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Baltimore Gun Lawyer
Gun charges are treated seriously in Baltimore because, based on the current news cycle and stories we see every day, there is gun violence and it is on an increase. The violence is happening because of people who are in possession of guns purchased legally and also illegally. For that reason, Baltimore and many other criminal court systems view gun crimes as major offenses.
Possession of a handgun and the irresponsible possession by owners of a handgun often lead to more serious criminal acts such as school shootings or other types of gun violence. The court systems are trying to curb that by encouraging people to obey gun laws. If someone owns a firearm, they should handle it properly, be trained on how to operate it, and also how to store it.
If you have been charged with a gun crime in Maryland, it is very important to contact Baltimore gun lawyer immediately to ensure that the potential penalties you may face are minimized as much as possible.
Most Common Offenses
One of the most common gun or firearm offenses takes place when someone is in possession of a handgun that they lawfully own, but did not have the gun in their possession lawfully at the time that they were found with it.
This commonly occurs when someone who is driving a vehicle did not store their gun properly in the trunk as the rules dictate in Maryland. Instead, they had the gun in their passenger compartment, perhaps in their glove compartment, and it was not properly stored. An officer who pulls them over for a routine traffic violation might see the gun in plain view in the car or perhaps after a search of the vehicle was conducted.
This is an unfortunate situation because the person might have lawfully owned the gun and lawfully had it in their possession, but they were careless in how they were handling it. Those kinds of charges are very common in Baltimore; however, they are still treated very seriously, even when a person is lawfully in possession of a gun. Understanding how seriously the local law enforcement takes these charges makes it very apparent that someone facing these charges should contact a Baltimore gun lawyer as soon as they can.
Gun offenses can carry a period of incarceration and the possibility of a hefty fine. Additionally, a person could be placed on a period of probation for three to five years depending on whether the case is heard in Circuit Court or District Court.
Additionally, a person might be required to surrender the firearm and may not be allowed to possess another firearm in the future. Even if they went through all the legal channels to do so, based on this act of irresponsible gun ownership they were prosecuted for on a previous occasion, they may not own another firearm again.
How Prosecutors Treat These Cases
Prosecutors treat gun offenses very seriously in Baltimore, particularly because gun offenses are seen as a gateway criminal act.
Most of the time, prosecutors treat these offenses seriously to give the gun owner the message that if they are not a responsible gun owner, they should not be in possession of a handgun. This is an attempt to curb more serious criminal acts in the future such as the guns being used in other criminal activity or potentially getting into the wrong hands, potentially harming someone. For example, a child may find a gun in their home that was not properly stored by their parents who are the lawful gun owners.
Benefits of Working with a Baltimore Gun Attorney
Gun charges can be very complex in their nature and often require a great deal of research of specific types of guns and the question of their legality. There are also Fourth Amendment and other constitutional issues that might suppress unlawful searches that resulted in officers finding a gun in your possession, in your home, your car, or wherever else it might have been found.
It is imperative that a person charged with a gun crime works with an attorney who is dedicated to researching these issues and has the appropriate amount of time and resources including a support system to research these issues. The attorney can draft formal motions for the court to draw the attention of the judge to these constitutional issues. This is very important in the proper representation of a criminal case. Working with an attorney who has the time and experience, as well as the support system to do that will obviously be a huge benefit to anybody charged with a gun-related crime.
Advantages of an Aggressive Lawyer
Firearm charges are very serious because of the immediate allegations which could carry jail time, serious penalties, serious financial penalties, and periods of probation. There are long-term consequences where a person is banned from owning guns in the future, prohibited from holding certain kinds of jobs in security positions or as a police officer, or prevented from getting certain professional licenses.
Having an aggressive Baltimore gun lawyer who understands these collateral consequences is important. The attorney is not just looking at the immediate impact, but also the long-term effects. An attorney who recognizes the long-term impact is essential in preparing a proper defense for you that lasts well beyond the courtroom.