Evidence in Maryland Gun Cases

When building a defense case for firearm charges, a defendant must examine the potential evidence that may be used against them. While law enforcement may use various methods to acquire proof against someone, the accused person could challenge the validity of this evidence with the help of a Maryland gun lawyer. An experienced attorney could explain your legal options and help you build a defense case for any firearm charges you may be facing.

Types of Evidence Collected in Firearm Investigations

Forensic Evidence

Forensic evidence may be the most common type of evidence collected in Maryland gun cases. Law enforcement may attempt to trace fingerprints and DNA from the weapon and then test it against their databases and against the accused if someone has been arrested.

Documentary Evidence

Documentary evidence could also be used if there was a target or a suspect in the investigation, or if someone was arrested and were prevented from possessing a weapon due to a prior felony conviction. An attorney could introduce whatever certified documentation is necessary to try to establish that element.

Witness Testimony

Witness testimony is a very common type of evidence. If multiple people are charged in an offense, the state might try to get co-defendants to cooperate with the investigation to provide statements or testimony against another co-defendant whom the state believes is the most culpable.

Security Footage

Security footage could also be used if a firearm is alleged to have been used or brandished in a public place or sometimes even at a home. Lawyers may get surveillance or security footage from the scene of an alleged offense that allegedly shows the person in possession of the weapon.

How do Authorities go About Gathering Proof?

Interviews and warrants are typically the two main ways of gathering the evidence for testimonial evidence.

Interviews

Law enforcement could track and seek out witnesses who may have been present in the alleged incident or may be able to provide context or additional information about other elements of the offense. Officers could get that information first from the witnesses on the scene who could provide information or contact information from their interviews. They could also employ other investigatory techniques which may include asking family members, neighbors or other people who might be related to the case.

Warrants

The second main way that authorities gather evidence is through warrants. Among other uses, warrants may allow officers to:

  • Search a person’s home
  • Tap phone lines to record conversations between people involved
  • Search a phone or photos of the scene
  • Search all of the information contained in social media accounts

The information gathered using a warrant may be a source of evidence for the State’s gun case in Maryland.

How the Evidence Could be Interpreted

In every case there, there may be some evidence that allows room for interpretation. Eye-witness testimony could be used in certain types of cases and allegations. Though it may seem to be reliable, the science and the evidence shows that testimonies based on memory may at times be much more unreliable than common sense might dictate. What may seem like an ironclad identification of the defendant could actually leave very large amounts of room for interpretation.

Forensic evidence and fingerprint evidence have increasingly been called into question as of late. The science of fingerprint evidence has seen an increase in scrutiny, and recent studies could undermine the efficacy of fingerprint analysis and comparison. That might provide a lot of room for interpretation for defendants. Documentary evidence at first glance seems relatively straightforward, but the significance of that evidence may have a wide range of interpretation. Even if the authenticity of a document is not up for dispute, the relative input relevant to that document could be challenged, and that may be a way for the defense attorney to cast considerable doubt about the prosecution’s case.

How a Maryland Gun Lawyer Could Form an Effective Defense Strategy

One of the main areas that an experienced lawyer might focus on is witness testimony. Witness testimony could be very compelling evidence to a judge or a jury and might cover a broad range of credibility. Some witnesses may be excellent and might offer a very compelling testimony, while others may be on the opposite end of the spectrum. Law enforcement could conduct an investigation, formulate a theory of the case early on, and simply seek information that corroborates that theory. They might discount testimony from witnesses that contradict their theory of the case, or they may not investigate and find all the right witnesses or people to talk to. The defense investigation could come up with a roster and substantive testimony from eyewitnesses that directly contradicts or offers alternatives to the state’s case.

To learn more about the collection process of evidence in Maryland gun cases, speak to a Maryland gun lawyer.