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Possession of a Handgun While Being Intoxicated


Former Michigan House Speaker Craig DeRoche was charged with violating the state law that prohibits possession of a handgun while being intoxicated. The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the lower court rulings and dismissal of gun charges against the politician because the statute was an unconstitutional attack on the right to bear arms in your own home. The statute in question is MCL 757.237.

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Police entered DeRoche’s Detroit-area home in 2011 in response to a verbal altercation. DeRoche refused to come downstairs at the request of two police officers, and after a lengthy investigation was eventually arrestested. Witnesses include his mother-in-law, who claimed that she took the gun that he previously possessed and hid it away. The case was dismissed by a District Judge because the police were in the home too long without either permission or a warrant in addition to the Second Amendment grounds. The dismissal was upheld by the circuit court under a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

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The Court of Appeals held:

While acknowledging the problem of handgun violence in the United States, the Supreme Court urged that the Constitution leaves a variety of tools for combating the problem, including measures to regulate handguns. But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the tables; including the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.


As a result, legislature cannot prevent a person from possessing weapons in his or her home. In this instance the court held that the theory of possession of the handgun while intoxicated was what is called “constructive possession.” The prosecutor wanted to proceed on grounds that the gun was in DeRoche’s home and within his access while he was intoxicated. The Court of Appeals determined that said theory compromised the constitution because of the constitutional protection of possessing a weapon in one’s home for self-defense. Otherwise,  a person could never consume alcohol in their home if they kept a weapon for protection.

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The charge against former Speaker DeRoche for now is dismissed.

At Rudoi Law, we know how to protect your Second Amendment rights. We will present the serious, aggressive defense you need. Our experience with the local legal environment can help us define a legal strategy that works best for you and your need for a fair and fast resolution. Contact us right away to get someone on your side who fight for you.