Penalty Enhancements Involving Firearms in Maryland

Penalty enhancements come from prior convictions or other charges in the particular case that allow for the state to seek higher penalties that are apt. The judge considers higher penalties especially if the person has priors that can affect in a circuit court setting, the guidelines for any type of sentence. If an individual is already facing charges for a specific crime, especially a violent one, and they are found in possession of a firearm, that can enhance the penalties they face and escalate a misdemeanor to a felony charge. If you have questions about penalty enhancements involving firearms in Maryland, do not hesitate to contact an intelligent gun lawyer who can answer your questions, and defend you.

Criminal Charges That Qualify for Penalty Enhancements

An assault moves from the second degree to the first degree with the inclusion of a gun and changes from a misdemeanor to a felony. In gun violence crimes, especially if a person is convicted of a felony and the possession of a gun with the intent to commit a felony, the judge considers sentencing a person to consecutive sentences. They receive a sentence for possession of the gun and for the actual crime that was committed. The person serves that sentence and then the other sentence and so on.

Penalty Enhancements

With a gun that is unregistered, illegal or stolen, the charges are different. The penalties come with a harsher regard from the judge when someone should not have a gun and did not lawfully possess one. They did not have one registered to them or the firearm was stolen. In each of these situations, the person finds their case is not as well received as someone who goes through the process and did not have a permit. That weighs heavily against a person and could convince the judge to immediately sentence the person a higher number.

Distributing a firearm to a minor has a substantial impact. If a person gives a gun to someone who should not have it, that is one thing. However, when a person gives a gun to a minor, one consideration is that the minor may immediately do harm to others in a school or campus setting. Why should a judge give them a benefit when their actions could result in a harm to another?

Potential Defenses

When building a defense it is important to ask certain questions like: how does an officer come across a person or their vehicle and find a gun? Why did they come in contact with the person? How did law enforcement get there? Why are they there? What did they do to get there? It is a bit different than pulling someone over for a speeding ticket or coming to a scene where there is an altercation and people are fighting. These are more deliberate acts and the state must have good cause for conducting any search. The officer must show how they patted down the person, and how the vehicle or home were searched. The defense attorney looks for suppression issues that may be viable as well. In doing so, they can attempt to mitigate the severity of the penalty enhancements involving firearms in Maryland, that the defendant might face.

Contacting an Attorney

A person facing crimes that involve penalty enhancements involving firearms in Maryland should have an attorney because no one walks into a courthouse without a lawyer especially when there is a mandatory minimum. There is no reason to go into a courtroom without a lawyer unless a person is comfortable going to jail for a minimum of 30 days or more if convicted.

A person should have an attorney who is well aware of gun laws, how they work, and what needs to be proven in a case. Elements are most important. The facts of the case are quite specific. Not everything is generalized, especially here where it is the actual literal possession or gearing of a firearm. Also, there are mandatory minimums and enhancements when they are lawfully-deemed attributed to the case. There is a great amount of detail work that must be broken down piece by piece. There is no one-in-all gun charge for everybody.