From 2 Felonies to 1 90-day Misdemeanor

Over the past several months our office has been vigorously defending an individual charged with Felony Possession of a Concealed Weapon and Transporting a loaded long-gun in a vehicle, in the Oakland County Circuit Court. We filed several motions and briefs challenging the charges on several grounds; most notably a lengthy and in-depth Second Amendment Challenge.

Check out the briefs HERE and HERE.

As a bit of background, our client came to our office distressed, scared, and in disbelief. Distressed because of the severity of the charges; scared because he was a 33 year old gentleman with absolutely no prior criminal history and the thought of jail or prison was unfathomable; and in disbelief because he was being charged with carrying a concealed weapon even though possessed a validly issued Pennsylvania Concealed Pistol License.

We tackled the case head-on, filing several motions and briefs that totaled nearly 200 pages. The main contention: The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Michigan Constitution both supported our client’s position that he had broken no law due to the fact that he had an out-of-state permit. The State’s position, that the out-of-state permit wasn’t valid because he had a permanent Michigan residence, is contrary to both Constitutions.

After several hearings on the matter, and lacking a decision from the Judge on the issues, trial was a mere 48 hours away – although we were promised that the Judge would make a decision at some point before trial.

That’s when we got a call from the prosecutor’s office. They were making an offer. (They had already offered to dismiss Count 2 if he agreed to plead guilty to Count 1 – which was the CCW violation – which would have prohibited our client from ever regaining his Concealed Pistol License. We flatly refused that offer.) The new offer was not bad: They would drop Count 1 if he plead guilty to Count 2 (Count 2 was actually a High Court Misdemeanor – which, for all intents and purposes is a felony and would have also precluded him from regaining his CPL.) Again, we told them no deal; that we were ready to go to trial.

However, this time we had a counter-offer: In exchange for dismissing counts 1 and 2, our client would plead guilty to an added count 3 – a 90 day misdemeanor for Improper possession of a firearm in a vehicle. Further, an agreement that the State wouldn’t seek to prevent him from regaining his CPL (after a short period of probation). The prosecutor’s office took some time and came back later with a response: The deal was a go. Ultimately, the prosecutor respected our arguments, thought that there was a strong possibility that the Judge was going to rule our way, and believed that the jury would refuse to convict a law abiding citizen of a felony for simply failing to send a $150 check to the State of Michigan (in order to receive his Michigan CPL, since he qualified for the Michigan CPL in all other respects.)

It doesn’t happen that often: an individual is bound up to Oakland Circuit Court on several felony counts and walks away, prior to trial, with 1 [90-day] misdemeanor offense. But when it does happen, it is a thing of beauty.

We strongly believe in your 2nd Amendment Rights and Neil Rockind, P.C. is extremely experienced in handling all types of weapon offenses. If you or a loved one is faced with a criminal charge or an investigation by any policing agency regarding a weapons offense, please contact Neil Rockind, P.C. at jmellas@rockindpc.com or call our office directly at 248-208-3800 to schedule a free consultation today!

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