Determining How to Plea in a Maryland Gun Case
Gun offenses are prosecuted heavily in Maryland, and the consequences of a conviction can be quite severe. The way that someone pleas to the offense can make all the difference in their case. In certain instances, the prosecution might offer people plea deals in exchange for less severe sentences. If you want to know more about determining how to plea in a Maryland gun case, speak with an experienced gun lawyer that could answer your questions and pursue a positive outcome for you.
Common Pleas and Plea Bargains for Gun Charges
There are certain factors that it is important to keep in mind when determining how to plea in a Maryland gun case. When it comes to gun possession, courts are often the most lenient towards those charged with a gun offense who are under the age of 21, meaning it is an illegal possession based on age. The court hopefully will give that person an opportunity to rehabilitate, mature a little bit, and hopefully not have any other contact with the criminal justice system. Other pleas that might be considered valuable are ones in which the plea does not carry any mandatory minimum.When a person is charged with an offense that carries a mandatory minimum and another offense that does not, the prosecution can offer the person a plea to the non-minimum mandatory charge.
From the prosecutor’s perspective, they still get a conviction and from the defendant’s perspective, they can avoid jail time and will have to deal with the issue of having a conviction. The plea will depend on the offender and their age, whether or not they have any priors, what their situation was, and the nature of the offense itself. If it is a really minor issue, then maybe a plea to a probation before judgment or no active jail time. But if it is an egregious offense, and jail time is inevitable, the person may agree to a plea deal that says the person would simply have a local jail sentence versus being sentenced to prison.
Plea Bargaining Without an Attorney
In order to be successful in plea bargaining, a person has to be able to know the strengths and weaknesses of the case and they have to know that particular prosecutor and their strengths and weaknesses. Then a person has a totally separate issue, which is anything that a person says can be used against them in court, and that would include having a conversation with the prosecutor. Unless they specifically would know to clarify that these were statements for negotiation purposes, anything that they say to the prosecutor could end up being used against them.
It is incredibly unwise for people to negotiate on their own without an attorney helping them. A lot of prosecutors look at the unrepresented defendant as a way to get the most they can. They are not going to pull the punches because this person does not know what they are doing. This person does not have a law degree, is not as experienced as the prosecutor, and it would be such a huge mistake for anybody to go into any kind of court without an attorney, especially in a setting in which they can potentially go to jail. A skilled attorney can help an individual by determining how to plea in a Maryland gun case and determining which option is best for them.
Benefits of a Maryland Gun Attorney When Deciding How to Plea
The benefits of having counsel are numerous, but one of the most important examples is having experience in front of a particular judge or knowing who the judges are in this jurisdiction and how they typically handle gun cases. A person who does not have an attorney does not have any of that knowledge and they could really be setting themselves up horribly. Judges are people too and they are all very unique and how they handle things can be very, very different.
Some judges will not consider gun crimes to be any more egregious than any other crime and if the state offers a recommendation then 99% of the time they are going to follow it. That is important for a defendant to know. Another judge that holds gun crime to be something egregious might be prone to disregard whatever sentencing recommendations are made and will sentence the person to way more jail time than was anticipated. That is important to know when a person is trying to figure out what to do. If this is a judge who is a member of NRA and loves to hunt, well, that might be a little bit different than a judge who absolutely abhors guns, has no experience of hunting, and believes that all guns are bad. If an individual has been charged with a gun offense and needs help determining how to plea in a Maryland gun case, they should seek the services of a qualified gun lawyer that could help.