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Intentional Discharge of a Firearm
Individuals who may lawfully carry a firearm under Michigan law typically are also free to discharge that firearm if the discharge creates no risk or possibility of danger to others. While a shooting range is a permissible place to discharge a firearm, your small backyard surrounded by your neighbor's houses may not be.
Since the penalties you may face from these types of criminal charges may be severe, you could consider seeking advice from a Michigan intentional discharge of a firearm lawyer. The intent is a required element of these offenses, and an experienced gun defense attorney can help you raise this or other defenses in this type of case.How the Intentional Discharge of a Firearm Could be Charged
When individuals intentionally discharge a firearm while in a motor vehicle, they commit a felony offense, as defined in Michigan Compiled Laws §750.234a. Motor vehicles may include any passenger vehicles, snowmobiles, and off-road vehicles.
It is also a felony offense under MCL §750.234b to purposely discharge a firearm at or inside a building you either know or should reasonably believe is a dwelling or is currently occupied. Felony charges may apply under this statute even if the building in question is not occupied at the time of the offense.Potential Penalties a Defendant May Face
A violation of either of these statutes is a potentially prosecutable felony charge even if no injuries result from the discharge of the firearm. Peace officers or individuals who are acting in self-defense are typically exempt from charges for this offense.
A conviction under either MCL §750.234a or MCL §750.234b may result in a ten-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine. The potential maximum penalties increase if the offense causes injuries to others.
Any bodily injury would increase the potential penalties for these offenses to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine, and any serious impairment of a bodily function would increase the potential penalties to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. An intentional discharge of a firearm attorney in Michigan can help you determine which statute your alleged offense falls under and what that might mean in terms of possible criminal consequences.Firing a Gun at an Emergency or Law Enforcement Vehicle
A Michigan lawyer can also help you fight charges of intentionally discharging a firearm at a vehicle that you may have known or reasonably believed was an emergency or law enforcement vehicle. This offense, which is a felony offense under MCL §750.234c, is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of four years and a fine of up to $2,000.
Emergency and law enforcement vehicles may include fire department vehicles, police agency vehicles, and the department of natural resources vehicles used for law enforcement purposes. This section could also be also applicable to vehicles licensed to provide emergency medical services on a temporary, and to any other vehicles belonging to emergency or law enforcement employees that they use during their assigned duties.What a Michigan Intentional Discharge of a Firearm Attorney Could Do To Help
Facing criminal charges could be a stressful and difficult time in your life, both for you and for your family. When faced with the prospect of incarceration and high fines, you may wish to seek advice from a Michigan intentional discharge of a firearm lawyer right away.
Getting the information and answers that you need early on in your criminal case can make a huge difference in the ultimate outcome of your charges. Call today to schedule an initial consultation and start going over your legal options.