Maryland has strict requirements for the licensing, permitting, and carrying of handguns, and those accused of handgun crimes face harsh penalties. In addition to heavy fines and a damaging criminal record, you could end up with a potentially lengthy jail sentence.
When you are facing these types of charges, you need immediate legal representation to ensure your rights and freedoms are protected. At the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., you can count on our Baltimore criminal lawyer to possess the knowledge and experience needed to help strategize a strong legal defense in your case.
Types of Handgun Crimes In Maryland
While the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects your rights as a citizen to own and carry a firearm, it is up to each state to devise gun laws to protect the public. Under the Maryland Criminal Code, current state laws view handguns in the same serious light as any other type of firearm, and the same types of laws apply to their ownership, carrying, and use.
If you are facing criminal charges relating to a handgun, you need a lawyer to act quickly to prevent potentially serious criminal penalties. At the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., we provide aggressive representation to clients facing charges for the following types of handgun crimes:
- Possession of an unlicensed firearm;
- Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit;
- Carrying a handgun on or near a school;
- Possessing or carrying a handgun during the course of a public demonstration;
- Using a handgun to threaten or intimidate others;
- Possession of a handgun if you are a convicted felon;
- Possession or using a handgun in the commission of a violent assault or robbery;
- Transporting handguns across state lines.
If you are arrested and charged with any of the above handgun crimes, it is important to contact our Baltimore criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Launching an aggressive, immediate defense is your best strategy in dealing with your charges and avoiding the potential penalties you face.
Charges and Penalties You Could Face For Handgun Crimes
Being charged with a handgun crime can impact every area of your life. Depending on the charges you face and the circumstance surrounding your arrest, you could end up with a permanent criminal record that follows you, preventing you from obtaining jobs, student loans, or even a place to live. In addition to the damage to your reputation, handgun crimes often involve fines of thousands of dollars or more, as well as a potential mandatory minimum jail sentence.
Under Section 4-203 through 208 of Maryland’s criminal statutes, handgun crimes are generally classified as misdemeanor charges. While these charges are less severe than a felony, the impacts are still severe. Penalties associated with handgun crimes include:
Possessing an Unlicensed Firearm and Carrying or Transporting a Weapon Without a Permit
- First offense – Mandatory imprisonment for a minimum of 30 days up to three years and fines ranging from $250 to $2,500. If you were arrested in a school zone, the minimum jail time increases to 90 days.
- Second offense – Mandatory imprisonment for a minimum of one year up to 10 years. If you were arrested in a school zone, the mandatory minimum increases to three years.
- Third or subsequent offense – Mandatory imprisonment of three years up to ten years. If you were arrested in a school zone or used the gun to threaten others, the mandatory minimum increases up to five years.
Possessing a Gun in the Commission of a Crime
- Mandatory imprisonment of five years up to 20 years;
- These charges would be in addition to any other charges you face, with sentences to be served consecutive to and not concurrent with the other charges filed.
Possessing or Carrying a Handgun During the Course of a Public Demonstration
- A demonstration is defined as picketing, speechmaking, or marching in order to express statements or views or anything designed to draw a crowd.
- Penalties include imprisonment up to a year, and fines up to $1,000.
When dealing with handgun crimes, it is important to realize that judges are prohibited from ordering probation prior to a judgment in the case, nor can they use probation as a way of reducing the mandatory minimum sentence required. With so much at stake, this makes it all the more important to have a knowledgeable, skilled lawyer working on your behalf.
What Should I Do If I Am Arrested and Charged With A Handgun Crime?
As misdemeanor charges, handgun crimes are generally prosecuted through the District Court of Maryland. If your handgun charges are related to additional felony crimes, these will be handled concurrently through the Circuit Court.
The first step after your arrest should be to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can negotiate your release on bail. Once you are released, the court procedures you are required to follow depend on the nature of your charges:
- If you are facing misdemeanor charges alone, a judge will decide your case.
- If you face additional felony charges, a jury trial will be scheduled.
In both situations, it is important to have a lawyer you can trust representing you at preliminary hearings, gathering evidence to build a strong legal defense, and negotiating with the prosecuting attorney to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
Choose The Law Offices of Randolph Rice for Your Handgun Crimes Defense
When you are facing serious criminal charges that threaten your livelihood and freedom, you want a lawyer you can trust to help you get the best possible outcome. Instead of taking chances with your future, contact the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr. today.
Our legal team works tirelessly to investigate every case, subpoenaing witness statements and gathering other forms of evidence needed to build a solid defense. Through his own practice and his past experience with the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office, Mr. Rice is well known in the legal field, and has successfully handled thousands of cases in our area. Our office serves Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard, and Worcester Counties; let us help you with your case today.