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Gun Prosecution

Due to the fact that concealed weapons permits are so common, gun crimes are becoming increasingly common where people are violating their conceal permit. The most common way that people violate their permit is by being intoxicated or using intoxicants when they have the weapon in their possession. For example, someone might have the weapon on them during the workday and then decide to stop on their way home from work and have a couple of drinks and still have the weapon in their possession or car.

They can be charged with having the concealed weapon under the influence of alcohol which is a potentially severe crime that leads to the CPL or the conceal permit being taken away. It can be revoked for a term of years or completely forfeited, depending on the circumstances. Part of that is based on the level of intoxication; the penalty is greater as the level of intoxication goes up.

If you are facing gun charges, contact a Michigan gun lawyer for assistance in fully understanding the process as well as changing trends in Michigan gun prosecution.

Elements of Proof

The elements the prosecution must prove for a person to be convicted of a Michigan gun charge depend on the alleged crime. Every crime is composed of elements and the prosecutor must prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, with a possession of a weapon charge, one of the elements is that an individual was actually in possession of that weapon. Possession does not necessarily mean that an individual has it in their hand or pocket, it is more broadly interpreted. Possession is an element of that crime and the gun case prosecutor in Michigan must prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.

The prosecutor also needs to prove that the weapon was, in fact, a weapon. That could potentially be an issue, particularly when the item collected by the police is a toy gun. The word "firearm" in Michigan is defined as any weapon which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.

There may be some question as to whether or not it meets the definition under the law. Each crime has elements and all of those elements must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt before the prosecutor can prove that an individual is guilty of the crime charged.

Prosecution

Once the gun crime is charged, the prosecuting attorneys are very reluctant to dismiss those charges or reduce them because of the public and political pressure against doing so. Guns are inherently dangerous and are frightening to many people.

Michigan prosecutors of gun cases, who are in many instances elected officials, want to be sure that they are not handling high-visibility crimes in a way that causes the public that votes for them to lose confidence in their ability to exercise discretion, particularly as it pertains to dangerous weapons.

Changing Trends

Even in counties where prosecutors are prone to plea bargaining and are even lenient in their plea bargaining policies in general, almost every Michigan prosecuting attorney's office is far less willing to negotiate on gun charges and any type of sentence that might be imposed by the court.

In other words, the prosecutor most likely asks for the maximum penalty when a gun is involved. That is particularly true if the gun was not just possessed, but was actually used in a way that caused harm to someone else. Anytime a victim is involved along with a gun, a prosecutor is not willing to dismiss that charge.

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