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Evidence in Michigan Gun Investigations

There is no doubt that the gun laws in Michigan are far less severe than in other states. It is relatively easy to get a concealed weapons permit in Michigan and it is very common for citizens to have those kinds of permits. In creating these laws, it was the intent of the legislature to create a standardized system for issuing concealed pistol licenses.  Also to create a system that would allow law abiding residents to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol and to create a process by which you may appeal that denial. As such, lawful possession of gun ownership and use is quite popular and viewed favorably.

On the other hand, because weapons are so dangerous and people are naturally afraid of them, when someone is in unlawful possession of a weapon, or when they are using a lawfully possessed weapon in an unlawful way, the environment is harsh. Judges, prosecutors, and police officers take a very harsh approach to the unlawful possession and/or unlawful use of the lawfully possessed gun, simply because of the danger it could potentially present to the public.

When a person is under investigation for illegal use or ownership of a firearm, it is vital to have an experienced attorney on your side. Their knowledge of evidence used in Michigan gun investigations and trial can help build you a strong defense and protect you from severe penalties if charged.

Types of Evidence

The crime being charged defines the types evidence collected in Michigan for gun investigations. For example, with a simple charge of possession of an unlawful weapon, the evidence is the gun itself.

However, when the weapon was discharged in an unlawful way, there is additional evidence that can be collected that might relate to the manner in which the weapon was discharged. For example, some type of powder or residue may exist on the person’s hand and their clothing or somewhere nearby. Also, the bullet itself, if it can be retrieved, can be used. Anything the bullet comes in contact with is also evidence that can be used to tie the weapon and the bullet to the person charged with having possessed or unlawfully discharged it.

Gathering Evidence

The police officer usually obtains a person’s weapon through a lawful search or by consent. However, police officers sometimes come into possession of weapons unlawfully.

When it is simply a weapon, they will likely just be retrieving it from wherever it was placed. For other types of evidence, the police officer typically calls an evidence technician to the scene of the crime. The evidence technician takes charge of the scene and collects the evidence in a prescribed manner.

Evidence Evaluated in a Defense

There are things an attorney looks for when examining any type of evidence. With gun evidence, the Michigan gun lawyer will be looking to determine whether the technician or the officer who collected the evidence did so according to the police procedure and the law in a scientifically responsible way. The answer to those questions might lead to the possibility of having evidence thrown out or suppressed at trial.

All evidence, regardless of the crime, is subject to some type of an interpretation such as the police officer’s opinion or the report from the scientific testing which is in some way also an opinion depending on how it is analyzed. The police officer may be of the opinion that the person is in possession of a weapon or may have observed and concluded something from the observations. That essentially amounts to an interpretation.

Those types of interpretations are subject to a cross-examination where the defense attorney tries to show that the interpretation is wrong, misguided, false, or possibly fraudulent. However, with scientific evidence, the type of interpretation is subject to more finesse because it deals with matters of science. In those instances, the defense attorney has the evidence in Michigan gun investigations analyzed by another appropriately qualified expert or tries to cross-examine the expert from the police who examined, tested, or collected the evidence to determine whether their interpretation is correct.