Concealed weapons charges have serious consequences for defendants when convicted. However, according to a March 2016 ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court, individuals carrying concealed weapons who use the weapons in self-defense may use this defense to avoid conviction. The ruling applies to a wide range of objects, including knives normally used for work.
Supreme Court Accepts Self-Defense Argument
An experienced criminal defense lawyer assists defendants by exploring every option during a trial, and the fight continues in the appeal process. In the People v. Tripplet (2016), the circumstances involved a very dangerous situation for the defendant. After an argument with his wife, the couple got into a physical altercation at the side of the road.
When drivers passing by intervened, the situation became violent. One of the individuals began choking the defendant, after which the defendant pulled out a utility knife and threatened to use it if the choking continued. An initial conviction ruled the concealed weapon was illegal to use, but that ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court upon further review. Self-defense became a valid defense for concealed weapons under such circumstances.
Motive for Carrying the Weapon
The Supreme Court ruled that a court had to prove the defendant was carrying the knife planning to use it as a weapon in order to qualify as a concealed weapons offense. A defendant’s “substantial rights” must be taken into account in these situations, according to the final ruling.
In this case, had the defendant’s life not been at risk during the altercation, the concealed weapons conviction would stand. There would have been no justification for the defendant to be carrying a utility knife or any other dangerous object in public. It takes an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Michigan to see the potential for overturning a conviction like People v. Stripplet (2016), even when it takes a lengthy appeal to win.
Contact Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC, when you are charged with a crime and need expert defense. Michigan residents deserve experienced counsel through the trial and appeal process when facing possible conviction and sentencing. For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact Attorney Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC at 269.982.1100 or visit www.AttorneyPeterJohnson.com.