If you are charged with Felony Firearm in Livonia, Michigan, you need the help of an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney. I can provide you with nearly 20 years of experience and a willingness to fight and take cases to trial.
Felony Firearm is carries an automatic 2 years in prison (24 months). If felony firearm is charged along with other felonies, such as possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, the prison sentence of 24 months must be served consecutive to any other sentence. This means that, even if the other charge carries only probation, you will serve the first two years in prison. If you are arrested and charged with Felony Firearm, your first court appearance will be an arraignment in the 16th District Court in Livonia, Michigan. Learn more about an arraignment now. At the arraignment, your case will be scheduled for a probable cause conference and a preliminary examination. Bond will also be addressed at the arraignment. The probable cause conference must be scheduled within 7 to 14 days of the arraignment with the preliminary examination scheduled within 5 to 7 days after the probable cause conference.
Following the preliminary examination, further proceedings are held in the Wayne County Circuit Court at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. If there is virtually any evidence supporting the prosecutor's case, it is extremely likely that the matter will be bound over in the district court. Nonetheless, I almost always challenge cases at the preliminary examination because it is the best opportunity that the defense is presented for challenging the evidence and developing the facts that will support defenses in the circuit court. DO NOT WAIVE THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION WITHOUT MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION.
The charge of Felony Firearm is detailed in the Michigan compiled laws, MCL 750.227b. The provisions of MCL 750.227b state:
(1) A person who carries or has in his or her possession a firearm when he or she commits or attempts to commit a felony, except a violation of section 223, section 227, 227a or 230, is guilty of a felony, and shall be imprisoned for 2 years. Upon a second conviction under this section, the person shall be imprisoned for 5 years. Upon a third or subsequent conviction under this subsection, the person shall be imprisoned for 10 years.
(2) A term of imprisonment prescribed by this section is in addition to the sentence imposed for the conviction of the felony or the attempt to commit the felony, and shall be served consecutively with and preceding any term of imprisonment imposed for the conviction of the felony or attempt to commit the felony.
(3) A term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall not be suspended. The person subject to the sentence mandated by this section is not eligible for parole or probation during the mandatory term imposed pursuant to subsection (1).
(4) This section does not apply to a law enforcement officer who is authorized to carry a firearm while in the official performance of his or her duties, and who is in the performance of those duties. As used in this subsection, law enforcement officer means a person who is regularly employed as a member of a duly authorized police agency or other organization of the United States, this state, or a city, county, township, or village of this state, and who is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the enforcement of the general criminal laws of this state.
The jury instructions set forth the following elements for Felony Firearm that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecuting attorney:
M Crim JI 11.34 Possession of Firearm at Time of Commission or Attempted Commission of Felony (Felony Firearm)
(1) The defendant is also charged with the separate crime of possessing a firearm at the time [he / she] committed [or attempted to commit]1 the crime of ___________________.
(2) To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
(3) First, that the defendant committed [or attempted to commit] the crime of _________________________________________, which has been defined for you. It is not necessary, however, that the defendant be convicted of that crime.
(4) Second, that at the time the defendant committed [or attempted to commit] that crime [he / she] knowingly carried or possessed a firearm.
[Use any of the following paragraphs when factually appropriate:]
[(5) This charge includes possession of a firearm during either a completed crime or an attempted crime. An attempt has two elements. First, the defendant must have intended to commit the crime of ____________________________________. Second, the defendant must have taken some action toward committing the alleged crime, but failed to complete the crime. It is not enough to prove that the defendant made preparations for committing the crime. Things like planning the crime or arranging how it will be committed are just preparations; they do not qualify as an attempt. In order to qualify as an attempt, the action must go beyond mere preparation, to the point where the crime would have been completed if it had not been interrupted by outside circumstances. To qualify as an attempt, the act must clearly and directly be related to the crime the defendant is charged with attempting and not some other objective.]
[(6) It does not matter whether or not the gun was loaded.]
[(7) A firearm includes any weapon from which a dangerous object can be shot or propelled by the use of explosives, gas, or air.]
[(8) A pistol is a firearm.]
[(9) A firearm does not include smooth bore rifles or handguns designed and manufactured exclusively for shooting BBs not exceeding .177 caliber by means of spring, gas, or air.]
I can't emphasize enough how important it is to focus on the jury instructions while preparing a defense to the offense of Felony Firearm. While there are a number of defenses to Felony Firearm that we can explore during a consultation, the elements contained in M Crim JI 11.34 provide a roadmap for defending the case. This is true in almost every single case, and really great defense attorneys focus early on these jury instructions.
As a cautionary note, you might be completely innocent but still face criminal charges. Even worse, you might be denied bail, forced to spend months in jail before you are vindicated. I have seen many cases where a truly innocent client is baffled, angry and scared, completely unable to understand why police and prosecutors are gunning to get a conviction. So long as probable cause is established at the preliminary examination, then the matter will be bound over for trial in the 3rd Circuit Court for the County of Wayne and further proceedings will be held in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. This is why it is so important that you contact an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney to help you defend against criminal charges in the 16th District Court.
*represents an aberration under the guidelines that might result in county jail time or violate the 2/3rd maximum minimum rules under the guidelines, which is something that must be discussed with your attorney.