Gun Offenses in Maryland
The most common gun offenses in Maryland usually include someone with a handgun on their person or in their vehicle. In the State of Maryland, gun offenses are exceptionally serious crimes. Handguns, assault pistols, antique firearms, ammunition, and concealed weapons are all considered dangerous weapons. If you find yourself facing charges for the possession of a firearm, contact a distinguished gun lawyer regarding your rights and building a defense.
A lot of truck drivers store guns in a compartment in the cab because they sleep on the side of the road. There a lot of people who have concealed carry permits in other states. Many states give them out. When an individual comes to Maryland and is unsure what the laws are, and they may not bother to find out. It is this ignorance of the law that will get a person in trouble. This is the most common charge.
Common Gun Charges in Maryland
There are a number of ways individuals can be charged for having a gun on them or in their possession. Common gun offenses in Maryland involve people from other states with a license to carry who come into Maryland thinking that same license is valid here and it is not. The state of Maryland’s laws specify that they only allow licenses to possess firearms from the state of Maryland. An individual cannot have a license to carry and conceal from another state and use it in Maryland.
Maryland allows gun charges in somewhat of a wider variety. Under the Criminal Code, there is legal possession of a handgun, there is handgun in the vehicle, handgun on person when not allowed, et cetera. There are also Public Safety Regulations with regards to guns and ammunition, as well as the Department of National Resources with regards to hunting, e.g., if a person is hunting without a license or on illegal grounds.
Likelihood of Other Charges
If a person does not know the Maryland Laws is traveling through the State of Maryland, chances are the person is just probably just going to get a Handgun in Vehicle Charge, a Handgun on Person Charge; one or the other, or both. If it is outside of the vehicle, in the commission of a crime, then it is incredibly common and that person is going to be charged with those individual crimes as well as the handguns charges. The State Police will try to charge the person with everything that they can. Fairly, under the law, if a person breaks them all, they are going to charge that person with them all.
Penalties for Common Gun Offenses
There are several different factors involved in determining the penalties for gun offenses in Maryland. Different aspects include how many weapons someone was carrying, the type of weapons, and where they were. If an individual was on school grounds, the penalty can be exacerbated from the location alone. In terms of misdemeanors, it is illegal to carry or transport a handgun, whether it is concealed or open, without the appropriate licenses and permits, which must be issued in Maryland. There are a couple of exceptions.
Someone in law enforcement such as a correctional officer working in the prison system, in the armed forces, or in the military, are likely permitted. However, if they violate that, the lowest penalty can include a minimum of three years in jail and/or a fine of anywhere from $250 to $2,500. If someone is on school property, the penalty is 90 days to three years in prison. If the individual is a repeat offender, the maximum increases to 10 years in prison.
A Criminal Conviction Will Result in a Criminal Record
Background searches are accessible in the Maryland registry through a keyword search. Attorneys also have their own ability to look up potential clients the penal system to see if they have been charged. If an individual has a prior charge on their record, they will see that. The court will look it up, too. Police officers typically write a statement of probable cause describing what was discovered in their record and that will be submitted to the State’s Attorney’s office. The State’s Attorney’s office is going to note that you have a prior and the penalty is going to be increased. There is no question that they will not be able to find it.
Impact of Possession Charges
Possession does not have to be literal. It does not have to be on the person. It could be within the person’s reach, it could be reasonably close to the person’s reach, it could be in the rear of the vehicle. If the person has a trunk, put the firearm it in the trunk and separate the gun and ammunition properly. If a person has a license to carry it, he will be okay as long as he is going to certain places where he is allowed, to and from the person’s place of business if it is allowable, to and from his gun shop where the person had made the purchase or taking it for service or cleaning and, of course, to and from a gun range.
Maryland’s Laws are very specific. A person could narrowly tell what he is allowed to do, and as long as he follows the rules, he should be okay. If he is uncertain, he can call an attorney or the Maryland State Police and ask for discretionary information to confirm what he is doing is correct.
Conspiracy to Violate Gun Laws
A conspiracy to violate is actually somewhat unique. In a conspiracy, it is alleged that the person is going to be doing something with someone; a conspiracy charge or an attempt charge. Conspiracy, with regards to Maryland Gun Laws, would indicate a person participated in some form of illegal transitive guns with another individual or in trafficking guns in and out of the state. An attempt to do so would also fall under the same categories.
The Value of Consulting with an Attorney
If you are facing one of these common gun offenses in Maryland, or other gun-related allegations, it is important to contact an attorney. Many attorneys will offer a free consultation, where you can speak to an attorney about your case and learn more about how the law may apply to the facts of your case. More importantly, you can discuss what you can expect from the case and how an attorney can help you and your case.