Maryland Gun Penalties
The right to bear arms is a right that is taken very seriously in Maryland. Firearms are inherently dangerous, even if those carrying them have no intention of using them in a way that threatens the safety of others. Gun regulations exist, in order to ensure that people enacting their Second Amendment rights are doing so without putting the lives and well-being of others at risk. When someone violates gun regulations, there are consequences to those actions and if someone violates gun laws, they will face Maryland gun penalties. If you have been charged with a gun offense, a capable gun lawyer can help mitigate the gun penalties you may face.
Gun Penalty Factors
Maryland gun penalties are quite severe considering that some convictions may come with a mandatory minimum sentence. That means the judge has no choice but to put a person in jail when they are convicted of a gun charge. Factors that influence how penalties can differ for gun offenses depend on anything associated with the crime. Factors include whether the gun offense was an act of violence or simple ignorance, and what was going on at the time. These factors weigh on what, if any, penalty is necessary.
Minimum Fine for Gun Charges
The mandatory minimum penalty in Maryland for all gun-related offenses depends on the charge. The mandatory minimum or the lowest penalty is 30 days and can be as high as three years. It depends on what a person is charged with and how the offense is charged. There is no minimum fine because the guns vary and judges always have the ability to find the person with something in some way. It is a little bit harsher but is generally at the discretion of the judge. For example, with a handgun, the unlawful wearing and carrying for a simple first offense, a person faces a three-year maximum sentence but the minimum is 30 days. When it is a person’s second offense, it increases up to for 10 years as a maximum and a year at the minimum and continues to increase from there.
If a person’s first offense takes place on school property. The 30-day minimum becomes a 90-day minimum. If a person’s first offense is not on school property, they get the benefit of probation before judgment for which there is no minimum. When a person has a second offense with the prior weapon offense, they face the minimum of three years. A person must be very careful about how the penalties weigh in, how judges treat them, and how the state presents them. In contrast, some of the biggest maximum Maryland gun penalties carry 20-year maximums.
Impact of Location on Severity of Penalties
The intent of school zones is to make sure that guns stay away from schools including literary schools and campuses. School zones are not limited to elementary, middle, and high school, but include all major schools. Maryland has tried a number of times over the last couple of years to expand these areas so that no one but a law enforcement agent is allowed to have guns in those locations. When a person is found in those locations with a gun, the minimum 30-day penalty immediately triples to 90 days.
Depending on the county, there are the additional Maryland gun penalties that are common and disqualifiers from owning a firearm in the future. Prince George’s County has a gun registration for a person with a gun conviction and a probation before judgment to sign onto this registration. A person must be well aware of what is going on in that particular county and having a proper attorney is going to be important.
Importance of a Lawyer
The specifics of the crime are the elements to be proven by the state. The prosecutor must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, piece by piece, and element by element. A handgun on a person and handgun in a vehicle are distinctly different. Regarding the use of a handgun or other type of firearm in the commission of a crime the question becomes was it used or was it just around.
For instance, there is a domestic matter in a home, a gun is upstairs in the closet, and a person is charged with gun possession. The gun was not physically on the person and was never in the person’s possession but was reasonably close for any objective individual to say that the person was able to possess the firearm. It cannot be charged in that way. A person texting a picture of a gun does not show possession. These matters must be questioned as to how they are charged by the state. An adept gun attorney can call all of these matters into question, and more. They can look at all of the facts of your case and use them to build your case. A criminal defense attorney can also help mitigate the Maryland gun penalties you face. If you face gun charges, get in contact with a Maryland gun lawyer.