Defending Against Maryland Gun Charges

Gun cases in Maryland could be unique due to their overlap with federal and state laws and regulations. A person unfamiliar with the landscape of gun laws in Maryland may find it difficult to launch a successful defense in a criminal case. The help of a Maryland gun lawyer could be instrumental while defending against Maryland gun charges. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to help you understand your legal options and could fight any allegations thrown your way.

Common Defense Strategies in Maryland

There are a few common defense strategies that may come up in gun cases. Where the gun was found or the circumstances under which it was found may play an important role in the case. For example, many people face gun charges based on the theory of constructive possession, which does not require the gun to be on the accused’s person. Instead, constructive possession could mean the gun was nearby in the person’s vehicle, bedroom, or somewhere in their residence.

In these cases, the government or the state may try to show the person was in possession of the gun based on the overall circumstances. However, the defense could argue that the person was not in possession of the weapon, particularly if there are other inhabitants of the person’s residence. If there were other people in the vehicle where the gun was found, if the vehicle is not registered to the accused, the person was not a passenger or the driver in the vehicle, or if there is a lack of forensic evidence such as fingerprints or DNA to link the accused to the weapon, the defense could have a strong argument that the circumstances do not show that the person was in possession. That is typically one of the most common strategies a Maryland attorney could employ on behalf of a defendant while defending them against gun charges.

Constitutional Issues

Any time the case involves a gun or a firearm, there might be Second Amendment issues since the Second Amendment has been held to guarantee an individual’s right to own a firearm. In Maryland, the current laws and regulations regarding firearms are all currently considered constitutional. The second amendment might not come into play unless a court strikes down a law or finds a law unconstitutional.

There may be particular circumstances where a novel set of facts could bring Second Amendment concerns, but until that happens, Maryland gun laws are considered constitutional. The constitutional issues in a gun case are often centered on the Fourth Amendment related to reasonable searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment protects every individual from unreasonable searches or seizures of their person.

Since guns may typically be found pursuant to a search, it might be crucial for an attorney to ensure the search was conducted constitutionally regardless of the other details of the case. If it was not, or there are issues that call into question the constitutionality of the search, attorneys may typically see Fourth Amendment issues litigated in gun cases.

There may also be Fifth Amendment issues if the law enforcement officer forces the accused to make a statement. If the accused was not informed of their rights, it could be unconstitutional for the state to use those statements as evidence to support further investigation. There might also be Sixth Amendment issues. A lawyer familiar with handling gun charges may be familiar with constitutional issues that may come up while defending a person.

Important Considerations When Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney

A person may wish to look whether the attorney or the firm has experience defending those accused of violating Maryland gun laws. Firearm regulations in Maryland are very complicated and technical, and a person may need a lawyer or firm with experience navigating these complex laws. An attorney knows when and where those laws do and do not apply and what effective strategies could be used to defend against those accusations.

A defendant could also benefit from a high level of trust and comfort with their attorney. It is crucial for a person to be completely transparent with the attorney, even if the details are embarrassing or something that the person is less than proud of. An attorney who is given all the available information could provide the best possible defense.

Defending one’s self against Maryland gun charges could be substantially easier with the help of a Maryland gun lawyer. Contact an attorney today for a consultation.