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Firearm Use in a Crime of Violence / Firearm Use in a Felony

Many criminal cases involving firearms and felony charges often come with an additional criminal charge of Firearm Use in a Crime of Violence or Firearm Use in a Felony. Although this charge is only a misdemeanor, it carries a potential for a mandatory minimum sentence.

This is a critical topic that demands attention, not only because of the serious legal consequences involved but also due to the profound impact it can have on individuals and their liberties. Whether you're seeking to understand these charges better or exploring your options for legal representation, you've come to the right place.

CR 4 204 (b) Firearm Use/Fel-Viol Crime

Maryland law, specifically Maryland's Criminal Law Article Section 4-204, outlines the legal framework for charges related to the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence or any felony. This article will break down what constitutes a "crime of violence" and what the potential penalties are on conviction.

What is a firearm?

A firearm, as defined by this statute, includes a wide array of weapons, from handguns to antique firearms, whether loaded or unloaded. The statute even states that a frame or reciver of a weapon is a "firearm".

What is a crime of violence?

Maryland's Public Safety Article has an exhaustive list of what is a "crime of violence". Please note that these are different than a crime of violence for the purposes of parole eligibility

"Crime of violence" under CR 4 204 (b) includes:

Penalties for Violating CR 4 204 (b)

The penalties for violating this section are severe. A first-time offender faces a misdemeanor charge, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years and could face up to 20 years in prison.

Subsequent violations result in consecutive sentences, further emphasizing the seriousness with which Maryland views crimes involving firearms.

The Consequences of Conviction

The implications of a conviction go beyond prison sentences. Being found guilty of using a firearm in a violent crime can affect every aspect of your life, from employment opportunities to your rights and freedoms. It's a mark that remains, influencing how society views you and limiting what you can do.

Why Legal Representation Matters

In the face of such charges, having a skilled attorney by your side is not just beneficial; it's imperative. Here's why:

  • Expertise in Maryland Law: Legal professionals specializing in firearm-related charges understand the nuances of Maryland's criminal law. They can navigate the complexities of your case with precision.

  • Strategic Defense: An experienced attorney can develop a robust defense strategy, potentially leading to reduced charges or even a case dismissal.

  • Negotiation Skills: Plea negotiations are a critical aspect of the legal process. A seasoned lawyer can negotiate terms that might significantly lower the severity of the consequences.

  • Support and Guidance: Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming. A dedicated attorney provides not only legal representation but also emotional support, helping you through this challenging time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What defines a "crime of violence" in Maryland?
A: Maryland law (Pub. Safety Section 5-101) defines a crime of violence to include offenses such as murder, rape, robbery, assault, kidnapping, and more. It's a broad category that encompasses various serious crimes.

Q: Can the minimum sentence be reduced under any circumstances?
A: The law mandates a minimum sentence of 5 years, with no eligibility for parole within that time, except as provided in Section 4-305 of the Correctional Services Article.

Q: What if the firearm was inoperable at the time of the crime?
A: Under Maryland law, whether the firearm was operable or inoperable at the time of the crime is irrelevant for the purposes of this statute. It's possible to violate this law with gun parts including a frame or receiver, which would not be able to fire a round.

Q: How can an attorney help if the evidence against me is strong?
A: Even in cases with substantial evidence, a skilled attorney can make a significant difference. They can challenge the validity of the evidence, argue for mitigating circumstances, and work to ensure the best possible outcome.

The Path Forward

If you or someone you know is facing charges related to the use of a firearm in a crime of violence, the time to act is now. The legal team at FrizWoods LLC is ready to stand by your side, offering the expertise and support you need during this difficult time. Our approach is personalized, our defense strategies are meticulously crafted, and our commitment to our clients is unwavering.

Don't navigate this journey alone. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards securing your future.