helps people win back their lives
Felony Firearm Discharge Dismissed and Mandatory Prison Time Avoided
Our client was charged with multiple felony firearms counts. This included a Felony Discharge of a Firearm in a Dwelling, a 10 year felony according to MCL section 750.234b, and second charge was Use of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony, which according to MCL section 750.227b not only carries up to five years in prison, but also requires a mandatory minimum sentence of at least two years in prison. To our client, these charges were intimidating and proved a great deal of fear and uncertainty.
After extensive negotiations with the prosecutor, we were able to secure a favorable plea deal for our client. Based on the deal, after our client plead to a single count of Reckless Discharge Misdemeanor, pursuant to MCL Section 752.863a, the original felony counts would be dismissed. This avoided two felony convictions and mandatory jail time. We at the sentencing hearing were also able to persuade the court to impose no jail time whatsoever.
We believe that our success in this case was directly related to the deep understanding we had of our client’s story and our ability to communicate this story in a compelling way to the prosecution and judge. The central question was what life-circumstances lead to these charges being filed?
Our client’s story focused on our belief that this case arose out of a cry for attention in a stressful time. For all of us the shutdown from Covid-19 has been stressful and difficult. With the arrival of March 2020, our client’s life began to unravel. Schools shut down, which forced her to become the primary teacher of her two children. This was manageable, since she was already a stay-at-home mother. However, immediately her husband was also informed that he was laid off.
Unlike most, who already have or soon will return to their positions, her husband’s company shutdown completely in Michigan. He still is without work. So, when it couldn’t get any worse, her husband learned that his 56-year-old uncle had died from Covid-19. This led to an emotional argument and her husband leaving the home. To get attention, she called her husband, took the shotgun in the bedroom out, and loaded it with what she thought was a blank. Unfortunately, she put a hole in her bedroom door and spread birdshot down the upstairs hallway.
Because her children were home, although they were safely down in the basement, the charges got passed on up the chain. Even though her husband fought to keep the charges from being filed, the prosecutor still ended up filing maximum charges all based on a misunderstanding. The husband’s attempts having been met with resistance, it was up to us to ensure, each step of the way, that everyone involved would know and understand the situation that led to the charges. Each person had to be convinced that a cry for attention during a stressful time should not be the basis for a permanent felony record. Each person had to be convinced that two years in prison was completely ridiculous for the actions alleged. Thankfully, our arguments and storytelling met with success, and more reasonable minds prevailed.
While the whole process led to many sleepless nights for our client, in the end we were able to give her the results she was hoping for. If you are charged with any firearm count, we are here to tell your story and fight for you as well.