Domestic Violence and Gun Rights Under Michigan Law
As a criminal lawyers I often run into the situation where a client is facing domestic violence charges. A conviction for domestic violence will result in the loss of your ability to possess a gun and in some cases your job. This guid helps get someone around that.
Firearm Possession ProhibitionThe law that controls is 18 USC 922(g)(9) and it states that a person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime for domestic violence is prohibited from possessing, shipping, transporting, or receiving any firearm or ammunition.
This band includes constructive possession, so if a person has been convicted of domestic violence and they have access and control over a firearm they would be in violation of the law.
A violation of Firearm Possession Prohibition under 18 USC 922is ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000.00.
To get around this, a person could plea under the spousal abuse act MCL 769.4a. This allows a person to comply with the law above because a judgment of guilt isn't entered. Combine that with 18 USC 921(33)(b)(ii), which says:
A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of this chapter if the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or is an offense for which the person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored (if the law of the applicable jurisdiction provides for the loss of civil rights under such an offense) unless the pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.
Under 769.4a no conviction ever enters.
Disorderly Conduct - Disturbing the PeaceI recently resolved a matter where the complanant made multiple complaints in multiple jurisdictions. What about the cases where the defendant has already burnt their 4a eligibility.
One option is disorderly conduct, but it cannot be under josling as that will likely result in a violation of 18 USC 921. Other disorderly conduct charges may be a safer way to go federally, such as drunk and disorderly, but will result in a three year band on the CPL under Michigan law.
The remedy, if you can get it, is disturbing the peace under MCL 750.170. This will allow the defendant to comply with both state and federal laws and keep the possession of their firearm.
The information contained herein is Michigan specific. Attorneys should take the time to research all information on their own before making a decision as to how they advise their clients.
Aaron J. Boria is a criminal defense lawyer located in Plymouth Michigan with a practice focused on a limited number of clients in the Detroit area. Boria can be reach at (734) 453-7806 or visit his website here http://thelawyermichigan.com