Michigan Gun Charges

Defense attorney Chris Kessel has literally handled hundreds and hundreds of weapons cases and secured favorable results while doing so. These cases have come both in Detroit and throughout the State of Michigan. Weapons charges and cases often involve complex 4th Amendment issues that can determine whether or not key evidence will be admitted against you. For that reason, you need to have an attorney who knows the law, but also knows how to get information from witnesses (usually police officers) even when they don’t want to give it.

There are a large variety of different weapons charges that can be brought against you in the State of Michigan. For that reason, this section will focus on the most common charges that our clients face on a regular basis. However, if you are charged with something that is not listed on this page, please contact Chris Kessel and we will help you understand the law in your particular case.

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Carrying a Concealed Weapon

More often referred to as CCW, Carrying a Concealed Weapon is a very common charge brought in the State of Michigan. The maximum penalty for a CCW conviction is up to 5 years in prison and a $2,500.00 fine. A CCW conviction can prevent you from getting you Concealed Pistol License, have employment consequences, and even have an effect on your driver’s license. To be convicted of CCW, the prosecutor must prove that:


You were carrying a gun or dangerous weapon

Point Two

The gun/dangerous weapon was concealed or partially concealed while you were carrying it.

A dangerous weapon can be any number of things. Case law in Michigan has shown that a dangerous weapon can include a knife, sword, brass-knuckles, switchblade…etc. If you get stopped by the police and are found to be carrying this type of item, you could be charged with a felony.

As previously stated, many CCW cases will turn on whether or not there were any violations of you 4th Amendment rights. However, even if a judge determines that your rights were not violated all hope is not lost. A prosecutor must prove that you knew the weapon was in your possession and that the firearm was actually operable. These are almost always points of contention which can be used to your advantage, particularly when the weapon was found in a vehicle.

Felon in Possession of a Firearm

More commonly known in defense attorney circles as FIP or Felon In Possession, a person may only be charged with Felon In Possession if they have been convicted of a specified felony AND their rights to possess a firearm have not yet been restored. It doesn’t matter if the weapon is concealed or not, if you have been convicted of a felony and a firearm is within your reach, you can guarantee that you will be charged with FIP. Click on the blue link above to read more about FIP and the possible defenses.

This is another incredibly common charge in Michigan, especially in the City of Detroit.In order to be convicted of Felon In Possession, the prosecutor must prove that you:


Were in possession, selling, buying, or transporting a firearm.

Point Two

Had not had your rights to possess a firearm restored.

f convicted of Felon In Possession, a defendant is looking at up to 5 years in prison as well as a $5,000.00 fine. FIP is a particular problem for defendants because it is almost a guarantee that along with the FIP charge, you will be facing the charge of Felony Firearm.

Felony Firearm

Felony Firearm, also known as FF, is one of the most feared charges in the world of criminal defense. The reason; FF carries with is a MANDATORY 2 year prison sentence that must be served consecutively with any other sentence a defendant may have to serve. Click on the blue link above to read more about Felony Firearm and the possible defenses.

The Felony Firearm statute, technically called “possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony” was created by the Michigan Legislature in the 1970’s. In essence, the law says that if you are in possession of a firearm during the commission of one of a certain list of felonies, then you are guilty of Felony Firearm. Upon your first conviction of FF, you will face a MANDATORY 2 years in prison. This sentence is to be served consecutive to any other convictions stemming from your case. A second FF conviction will result in a 5 year prison sentence, and a third conviction will result in a 10 year prison sentence, both to be served consecutively.

The Felony Firearm law can be applied in a very vague manner, making it very frustrating for defendants and their attorneys. If you are charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana and there happened to be a gun in your trunk when you were stopped by the police, you will be charged with Felony Firearm. If you are charged with UNarmed robbery and you are alleged to have had a gun on your person, but NEVER used it during the alleged robbery, you will be charged with Felony Firearm. If you’ve been convicted of a felony and are simply in possession of a firearm, you will be charged with Felon In Possession AND Felony Firearm (and likely Carrying a Concealed Weapon too!).

Fourth Amendment Rights

More often than not, weapons charges will involve complex 4th Amendment issues. These cases usually stem from a “stop and frisk” or the execution of a warrant…or lack of warrant in some cases. These issues not only require a criminal defense attorney who knows the law, but also one who can paint officers into a corner where they have to admit that they violated your rights. While the average attorney may be able to tell you that the 4th Amendment protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures, it takes a expert defense lawyer to know all of the facets of 4th Amendment law and how to use the law to your advantage.

Our Approach To Michigan Weapons Charges

Because we are top criminal defense attorneys, when a client retains Chris Kessel he immediately begins to develop a comprehensive strategy for success. Sometimes success means convincing the prosecutor to dismiss the charges completely or have them greatly reduced. Other times it means a motion to suppress evidence to have the case dismissed by a judge, or fully preparing for trial and securing a not guilty verdict.

Weapons charges are usually based on testimony from a police officer. This means that you need an attorney who is skilled in the art of cross examination, who can force an officer to explain why their testimony may not match their police report, or why there is no video of a incident when there were cameras present during an arrest. Anyone can cross-examine a witness, but it takes a top attorney like Chris Kessel to force a jury to see when a witness cannot be believed.

If you or a family member has been changed with a weapons or firearm offense, contact our defense lawyers at Chris Kessel Law today by clicking here.

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