Maryland Gun Penalties

While facing allegations for firearm-related crimes may be an overwhelming ordeal, an accused person might need to learn more about how a criminal case may play out if they intend to defend themselves in court. An individual seeking answers to potential firearm charges could reach out to a Maryland gun lawyer for help. A criminal attorney could champion your case and may be able to fight any Maryland gun penalties the prosecution may throw your way.

Firearm Penalties in MD

There is a broad range of gun penalties in Maryland, and some are more severe than others. The average basic gun charge – unlawful possession of a firearm – may carry up to three years in jail without any additional enhancements and other penalties. Many of these gun charges carry a mandatory minimum, and the lowest mandatory minimum is 30 days. For some charges, the minimum could be up to 30 years. A person convicted of a simple gun charge who may or may not have a criminal record could face up to one month in jail without any additional aggravating factors and without any other blemishes.

Additional penalties that may apply for a person found guilty of a gun offense include:

  • Potential jail or prison sentence
  • A period of restricted conditions of probation
  • Fines and costs
  • Loss of certain rights

A defendant could lose the ability to purchase or sell firearms. They may typically need to turn over and forfeit firearms that they already possessed and are otherwise legally processed. There are also other collateral consequences that could affect employment, housing, and one’s ability to obtain various professional licenses.

Sentencing Considerations

There may be different factors that go into gun penalties in Maryland. Whether the offense was a violent act or simple possession may be considered by authorities. Was the gun fired? Was the gun brandished, displayed, or used in any way, or was it just a simple possession? Other factors may include if there was any other associated criminal activity and the type of firearm involved. If someone is a convicted felon, they cannot possess any type of firearm. Even possession of what would otherwise be a legal firearm, when possessed by a convicted felon, is a criminal act by itself. If the weapon was illegally modified, the sentence may be increased, and there may be additional penalties or an increased sentence for the defendant.

There are certain locations that might enhance and increase the penalty for gun charges in Maryland. Due to firearm laws, if the crime was committed in a school zone, the associated penalties could increase. School zones may include elementary, middle schools, high schools, and universities. The mandatory minimum of 30 days could triple to 90 days if a person is found to be unlawfully in possession of a gun in a school zone. The presence of kids may have a tremendous impact on the penalties.

How an Attorney Could Help a Person Fight Maryland Gun Penalties

An attorney could analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s case against the person and counsel them on the most effective strategy to achieve the individual’s ultimate goals, which might include a dismissal of the charge. Legal counsel could assess whether or not that is a realistic goal and how best to achieve it. While an accused person might know what those realistic outcomes are, an attorney could know how to investigate a case and prepare a defense.

They know what defenses are available. The attorney may assist an investigator in developing the defense, and if the defendant is inclined to accept a plea offer from the state, the attorney could assist in negotiations with the state to try to get the state down to the most agreeable plea agreement possible.

Contact a gun lawyer to speak to learn how you could avoid Maryland gun penalties.

Maryland Gun Penalties