Maryland Gun Arraignments
Following arrest for firearm possession, individuals often find themselves facing Maryland gun arraignments. An arraignment is when the judge decides whether a person can/will be released for release pending their trial. While someone could represent themselves at their arraignment, it is wiser to work with an experienced gun attorney. A gun lawyer could work with an individual to ensure their release so that they could begin working on their defense. Those who have been charged should work with an experienced legal advocate that could help.
Do Judges Release Defendants on Bond During Arraignments?
The likelihood of being released following Maryland gun arraignments depends on the gun charge. It is possible that someone could be released on their own recognizance in a scenario in which they legally possess a gun but there was something illegal about the way they were transporting it or storing it. When determining whether or not to hold them or whether or not to require a bond, judges are going to put people into two categories: lawful gun owners who just made a mistake and all the other people who are not supposed to have a gun at all.
So, if the defendant falls into that category of a prohibited person or is not legally able to carry a gun, it increases the likelihood that they are going to end up having to pay some sort of bond.At the far end of that scale are people who not only are not supposed to have a gun but are using the gun in an illegal way too. This could be related to drug possession or distribution. That set of factors would mean that the person is going to either have to pay a bond or potentially could be held on bond under certain scenarios.
Factors Judges Look for in Gun Arraignments
Judges absolutely will be looking at person’s background during Maryland gun arraignments. They want to know if this person has any prior criminal record, is on parole or probation right now, has a prior gun charge in their background, et cetera. So, the judges are going to be factoring in important things about the person and they also will be factoring in things related to the event itself. So, if this is somebody who lawfully owns a gun but they were transporting it illegally, that is probably at the most minor end of the spectrum and judges are going to be more likely to let that person be released on their own recognizance.At the opposite end of that spectrum are people who appear in front of the court and were not supposed to possess a gun in the first place, were intoxicated or they were threatening somebody with it or were using it somehow related to drug possession or distribution. Under those factors, a judge would pretty routinely require that person to pay a high bond.
Being Considered a Danger to the Public
If someone goes in front of a judge, they could be considered a danger to the public if they are not supposed to possess a gun in the first place. That would be a huge red flag for a judge because that would mean that the person had somehow secured a gun probably by purchasing on the street, taking it from someone else, or stealing it. That is a big issue for the court.The court will definitely look at their prior records and if their prior record contains anything related to crimes against people, then that is another significant red flag for a judge. The other thing that might mean the person could be considered to be a danger is the probable cause that led to the charge in the first place. If those facts involve the person threatening someone with a gun, firing it, or carrying it around while they were drunk or under the influence of drugs, those sorts of facts are going to make the court be concerned about whether or not this person should be released or if they need to be held or a bond established before they can be released.
Value of a Maryland Gun Lawyer
It could be helpful for the judge to hear that the behavior that took place was because of a very particular set of circumstances, not something that happens all the time. The most important thing that a judge wants to do during Maryland gun arraignments, is figure out if someone is a danger to the public. They also want to know what is the plan for this person. That is when it can be really important to have an attorney who is coordinating or helping to coordinate things like in-patient treatment, mental health appointments the next day with their doctor, where the person is going to live, who is going to be supervising them, etc. Most judges appreciate it when a person comes to them with some sort of a plan or understanding of what it will look like if they released the defendant. If an individual has been charged with a gun offense and now face an arraignment, they should speak with an attorney that could advocate for them.