People v. Lane

Citation102 Mich.App. 11,300 N.W.2d 717
Decision Date21 November 1980
Docket NumberDocket No. 43499
PartiesPEOPLE of the State of Michigan, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Robert Michael LANE, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtCourt of Appeal of Michigan (US)

Daryle G. Salisbury, Royal Oak, for defendant-appellant.

Frank J. Kelley, Atty. Gen., Robert A. Derengoski, Sol. Gen., William L. Cahalan, Pros. Atty., E. Reilly Wilson, Appellate Chief, Asst. Pros. Atty., Timothy L. Cronin, Asst. Pros. Atty., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before MAHER, P. J., and BRONSON and QUINN, * JJ.


Defendant was convicted, after a jury trial, of carrying a concealed weapon (CCW). M.C.L. § 750.227; M.S.A. § 28.424. He was sentenced to a prison term of from two and one-half to five years and appeals by right.

The testimony at trial revealed that around 3:30 in the morning of June 12, 1978, the employees of a doughnut shop in Livonia observed a green station wagon circling the building. The car eventually parked, and the defendant approached the shop. One of the employees phoned the police, as the defendant entered the shop and asked for a glass of water. One of the employees also noticed a lump or bulge at the side of the defendant's pants. The police arrived within minutes and observed what appeared to be the wooden handle of a gun in the defendant's waistband. The defendant was arrested, and a gun was seized. One of the officers testified that the defendant stated he had consumed two or three drinks earlier in the evening, although the officer indicated he did not smell intoxicants on the defendant.

At trial, the defendant expressed his intention to offer witnesses in support of an intoxication defense. The prosecution objected to such a defense, and the trial court ruled that intoxication was not an available defense to the crime charged. Because intoxication is only a defense to a specific intent crime, People v. Crittle, 390 Mich. 367, 212 N.W.2d 196 (1973); People v. Stanton, 97 Mich.App. 453, 296 N.W.2d 70 (1980), the question at the heart of this issue is whether the offense of carrying a concealed weapon is a specific intent crime.

The statute itself makes no reference to a specific intent. 1 The judiciary, however, has read into the statute an element of knowledge. People v. Petro, 342 Mich. 299, 70 N.W.2d 69 (1955); People v. Balog, 56 Mich.App. 624, 224 N.W.2d 725 (1974). Such an element is necessary to save the statute from unconstitutional overbreadth. See People v. Balog, supra, 626, 224 N.W.2d 725. The trial court properly instructed the jury on this point, placing the burden on the prosecution to prove that the defendant knowingly carried the pistol. We do not believe, however, that this element of knowledge is the same as a specific intent. It rather reflects the general criminal intent necessary in most crimes. The statute itself does not make any sort of intent necessary for conviction. The purpose of the element of knowledge is to limit the statute's application to knowing, rather than innocent, violations of the statute's provisions. For example, without an implied element of knowledge, a passenger in a car in which a weapon is carried could be convicted under the express terms of the statute without a showing that he knew the weapon was present. In a case of personal possession, the knowledge element may be shown from the fact that a defendant had a pistol on his person concealed in a purposeful manner. People v. Wade, 23 Mich.App. 132, 178 N.W.2d 139 (1970), lv. den. 384 Mich. 758 (1970). We also note that other firearm offenses do require a specific intent beyond general criminal intent in a manner in which the CCW statute does not. See M.C.L. § 750.226; M.S.A. § 28.423, People v. Davenport, 89 Mich.App. 678, 282 N.W.2d 179 (1979). Because intoxication is not a defense to the sort of general criminal intent which the knowledge element of the CCW statute reflects, we find no error in the trial court's refusal to allow testimony on the issue of intoxication.

Defendant also argues that the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury on the offense of possession of a firearm while intoxicated, M.C.L. § 750.237; M.S.A. § 28.434. 2 In People v. Chamblis, 395 Mich. 408, 429, 236 N.W.2d 473 (1975), the Supreme Court held:

"We are establishing a rule today, as a matter of policy, limiting the extent of compromise allowable to a jury in deciding whether to convict of a lesser included offense. In any case wherein the charged offense is punishable by incarceration for more than two years, the court, whether or not requested, may not instruct on lesser included offenses for which the maximum allowable incarceration period is one year or less."

This rule is applicable to the instant case as the charged offense carries a five-year maximum and the possession while intoxicated offense is a misdemeanor. While the Supreme Court has modified ...

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11 cases
  • Shell v. State
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • September 1, 1985
    ...that he engaged in the prohibited conduct, and this cannot be negated by evidence of voluntary intoxication. Accord, People v. Lane, 102 Mich.App. 11, 300 N.W.2d 717 (1980) (holding that the knowledge element of carrying a concealed weapon denoted general intent and could not be negated by ......
  • People v. Maynor
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • May 29, 2003
    ...another line of cases, some of which do not rely on the presence or absence of the touchstone words to signal legislative intent. In People v. Lane,40 the question was whether the offense of carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) is a specific-intent crime; the defendant argued intoxication as d......
  • People v. Quinn
    • United States
    • Michigan Supreme Court
    • March 1, 1992
    ...purpose." 189 Mich.App. at 227, 471 N.W.2d 654. Because a knowledge element had been read into the latter statute, People v. Lane, 102 Mich.App. 11, 300 N.W.2d 717 (1980), 7 the Court concluded that it was necessary to engraft a knowledge requirement as an element of a violation of M.C.L. S......
  • People v. Combs, Docket No. 88394
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Michigan — District of US
    • July 17, 1987
    ...was invalid. Defendant claims this was error. We disagree. Carrying a concealed weapon is a general intent crime. People v. Lane, 102 Mich.App. 11, 300 N.W.2d 717 (1980). The only intent necessary is an intent to do the act prohibited, to knowingly carry the weapon on one's person or in an ......
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