If you have been convicted of a felony in Michigan, you will lose your right to possess a firearm both at the state and federal levels. Under Michigan Penal Code Act 328, Section 750.224f, you will not be allowed to “possess, use, transport, sell, purchase, carry, ship, receive, or distribute a firearm in this state” until certain conditions are met.
Getting the help of a skilled expungement attorney to represent you and protect your rights is important. If you’re in Michigan and need a lawyer for expungement, Paul J. Tafelski, a top-rated Michigan expungement attorney, may be able to help you restore your right to gun ownership and provide a strong legal argument for your expungement case. Contact Michigan Defense Law today at (248) 451-2200 to schedule a free consultation.
How Does Michigan Law Restrict Gun Ownership After a Felony?
Penal code MCL 750.224f sets out gun restrictions depending on the type of felony that the conviction was for.
If the felony you were convicted of involved:
- The use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person or property
- The illegal possession, manufacture, or distribution of a controlled substance
- The illegal possession or distribution of a firearm
- The illegal use of an explosive
- Arson, burglary, or breaking and entering of an occupied dwelling
you will not be able to possess, purchase, use, transport, or sell any firearm or ammunition in the state of Michigan until five years after you have completed the following:
- You served your imprisonment
- You paid all fines
- You completed your probation or parole
- And a court has restored your rights
If your conviction was for another type of felony or other crime punishable by four or more years in prison, you can’t possess, purchase, use, transport, or sell any firearm or ammunition in the state of Michigan until three years after you have served your terms, paid your fines, and completed your probation or parole requirements.
In addition, although it is possible to reinstate your gun rights with the help of an experienced Michigan gun rights lawyer, you cannot legally possess any firearm or ammunition under federal law – ever.
But if you have your criminal record expunged, unless expressly forbidden, your rights can be restored both at the state and federal levels.
Can a Felon Own a Gun in Michigan?
If you have a previous felony conviction (or have committed a crime punishable by four or more years in prison), it is unlawful for you to possess, use, transport, sell, or buy firearms or ammunition in Michigan until three years have passed and after you meet the following criteria:
- Fulfillment of all criminal fine payments.
- Completion of your prison sentence.
- Successful fulfillment of all parole or probation obligations.
Non-compliance with these regulations constitutes a felony offense and can lead to a maximum prison sentence of five years, along with fines of up to $5,000. Each violation of this provision is considered as an independent offense according to Michigan law. For instance, if you are discovered to have used firearms twice, say while hunting, in violation of this section, you may face a maximum of ten years in jail and fines totaling $10,000, regardless of the number of weapons or ammunition involved.
In order to restore your firearm ownership rights following a particular felony conviction, you are required to submit an application to a Michigan superior court. The judge will assess your request and may grant it if you provide compelling evidence that satisfies the following criteria:
- A minimum of five years have passed since you successfully completed all the requirements of your sentence.
- It is unlikely that you will endanger others if your firearm possession rights are restored.
- Your application has been correctly filled out.
If your application is rejected by the judge, you will need to wait for a full year before reapplying. Therefore, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a Michigan firearms lawyer who can help you complete the application accurately and gather evidence of your good character. At Michigan Defense Law, our lawyers can provide guidance and representation to individuals seeking the reinstatement of their firearm ownership rights after a felony conviction. Contact us today for skilled and personalized assistance.
How Can You Get Your Record Expunged?
Expungement is when the court agrees to set aside a non-violent criminal record. Under certain conditions, individuals with specific misdemeanor and felony convictions in Michigan can have their records shielded from the public. After expungement, records are no longer available to the public but are still maintained by state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The recent Clean Slate Act in Michigan has also made significant progress in expanding the rights of more individuals with non-violent criminal records to get their records expunged. The Act has provided for
- Expansion and revision of crimes eligible for expungement
- A future automatic process for some crimes to get expunged
- Adding some traffic offenses for eligibility
- A revised waiting period for eligibility
- Grouping offenses that took place within 24 hours of each other into one conviction
- Allowing individuals with marijuana convictions to petition for expungement for offenses that would now be legal
When you have your record expunged, the court can restore your right to bear arms.
|Eligible Crimes||Expansion and revision of crimes eligible for expungement, including specific misdemeanors and felonies|
|Automatic Expungement||Future automatic process for expunging certain crimes|
|Traffic Offenses||Addition of some traffic offenses for eligibility|
|Waiting Period||Revised waiting period for eligibility|
|Grouping Convictions||Grouping offenses that took place within 24 hours of each other into one conviction|
|Marijuana Convictions||Allowing individuals with marijuana convictions to petition for expungement for now-legal offenses|
Getting the Help of an Experienced Michigan Gun Rights Attorney
If you have a criminal record, there are many benefits of having your record expunged if you are eligible, including having your gun rights reinstated.
If you have questions regarding expungement or gun rights reinstatement, Paul J. Tafelski and the criminal defense team at Michigan Defense Law can help. Call us at (248) 451-2200 or contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.