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Southfield, Mich. — April 20, 2015 — Bipartisan House Bill 4419, introduced on April 14 by primary sponsor Rep. Kurt Heise, proposes that an individual who carries or has in his/her possession a firearm when they commit or attempt to commit a felony, shall be imprisoned for up to, but no more than, two years; currently, there is a mandatory two year conviction. Neil Rockind, founder of Southfield-based criminal defense law firm, Rockind Law, applauds the proposed change.
“The current felony firearm statue is overly punitive and unfairly punishes people, even when they did not use a gun in the commission of a crime,” Rockind said.
Rockind explains that ‘possession’ can occur when one is not even physically in possession of a firearm. For example, if an individual is in their car, they have drugs on them and the police obtain a search warrant for their home and find a shotgun and another small quantity of drugs, that individual can be charged with ‘possession of drugs’ and a ‘felony firearm’, even though the gun was not physically on them at the time of the arrest.
“The way the law works now, the felony firearm offense requires a mandatory, non-parolable two years in prison before any time is served on the drug offense,” Rockind said. “House Bill 4419 would change that and allow the individual’s sentence to be reflective of his or her specific case, not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. This is a step in the right direction for Michigan becoming more flexible with its general sentencing guidelines altogether.”
Under HB 4419, a person who is found to be carrying or has in their ‘possession’ a firearm when committing or attempting to commit a felony as a first offense will not be imprisoned for more than 2 years; upon a second conviction, the individual shall be imprisoned for no more than five years and upon a third or subsequent conviction, the individual shall not be imprisoned for more than 10 years.
To read the entire language of HB 4419, click here.
About Rockind Law
Rockind Law is a Southfield, Michigan-based criminal defense law firm aggressively pursuing justice for individuals facing criminal charges, including white collar crime, drunk driving, narcotics and assault. To find out more about the firm’s services and resources, visit http://www.rockindlaw.com/.