Possession of Firearm While Intoxicated in MichiganPossession of Firearm While Intoxicated in Michigan:

MCL 750.237 dictates that individuals shall not carry, possess, have under control, or use a firearm if they are under the influence of alcohol and/or a controlled substance.  If you have a BAC of 0.08 or more you are automatically considered under the influence and in violation of this statute if you are in possession of a firearm.  Simple possession is a misdemeanor.  It carries a sentence of up to 93 days and/or a fine of up to $100.00 for carrying the firearm and up to $500.00 for using or discharging the firearm.

The misdemeanor offense can escalate to a felony if you cause serious impairment to another individual by discharging or using your firearm.  “Impairment” covers everything from causing them to lose a finger to causing death.  The sentence for this begins at 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of between $1,000.00 and $5,000.00 and can go up to 15 years and/or a fine between $2,500.00 and $5,000.00 if the individual dies as a result of this offense.

In determining if you are intoxicated, an officer with probable cause may require the individual to submit to a chemical analysis including.  They may do so using a Breathalyzer or blood testing, similar to the process used if you are operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

The term “possession” is vague and does not make clear what exact activities will violate the statute.  Recently, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that individuals cannot be charged with this crime simply because a firearm was inside their home while they were intoxicated.  This decision arose out of a conflict concerning former House Speaker Craig DeRoche.  DeRoche was intoxicated at his home, at which he also stored a firearm.  Ultimately the court found that he was not engaging in any unlawful behavior for simply being at his own home, at which there was a firearm, while drunk.  The court essentially held that gun safety laws cannot go so far as to prevent an individual from exercising their constitutional right to bear arms under the Second Amendment while simply being in their own home while intoxicated.

(http://www.freep.com/article/20130130/NEWS15/130130076/It-s-not-illegal-drunk-your-home-gun-Michigan-appeals-court-rules)

Making sense out of gun control laws and your constitutional rights may be difficult.  The attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, LLC are experts in criminal defense.  Our knowledge of judges and courts in the area gives us a competitive edge for your case. For more information about gun possession, or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

750.237 Liquor or controlled substance; possession or use of firearm by person under influence; violation; penalty; chemical analysis:

Sec. 237.

(1) An individual shall not carry, have in possession or under control, or use in any manner or discharge a firearm under any of the following circumstances:

(a) The individual is under the influence of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or a combination of alcoholic liquor and a controlled substance.

(b) The individual has an alcohol content of 0.08 or more grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine.

(c) Because of the consumption of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or a combination of alcoholic liquor and a controlled substance, the individual’s ability to use a firearm is visibly impaired.

(2) Except as provided in subsections (3) and (4), an individual who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $100.00 for carrying or possessing a firearm, or both, and not more than $500.00 for using or discharging a firearm, or both.

(3) An individual who violates subsection (1) and causes a serious impairment of a body function of another individual by the discharge or use in any manner of the firearm is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not less than $1,000.00 or more than $5,000.00, or both. As used in this subsection, “serious impairment of a body function” includes, but is not limited to, 1 or more of the following:

(a) Loss of a limb or use of a limb.

(b) Loss of a hand, foot, finger, or thumb or use of a hand, foot, finger, or thumb.

(c) Loss of an eye or ear or of use of an eye or ear.

(d) Loss or substantial impairment of a bodily function.

(e) Serious visible disfigurement.

(f) A comatose state that lasts for more than 3 days.

(g) Measurable brain damage or mental impairment.

(h) A skull fracture or other serious bone fracture.

(i) Subdural hemorrhage or subdural hematoma.

(j) Loss of an organ.

(4) An individual who violates subsection (1) and causes the death of another individual by the discharge or use in any manner of a firearm is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years or a fine of not less than $2,500.00 or more than $10,000.00, or both.

(5) A peace officer who has probable cause to believe an individual violated subsection (1) may require the individual to submit to a chemical analysis of his or her breath, blood, or urine. However, an individual who is afflicted with hemophilia, diabetes, or a condition requiring the use of an anticoagulant under the direction of a physician is not required to submit to a chemical analysis of his or her blood.

(6) Before an individual is required to submit to a chemical analysis under subsection (5), the peace officer shall inform the individual of all of the following:

(a) The individual may refuse to submit to the chemical analysis, but if he or she refuses, the officer may obtain a court order requiring the individual to submit to a chemical analysis.

(b) If the individual submits to the chemical analysis, he or she may obtain a chemical analysis from a person of his or her own choosing.

