Constitutional Issues in Maryland Gun Cases

The Second Amendment is often used as a defense when litigating gun cases. However, the argument that gun laws and restrictions limit an individual’s right to bear arms is likely to be dismissed. This is because this defense has been used in many previous cases and failed. To avoid this failure, you should hire an experienced attorney who is familiar with constitutional issues in Maryland gun cases.

Issues with the Fourth Amendment

A common constitutional issue that occurs in Maryland firearm cases relates to the Fourth Amendment. Defense attorneys frequently apply Fourth Amendment issues related to searches and seizures in gun charges. Some firearm cases involve a traffic stop for a minor violation that escalates into a search of a person or vehicle. In other situations, officers conduct warrantless searches of a person’s home.

However, the Fourth Amendment regulates or prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The courts have extensively defined what exactly constitutes reasonable or unreasonable in a variety of situations. Therefore, a skilled attorney could use the arresting officer’s violation of the Fourth Amendment as a defense against gun crime allegations.

Issues with the Fifth Amendment

Another key constitutional issue relates to the Fifth Amendment, which involves an individual’s right to refrain from or not be compelled to make an incriminating statement. Anytime a person makes a statement or any government agent attempts to elicit a statement from the accused, the Fifth Amendment may come into play. This is especially true if the prosecution tries to use those statements in court or to support further investigation.

Whether the statement was voluntarily given or whether the person was aware of their rights are questions that must be reviewed to determine whether the statements were obtained constitutionally. Sometimes, once a person is arrested, if officers begin trying to question a suspect at that point, there may violate the Fifth Amendment. If a lawyer finds that an officer forced the defendant to make a statement, they could make an argument that their evidence should not be used against the accused.

How an Attorney Could Help with Constitutional Issues in Maryland Firearm Cases

Someone who is facing gun charges needs an attorney with experience in the jurisdiction and with these types of cases. Therefore, they should find an attorney who has been to court in Maryland, defended individuals from gun charges, and is familiar with both the criminal law and procedure in the state. They also may want a lawyer who not only understands laws in the books but how these rules apply to individual cases. This may especially help when applying constitutional issues to a defense.

An excellent attorney should have a working relationship with the prosecutor’s office. Often, a legal representative develops some personal experience and knowledge of the prosecutors and the judges involved in these cases and can use that information to the defendant’s advantage.

It is also important to find a law firm and an attorney that has the resources to give them the best representation, including time. Criminal defense attorneys can be busy, but a defendant needs legal counsel who they feel not only feel comfortable with handling their case and making complex legal arguments, but also answering their personal questions, providing advice, keeping them up to date, and giving them some peace of mind.

Overall, constitutional issues in Maryland gun cases can be difficult to sort out if you do not have proper legal representation. To find out how one of our attorneys could help you, call today.