Expired CPL License?

If you are a concealed pistol license holder in Michigan take a look at your CPL and mark its expiration date in your calendar. Carrying a concealed pistol with an expired license is a five your felony in Michigan. You can be charged under the carrying a concealed weapon statute.

I recently tried a case which involved a defendant who was a CPL holder. He was pulled over because of an expired tab on his license plate. He disclosed to the officer that he had a pistol in the console and that he was a licensed CPL holder. When the officer ran his name he learned that the defendant's license had expired 34 days ago. He was charged in Washtenaw County with carrying a concealed weapon. The Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney apparently has a policy of not offering misdemeanor plea deals on CCW cases irrespective of the circumstances.

Unfortunately, under Michigan law, the state does not have to show that the defendant knew his license was expired. We argued that a jury instruction requiring knowledge of the expiration should be required and our motion was denied. My client had no defense and now will have a felony conviction for a simple mistake unless the Court of Appeals finds more merit in my argument than the trial court did.

The easy way to avoid this is to renew your CPL. Under the new CPL law effective December 1, 2015 the state is required to mail all CPL holders notice of their expiring license. The license holder must simply apply for the renewal and pay the renewal fee. The receipt for payment of the renewal fee along with the old license act as a valid license until the renewal is adjudicated. To be clear, to stay valid and avoid a lapse in your license all you have to do is apply for the renewal and pay the fee. Your license--even if it expires before you receive the renewed card--along with the receipt is valid and allows you to carry concealed.

Phil

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