Everything You Need to Know About Gun Charges in Maryland
MD Criminal Law discusses about how to handle gun charges in Maryland, understanding about the gun law. Learn more.
Maryland Gun Laws
Maryland law has a number of different gun charges, but they all fall into three categories: possession, use, and illegal distribution.
These categories represent different levels of severity, with possession being the least severe and illegal distribution being the most severe.
In addition, these categories each have their corresponding penalties if you are convicted. Likewise, for every type of gun charge, there are a variety of defenses that a Maryland gun lawyer can use to defend you in court.
Felony Gun Charges in Maryland
Certain gun crimes can be charged as felonies in the state of Maryland. These charges can lead to severe penalties.
Illegally carrying a gun in Maryland is sometimes a misdemeanor and sometimes a felony, depending on the circumstances. The most common types of charges for illegal carry include:
Carrying handguns or assault pistols without a license
Possession of an unregistered handgun
Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit (CCW)
Possession of a handgun after being convicted of certain crimes such as assault or battery.
Penalties for felony gun charges are harsh. You could face up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
Maryland has a mandatory minimum sentence in place for weapons charges. The lowest minimum penalty is 30 days in jail and the highest minimum is three years. This means that if convicted, you will face at least 30 days in jail. If the case is more serious, the minimum sentences imposed could be up to three years.
Furthermore, you might be required to pay restitution costs and lose your right to vote or own a firearm. The actual penalties you will receive depend on the type of gun charge and any separate crime you allegedly committed.
Suppose you have been charged with a felony gun crime. It may be helpful to hire a Maryland criminal lawyer who will fight your rights and work to obtain the most favorable outcome possible for your case.
Maryland Gun Penalties
The Maryland Criminal Law Code imposes various penalties for gun charges. The type of penalty will depend on the circumstances of the case and the specific charge.
The most severe penalty is likely to be imposed in cases where a person uses a gun to commit a violent crime, such as murder. A defendant could face significant prison time in these situations, including life imprisonment without parole.
Minimum Penalties for Maryland Gun Charges
There are several gun charge offenses in Maryland with varying degrees of severity. A few of these include:
Unlawful possession of a firearm – The unlawful possession of a firearm is an unclassified misdemeanor that carries up to three years in prison, a $1,000 fine or both.
Carrying a handgun on public property – This offense is also known as “going armed.” It involves carrying or wearing a handgun on any public property or vehicle, including school property or vehicles. This unclassified misdemeanor carries up to three years in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both.
Carrying a handgun without a permit involves carrying or wearing a handgun without a permit or license. This unclassified misdemeanor carries up to three years in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both.
Possession of an unregistered firearm – Possession of an unregistered firearm is an unclassified misdemeanor that carries a three-year prison sentence and a $1,000 fine.
First Offense Gun Charge In Maryland
A first offense Maryland gun charge can still result in a lengthy prison term. However, in some cases, there are ways to get your first offense gun charge reduced or even dismissed.
The most important thing you can do after being charged with a gun crime is to contact an experienced Maryland gun lawyer so they can guide you through the criminal justice system.
The maximum penalty for a first gun offense charge in Maryland is one-year imprisonment and a $1000 fine. It is important to remember you do not automatically receive the maximum penalty. You will be subject to the mandatory minimum jail sentence for the crime.
However, the court still has some discretion on how much time you will spend behind bars and how much you will be fined. This is why hiring a Maryland gun lawyer with the right knowledge and experience is essential. Without the assistance of a qualified lawyer, you may be at high risk for a misdemeanor conviction or other Maryland gun penalties.
How to Beat a Gun Charge in Maryland
If you are charged with this crime, your first step should be to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Time is of the essence in criminal cases!
Your legal counsel will be able to advise you on how to handle the entire process, from interaction with law enforcement officers to your court appearance.
What Are Your Options?
When facing charges in Maryland, it is vital to know all of your options. There are several different ways that your attorney can help you fight back against these charges. Here are a few examples:
It’s possible for your charges to be dropped or reduced if extenuating circumstances surround your arrest. For example, if police found the gun during an illegal search or seizure and did not have probable cause, any evidence gathered from that search might be suppressed.
If police stopped you for no reason (other than because they thought you looked suspicious), they could not search your car or person without probable cause or consent from you. If they do, any evidence that they find, including a gun, may be suppressed and cannot be used in court against you.
If the prosecutor lacks sufficient proof that you committed a crime, the court may decide to drop the charges against you.
How Long is the Prison Sentence for Gun Charges?
There is no “one size fits all” when sentencing firearms offenses. Each case is unique and has its own set of circumstances.
If you are convicted of gun possession in Maryland, the length of your sentence will depend on multiple factors. These include:
The type of weapon you were found with (e.g., handgun, automatic weapon, rifle, shotgun)
The circumstances surrounding your arrest
Whether you’ve been convicted of a crime in Maryland or elsewhere (convicted felon gun crimes are taken very seriously)
The effect of any prior convictions on sentencing guidelines (e.g., habitual offenders)
It is possible to get probation for a gun charge in Maryland. However, it depends on what kind of charge you face and the strength of the State’s case against you.
If you’ve been charged with a crime involving a firearm in Maryland, you should contact criminal defense lawyers as quickly as possible.
The potential consequences of a gun charge are serious, and an experienced lawyer like Morgan E. Leigh of Scrofano Law PC can help you build a strong defense. Call us at (301) 905-9821 today for a free consultation.