First gun charge in Maryland? These should be your five first steps.
A gun charge in Maryland can be a serious matter with severe consequences. If you are facing your first gun charge in the state, it is important to take the situation seriously and seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
At FrizWoods, we understand the complexities of gun crime cases and are committed to providing our clients with the legal support they need to protect their rights and achieve the best possible outcome.
In this article, we will discuss some of the key aspects of first gun charges in Maryland and what you can expect if you are facing such a charge.
Step 1: Identify your charges
There are many different criminal gun offense in Maryland, here are some of the most common types of gun charges you may face in Maryland:
Illegal Possession of a Regulated Firearm: In Maryland, it is illegal to possess a firearm if you:
Have a previous felony conviction
Have a previous conviction for a crime of violence
Are under the age of 21 years old
Are a drug addict or habitual drunkard
Are under the age of 30 with a prior juvenile adjudication
There are additional prohibiting factors under Maryland law, but these are the most commonly seen reasons for a person to be prohibited from possessing firearms under Maryland law.
Unlawful Transport of a Handgun
In Maryland, it is illegal to transport a handgun vehicle without a carry license.
Unlawful carrying of a handgun
It is also illegal to carry a handgun on your person without a carry license. Unlike most other States, Maryland requires a handgun carry license to take your handgun outside of your home. There are limited exceptions to this law including, traveling between your own homes, traveling to surrender or sell a firearm, or traveling to and from a firearms range.
Ghost gun charges
Maryland has new laws prohibiting the possession of firearms that don't bear factory applied serial numbers. These ghost gun laws include redefining the meaning of a firearm under Maryland law to include just a frame or receiver of a firearm.
Step 2: Figure out the maximum penalty.
If you have charges you may want to know, Will I go to jail for a Gun Charge in Maryland?
If you are convicted, the answer may be yes. First it's important to figure out exactly what the maximum penalty for your case may be. Most gun charges are misdemeanors, having say that the consequences of a gun charge in Maryland can be severe and may include:
Depending on the nature of the charges against you, you may face significant time in prison if convicted. Judges in Maryland often give jail sentences for violations of gun laws, even for first offenders charged with misdemeanors. Gun charges often arise against people simply transporting their own firearms. Having a CDL or having lawfully purchased a firearm doesn't automatically entitle you to a suspended sentence.
In addition to imprisonment, you may also be required to pay significant fines if convicted of a gun charge in Maryland.
Loss of Gun Ownership Rights:
If convicted of a gun charge in Maryland, you may be prohibited from possessing firearms in the future. you may also be prohibited from possessing firearms during a period of probation
Damage to Reputation:
A gun charge can have a negative impact on your reputation and may make it difficult to find employment or housing in the future.
Step 3: Defending Against a Gun Charge in Maryland
Hiring a qualified criminal lawyer is important. If you are facing a first gun charge in Maryland, it is important to take the situation seriously and seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
In addition, a lawyer can provide you with guidance and support, and help you understand the complexities of the criminal justice system. Hiring a knowledgeable and skilled lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Step 4. Review the evidence against you and work with your attorney to develop a legal strategy
The State must provide you and your attorney with all of the evidence in your criminal case. You should review this evidence with your attorney. In the process of doing so - they should identify any possible sources of defenses.
Many gun cases involve:
The search of a vehicle
Searches of a vehicle are governed by the fourth amendment prohibition on illegal searches and seizures. The vast majority of these searches take place without a warrant. There are a limited number of warrantless search exceptions for motor vehicles. Your attorney should be able to identify if one applied - or if the search was illegal.
The search of a home
Illegal guns are often seized during a home raid pursuant to a search and seizure warrant. If so, you and your attorney should review the application that was made to the Court. If that application was made in bad faith, the scope of the warrant was exceeded - perhaps the search could be suppressed.
The testing of a firearm for operability
Certain Maryland handgun offenses require proof of operability. If the State fails to test a firearm, or is unable to provide proof of its operability at trial, these could be defenses to some charges.
A chain of custody
Handguns are seized and collected as evidence in criminal cases. When evidence is collected, Police must carefully track the chain of custody between the seizure and its presentation in Court or testing at a lab. If this chain is broken - it could yield a defense.
All too often there are several charges brought against co-defendants alleged to possess the same firearm. Possession isn't always as simple as it seems. You could be giving up important defenses if your lawyer isn't familiar with defenses to possession.
Step 5: Appear at court with your lawyer.
Don't face your first gun case alone. If you are facing a first gun charge in Maryland, don't wait. Contact FrizWoods today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers. We are here to help you every step of the way.
At FrizWoods our team of criminal defense lawyers has extensive experience in gun crime cases and is dedicated to providing our clients with the legal support they need to protect their rights and achieve the best possible outcome.
We will work to challenge the prosecution's evidence, negotiate a favorable plea agreement, or argue your case in court to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. In addition, we will provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the criminal justice system and protect your rights throughout the process.
Frequently asked questions in Maryland Gun Cases
Will I go to jail for my first gun case?
The short answer is: it's possible. However, the outcome of your case largely depends on the specifics surrounding your arrest, your criminal record, and your defense strategy. A good defense attorney can often negotiate to mitigate the charges or sentence, particularly for first-time offenders.
A suspended sentence is possible in a first gun case; however, every case, Judge, and jurisdiction is different.
How do I beat a gun case in Maryland?
To beat a gun case in Maryland, the defense must challenge the prosecution's case on every front. There's no one-size-fits-all strategy, but some common defense strategies include questioning the legality of the vehicle stop or search, questioning whether the defendant knowingly possessed the gun, or arguing that the gun was non-functional.
How do I find an attorney for a gun case?
Selecting an attorney for your gun case is a crucial decision. You need an attorney who has experience in gun law, a robust track record, and the willingness to fight for your rights. At FrizWoods, our experienced attorneys stand ready to provide you the best defense.
Is a gun charge in Maryland a felony?
Many gun charges in Maryland are considered misdemeanors; however, they can carry severe penalties. The charges in your case will depend on the facts of the case and your criminal record. Some examples of felony gun charges include: felon in possession of a firearm, firearm possession in relation to a drug trafficking crime, or firearm possession with a prior controlled dangerous substance felony.
How can I get a good plea deal on a gun case?
If appropriate, a defense attorney can also negotiate a plea deal on your behalf. A plea deal is an agreement with the prosecution where you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge or one of many charges, in return for certain promises or reccomendations from the State.
In some firearms cases this might include reduction of charges, or agreements that don't impose mandatory minimum sentences.
Whether it's a first-time gun charge or a repeat offense, facing a gun charge in Maryland can be a daunting experience. But with the right legal representation, it's possible to mount a successful defense and protect your rights. If you're facing a gun charge in Maryland, don't hesitate to contact us for a consultation. At FrizWoods, we have the experience and tenacity to handle even the toughest gun cases. We're ready to fight for you.
Facing a first-time gun charge in Maryland can be overwhelming. But remember, you don't have to face it alone. The FrizWoods law firm is ready to stand by you, fight for your rights, and provide you with the robust defense you deserve. Call us today for a consultation.
Luke has a passion for his job and definitely set my mind at ease with my cases… He has excellent communication skills and always kept me aware of important dates and times… I honestly do not know what I would of done without him…he has the best judgment and compassion for his clients that I have ever seen..