Ocean City Gun Lawyer
Gun charges are treated seriously throughout Maryland and Ocean City is no exception. These crimes are treated seriously largely because firearms are often used in a manner in which they were not necessarily intended to be used. Firearms are used to assault or seriously harm people, as well as to intimidate others.
In all of those situations, the prosecutor’s office is going to prosecute that individual to the fullest extent of the law. Anyone facing gun charges in Ocean City should consult with an Ocean City gun lawyer in order to build a defense.
Elements to Prove a Gun Offense
The prosecution has to provide evidence as to every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt in order for the defendant to be convicted. It is important to understand exactly what the law is in Maryland because, generally, it is illegal to wear, carry, or transport a handgun in the state of Maryland. There are some exceptions and those exceptions are logical. For example, one exception is a law enforcement officer, and that would include a law enforcement officer from any county or city in the state of Maryland. There are exceptions for correction officers, part-time sheriffs, deputies, and others. All of those people are allowed to legally wear, carry, and transport a handgun.
Then, there is the portion of the people who did what was necessary to get a permit so that they can legally wear, carry, and transport a handgun. They have gone through the whole permitting process and they have been approved to be able to carry a handgun. At any time, they can wear, carry, and transport. That leaves a couple different scenarios under the statute where a person actually can have a handgun on their person or in their car, but it is limited circumstances. An example is if the person is transporting the handgun to or from the gun repair shop or if they are carrying the gun between their residences if they have two residences.
Those are examples of where a person can actually be transporting their handgun and not be in violation of the law. But it is important to understand that, when they do that, the handgun has to be unloaded and it has to be transported in either an enclosed case or an enclosed holster otherwise an individual may be charged and should consult with a gun lawyer in Ocean City immediately.
What Constitutes a Firearm
A handgun under Maryland law is defined as a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed on the person. Under that definition, handguns also include short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles because those items can potentially be concealed.
However, as an Ocean City gun lawyer can explain, handguns do not include shotguns, rifles, or antique firearms. Anything other than a shotgun, rifle, or an antique firearm is going to be considered a handgun. That is a wide definition and it encompasses a lot of different things.
Meeting the definition of a handgun is important to know when someone is charged with this offense. More than likely, it will because handgun is defined broadly in Maryland. However, it would be a possible defense if the handgun would be deemed an antique firearm. If it could meet the definition of an antique firearm, then it is not illegal to carry it and that would be an appropriate defense. But it is important also to understand that handgun includes anything that could be defined as a firearm, and that firearm also has a broad definition.
Second Amendment in Ocean City
Sometimes the second amendment is not a sufficient defense in the state of Maryland. A Second Amendment proponent would argue that the statutes that Maryland has in place are limiting a person’s right to bear arms. By contrast, a proponent of the laws in Maryland would say that the state has the right to place reasonable limitations on a person’s ability to carry a firearm.
And that is crux of the issue. In some of the states that border or are very close to Maryland, there are much broader rights that those state citizens have to carry or possess a firearm. In some states, it is perfectly legal to openly wear and carry any type of firearm, whether it is a handgun or it is a very large assault-type rifle.
But the statutes of Maryland have been examined by the appellate courts, and found to be constitutional. They are not considered to be too limiting or unreasonable to the point that they violate the Second Amendment. And under state law, a person cannot simply carry any type of firearm, unless they have gone through the process of requesting a permit to wear and carry a firearm all the time.
Maryland law and Ocean City municipal code list certain weapons besides guns that are considered dangerous weapons. This includes knives that have a spring blade, such as a switch blade, but does not include penknives or folding knives without springs. It includes pepper mace and tear gas devices. The law also covers items such as nunchuks, throwing stars, spike rings, spike belts, and metal knuckles.
The possession of these items in Maryland is a misdemeanor with a maximum three-year prison penalty. The Ocean City municipal code has a separate penalty, which is a fine and imprisonment of up to six months.
How An Attorney Can Help
The prosecutor’s office is very aggressive in charging firearms cases. In fact, in most of the firearms laws, because of the penalty that a judge could impose, there is actually concurrent jurisdiction, which means that the case could be brought either in district court or in circuit court. The prosecutor’s office typically, in a firearms case, will file under concurrent jurisdiction and have the case tried in circuit court. Doing so takes everything to a new level because that means that they are putting the case in front of judges who typically hear felonies. These judges are more likely and inclined to impose harsher sentences. It is essential to consult with an attorney so as to understand this, as well as other nuances and consequences involved in fighting a DUI charge.