While gun ownership is generally lawful, people who have been convicted of felonies often lose their right to own weapons and can be charged with criminal offenses if guns are found in their possession. In many cases, though, the police will not have direct evidence of possession of a firearm but will have to rely on circumstantial evidence to establish a defendant’s guilt. Although circumstantial evidence is generally admissible, evidence of other wrongful acts usually is not. Recently, a Michigan court issued a ruling explaining the admissibility of other acts evidence in a case in which the defendant appealed his conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm. If you are charged with a weapons offense, it is in your best interest to meet with a dedicated Michigan criminal defense lawyer to discuss what evidence the prosecution may put forth.
The Underlying Incidents and Defendant’s Conviction
It is reported that the defendant sent the victim threatening text messages, including a picture of an assault rifle. Later that day, the defendant went to a party hosted by the victim and got into a verbal altercation with her before pointing a gun at her head. He left the party, but that evening he became involved in a high-speed chase with the victim and fired shots at her vehicle. The victim then called the police and reported the defendant shot at her.
Allegedly, the defendant was arrested a week later. The police searched his home and found an assault rifle. He was charged with multiple crimes, including possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony. The defendant appealed, arguing in part that the prosecution improperly relied on evidence of other acts to establish his guilt. Continue Reading ›