Carrying Concealed Weapons Charges in Michigan
An experienced defense attorney can help
In Michigan, you are required to have a license to carry a concealed weapon outside your property. If you are caught carrying a concealed pistol or another weapon on your person or in your vehicle, you could face years in prison, significant fines, loss of gun rights, and a felony conviction on your record for the rest of your life. It’s a serious charge that requires a serious defense.
The concealed carry defense attorneys at Manley & Manley have the experience and resources to take on tough firearm violation charges and mount a strong defense for our clients. We know Michigan’s gun laws, and we know the courts in Genesee County and throughout the state. Give us a call or contact us online for a free consultation.
Penalties for concealed carry in Michigan
The Michigan Penal Code defines illegally carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) as either:
- Carrying a pistol concealed on or about your person without a concealed pistol license (CPL);
- Having a pistol in your vehicle, whether concealed or not, without a CPL;
- Carrying a pistol in a manner inconsistent with any restrictions on your CPL; or
- Carrying a dagger, dirk, stiletto, or another dangerous weapon (except a hunting knife), either concealed on your person or concealed, or otherwise in your vehicle.
Note that there is an exception for carrying a concealed weapon in your dwelling, place of business, or on other land that you own.
Carrying a concealed weapon is a felony with a maximum sentence of five years in prison, plus fines of up to $2,500. In addition, you will lose your right to carry or own firearms until at least five years after you complete all terms of your sentence (after five years, you can apply to have your firearm rights restored). A CCW conviction can also affect your right to vote and your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, enroll in college, or qualify for professional licenses.
That’s why getting a strong defense from an experienced concealed carry attorney is crucial.
How an attorney can fight a concealed carry charge
There are several strategies an experienced concealed carry defense lawyer can use to fight the charges against you. One option in some scenarios is to get the relevant evidence (i.e., the allegedly concealed weapon) thrown out. We may be able to do that by showing there was an:
- Illegal traffic stop: Many concealed carry charges arise from traffic stops where police find a pistol or other weapon in a vehicle. We may be able to argue that the police didn’t have reasonable suspicion to pull you over in the first place or probable cause to search your vehicle. (This is one reason you should never consent to a search of your vehicle!) An illegal traffic stop or vehicle search can be grounds to get evidence suppressed.
- Illegal search: Just as the police need a reason to search your vehicle, they also need a reason to search your person. If the police have reasonable grounds to believe that you are armed and dangerous, they can pat you down; if they have probable cause to arrest you, they can search you for weapons during the arrest. If they didn’t have cause to search or arrest you, then again, we can get the evidence thrown out.
Should your case go to trial, we work hard to take apart the prosecution’s case point by point. Some of the defenses we may use include:
- The weapon was not truly concealed: In Michigan, it’s legal for an adult (18 or older) to openly carry a legally registered handgun with lawful intent. Therefore, showing that the weapon was sufficiently visible to be considered open carry instead of concealed carry is a valid defense.
- You didn’t know you had the concealed weapon: The prosecution must prove that you knew you had a concealed weapon on or about your person or in your vehicle. What if it was placed there without your knowledge?
- You were on your property when you were arrested: Concealed carry is always legal on your own property. This can be a viable defense if you were arrested near the edge of your property.
- You had a valid license and were in compliance with the CPL regulations: Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer may be able to argue that you had a license and were within your rights.
Remember, the prosecution must prove each and every element of the CCW charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Our attorneys are adept at finding the flaws in the prosecution’s arguments and fighting for a “Not Guilty” verdict before a judge and jury.
Fight your concealed carry charge with an attorney on your side
Concealed carry charges in Michigan can change your entire future. We’re proud to stand up for gun owners’ rights and have the experience and recourse to mount a spirited defense against your CCW charge.
If you’re facing charges for illegal concealed carry, you must act quickly. Contact Manley & Manley today for a free case evaluation with an experienced Michigan gun lawyer.