Unlawful Transportation Penalties in Ocean City
Maryland carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days’ imprisonment for anyone who is convicted of wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun illegally. This applies to each offense, including the first. The maximum penalty varies, but the important thing to know is that state law takes unlawful transportation of weapons in Ocean City very seriously.
The court has no freedom to reduce the mandatory minimum. In fact, under certain sections of the statute, if a person violates a very specific subsection, then the mandatory minimum sentence is not less than 90 days. It is important to note that these penalties apply to the charge of unlawful transportation, and not the additional charges of brandishing or threatening with the weapon in question, should that be the case. This means that any additional charges will likely result in additional time.
A penalty enhancement refers to the increased severity of the punishment, should there be a conviction. For example, if the defendant has been previously convicted of wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun. The enhanced penalty also applies if they have been convicted of a number of other crimes related to the improper wielding of firearms. One such example is the use of a handgun in the commission of a crime, violence, or with any felony. Another applicable instance involves wearing or carrying a deadly weapon on school property.
When a defendant has a previous conviction for unlawful transportation of a firearm in Ocean City or any other related offense, the court will most likely apply an enhanced penalty such as a minimum one year sentence. However, depending on which particular subsection of the law has been violated in the past, the minimum sentences could rise to three years.
In addition, if there is more than one prior conviction on record, and especially if said convictions relate to offenses of a similar nature, the minimum sentence could rise to five years’ imprisonment.
How An Attorney Can Help
Unlawful transportation of a firearm, while a misdemeanor rather than a felony, is nonetheless taken very seriously in Ocean City. That is why there is a mandatory minimum sentence, and why there are multiple opportunities for enhanced penalties. If you have been charged with unlawful transportation, one of the most important things you must take into account is how seriously it is viewed. An experienced lawyer will be able to quickly and accurately apprise you of all your rights under the law, as well as guide and advise you throughout the defense process.
It is very important to thoroughly research the defendant’s prior record and determine whether or not there was indeed a prior conviction that would actually cause a penalty enhancement. Many people honestly have no idea what their prior record is, or do not have a full understanding of their criminal history.
Furthermore, while there are a lot of great, credible prosecutors out there, they are also completely capable of misreading a person’s prior record. A person cannot depend on the state to know what his or her prior record is. But a person’s attorney should be able to do the research and figure out what exactly is his or her prior record, and therefore see if a person qualifies or not for the penalty enhancements for unlawful transportation of a firearm.
Someone’s conviction history or lack thereof can be a strong defense in their favor. For example, if they were assigned probation and completed it, that is not a conviction and enhanced penalties should not apply.
Having a strong defense counsel by your side as you navigate the legal system will be an invaluable asset to your case, and can help you achieve the best possible outcome when facing penalties for unlawful transportation of a firearm in Ocean City.