(7) The failure of a peace officer to comply with the requirements of subsection (6) does not render the results of a chemical analysis inadmissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution for violating this section, in a civil action arising out of a violation of this section, or in any administrative proceeding arising out of a violation of this section.

(8) The collection and testing of breath, blood, or urine specimens under this section shall be conducted in the same manner that breath, blood, or urine specimens are collected and tested for alcohol– and controlled-substance-related driving violations under the Michigan vehicle code, 1949 PA 300, MCL 257.1 to 257.923.

(9) This section does not prohibit the individual from being charged with, convicted of, or sentenced for any other violation of law arising out of the same transaction as the violation of this section in lieu of being charged with, convicted of, or sentenced for the violation of this section.

MCL 750.237a Individuals engaging in proscribed conduct; violation; penalties; definitions:

Sec. 237a.

(1) An individual who engages in conduct proscribed under section 224, 224a, 224b, 224c, 224e, 226, 227, 227a, 227f, 234a, 234b, or 234c, or who engages in conduct proscribed under section 223(2) for a second or subsequent time, in a weapon free school zone is guilty of a felony punishable by 1 or more of the following:

(a) Imprisonment for not more than the maximum term of imprisonment authorized for the section violated.

(b) Community service for not more than 150 hours.

(c) A fine of not more than 3 times the maximum fine authorized for the section violated.

(2) An individual who engages in conduct proscribed under section 223(1), 224d, 226a, 227c, 227d, 231c, 232a(1) or (4), 233, 234, 234e, 234f, 235, 236, or 237, or who engages in conduct proscribed under section 223(2) for the first time, in a weapon free school zone is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by 1 or more of the following:

(a) Imprisonment for not more than the maximum term of imprisonment authorized for the section violated or 93 days, whichever is greater.

(b) Community service for not more than 100 hours.

(c) A fine of not more than $2,000.00 or the maximum fine authorized for the section violated, whichever is greater.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to conduct proscribed under a section enumerated in those subsections to the extent that the proscribed conduct is otherwise exempted or authorized under this chapter.

(4) Except as provided in subsection (5), an individual who possesses a weapon in a weapon free school zone is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by 1 or more of the following:

(a) Imprisonment for not more than 93 days.

(b) Community service for not more than 100 hours.

(c) A fine of not more than $2,000.00.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply to any of the following:

(a) An individual employed by or contracted by a school if the possession of that weapon is to provide security services for the school.

(b) A peace officer.

(c) An individual licensed by this state or another state to carry a concealed weapon.

(d) An individual who possesses a weapon provided by a school or a school’s instructor on school property for purposes of providing or receiving instruction in the use of that weapon.

(e) An individual who possesses a firearm on school property if that possession is with the permission of the school’s principal or an agent of the school designated by the school’s principal or the school board.

(f) An individual who is 18 years of age or older who is not a student at the school and who possesses a firearm on school property while transporting a student to or from the school if any of the following apply:

(i) The individual is carrying an antique firearm, completely unloaded, in a wrapper or container in the trunk of a vehicle while en route to or from a hunting or target shooting area or function involving the exhibition, demonstration or sale of antique firearms.

(ii) The individual is carrying a firearm unloaded in a wrapper or container in the trunk of the person’s vehicle, while in possession of a valid Michigan hunting license or proof of valid membership in an organization having shooting range facilities, and while en route to or from a hunting or target shooting area.

(iii) The person is carrying a firearm unloaded in a wrapper or container in the trunk of the person’s vehicle from the place of purchase to his or her home or place of business or to a place of repair or back to his or her home or place of business, or in moving goods from one place of abode or business to another place of abode or business.

(iv) The person is carrying an unloaded firearm in the passenger compartment of a vehicle that does not have a trunk, if the person is otherwise complying with the requirements of subparagraph (ii) or (iii) and the wrapper or container is not readily accessible to the occupants of the vehicle.

(6) As used in this section:

(a) “Antique firearm” means either of the following:

(i) A firearm not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898, including a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or a replica of such a firearm, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898.

(ii) A firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

(b) “School” means a public, private, denominational, or parochial school offering developmental kindergarten, kindergarten, or any grade from 1 through 12.

(c) “School property” means a building, playing field, or property used for school purposes to impart instruction to children or used for functions and events sponsored by a school, except a building used primarily for adult education or college extension courses.

(d) “Weapon free school zone” means school property and a vehicle used by a school to transport students to or from school property.

For more information about gun possession, or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

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