Felony Firearm Charges

Every case presents unique challenges and opportunities. That’s why you need an attorney to evaluate your case during a personalized consultation and explain the defense strategies that may be available to you.

Having previously defended clients against felony criminal possession of a firearm charges, our attorneys at West Michigan Defense Team have successfully applied the following two defenses.  

1. No Proof of Knowledge of the Existence or Location of the Firearm

One of the cornerstones of a felony firearm charge in Michigan is the accused's knowledge of the existence or location of the firearm. The prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was aware of the firearm's presence. Without this critical element, the case against the accused may fall apart. 

  • What is knowledge? Knowledge in legal terms implies that the accused was consciously aware of the firearm's presence. This means they should have known not only that the firearm existed but also where it was located. For instance, if a firearm is found in a shared residence or vehicle, the prosecution must prove that the specific individual accused knew about its presence and location. 

Defendants can challenge knowledge by presenting evidence or arguments that cast doubt on their awareness of the firearm. This could include:  

  • Testimonies of witnesses who can attest that you didn’t know about the firearm;  

  • Circumstantial evidence to demonstrate that the firearm was hidden or placed in an area you were not aware of; and 

  • The absence of fingerprints on the firearm supports your claim of your lack of awareness.  

Through these and other pieces of evidence, your defense attorney can create reasonable doubt about your knowledge, potentially leading to a dismissal of felony criminal possession of a firearm charges or an acquittal. 

2. Lack of Proof That the Firearm Was Accessible at the Time of the Crime

Another defense that may apply to your felony firearm case involves demonstrating that the firearm was not accessible to you during the commission of the alleged crime.  

  • What is accessibility? Accessibility refers to the firearm being within the defendant’s reach or control, making it readily available for use. Accessibility hinges on whether the firearm was in a location where the accused could have easily reached it. If the firearm was locked away, hidden, or simply out of reach, the prosecution may not establish the accessibility element.  

To effectively argue this defense, your defense attorney will provide evidence or arguments that show the firearm was not within your immediate reach or control. This can include: 

  • Demonstrating that physical barriers prevented access to the firearm, such as locked doors or compartment.  

  • Gathering testimonies from individuals who can assert that you did not have access to the firearm at the time of the alleged crime.  

  • Utilizing video evidence to show your location in relation to the firearm, proving it was out of their reach. 

  • Presenting forensic analysis that supports the claim that the firearm was not accessible. 

By undermining the prosecution’s assertion that the firearm was accessible, you can weaken the case against you and avoid or minimize the punishment.  

Contact Us Today For a Free Discussion About Your Case 

If you are facing charges or are being investigated for a felony firearm in Michigan, you don’t want to take chances with your future. If you plead guilty or let the prosecution prove your guilt at the trial, you could be left with a lengthy term of imprisonment and a shattered life.

However, you may still be able to defend yourself against the charges, and our attorneys at West Michigan Defense Team are here to help.  

Felony Firearm Attorneys in Grand Rapids, Michigan

When you work with the West Michigan Defense Team, you are not hiring just one attorney–you are hiring three. Even if you feel there is no hope in your case, why not try? Our felony firearm attorneys in Grand Rapids, Michigan, offer free, no-obligation consultations so you have nothing to lose but time. And isn’t your freedom and future not worth 30 or 60 minutes of your time? Think about it.