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Silver Spring Criminal Defense Law Blog

Gun permit requirements and penalties in Maryland

The laws in Maryland require that to legally possess a handgun, the owner must have a valid permit. Possession of a rifle or shotgun does not currently require a permit. For individuals arrested for gun possession without a valid permit, they may wonder what consequences they are facing and if it will result in their inability to possess a firearm in the future.

To obtain a permit, applicants must apply and meet certain requirements and not be subject to certain restrictions. For applicants that have been denied a permit or renewal or has had a permit revoked, they have a certain period of time to make an appeal request to the Secretary of the State Police for an informal review to be conducted. It is important to thoroughly understand this process when seeking an appeal of an action taken on a gun permit.

Domestic violence comes in many different forms

Domestic violence includes a lot more than just physical violence. For individuals facing domestic assault accusations, allegations and possible criminal charges, it is important to be familiar with the different types of domestic abuse and the options available when facing allegations of domestic violence.

Domestic violence does, of course, include physical violence but it can also include many other types of behaviors as well. Domestic violence generally includes behavior that is intended to maintain power or control over another person. Domestic violence can occur between spouses, intimate partners regardless of sexual orientation, family and household members and other circumstances as well.

Montgomery County crime down but sex offenses up

Accused individuals who have been caught up in the criminal justice system should be familiar with how the process works. Overall crime is down in Montgomery County by 48 percent, however, some categories of crime, including some violent crimes, have increased. Murders and assaults are up by a small amount, while sexual assaults are up by 53 percent. The local police chief referred to the increase in sex offenses as alarming.

Montgomery County saw a two percent increase in overall crime last year. The city council recently increased funding to focus on gang-related violence. The assistant police chief for Montgomery County also noted that the political climate has created a more open environment for reports of sex offenses.

What are the defense to drunk driving?

Drunk driving charges can carry serious potential penalties and consequences for accused individuals, which is why it is important for accused individuals to understand their defense options. They may wonder, however, what their defense options are.

There are generally two types of drunk driving defenses. The first type of defenses are considered affirmative defenses, and the second category includes all other types of defense that usually focus on police procedure and the rights of accused individuals. Affirmative defenses include necessity, duress, entrapment, mistake of fact and involuntary intoxication. It is important for individuals who have been accused of a DUI to understand these defenses and how they may apply to their situation and circumstances.

The price of a corruption conviction

A former Maryland politician recently underwent sentencing in a federal courthouse after entering a guilty plea on two counts of felony fraud.

The conviction is the latest in a long line of cases in which Maryland public officials have received sentences for kickbacks and bribes.

On some counts, the IID is probably smarter than you are

If you are convicted of DUI or DWI in the state of Maryland, the judge may order an ignition interlock device to be installed in your vehicle, and you will probably have some questions. For example, when testing, do you have to pull over to the side of the road? Is it possible to trick the device? 

Familiarity with Maryland gun laws in important

It is helpful to be familiar with gun possession laws in Maryland to avoid running afoul of any of the gun possession laws in the state. Being charged with a weapons crime can be serious and can result in serious potential penalties and consequences for the accused individual so it is helpful to be familiar with what the gun laws are in Maryland.

It is important to note that gun possession laws in Maryland are strict and that they carry mandatory minimum sentences. Because of that, gun possession and other weapons charges should never be taken lightly. Weapons crime charges can be especially serious, and the potential penalties and consequences especially severe, in circumstances when the accused individual has a prior felony conviction, is accused of using a firearm in the commission of a felony or is accused of using a firearm in a drug-related crime.

A journey through the criminal justice process

An overview of the criminal justice process and its components can help an accused individual better navigate the process. There are three primary institutions that comprise the criminal justice system including law enforcement, the court system and the corrections system. It is helpful to understand a little about what each does.

Law enforcement, of course, investigates crimes and generally gathers evidence of crimes. Based on the information and evidence provided by law enforcement, prosecutors determine how accused individuals will be charged and the court system adjudicates those charges. Plea bargaining, recently discussed in this blog, may also be involved at this stage of the process. Lastly, the accused individual may interact with corrections if they are subject to incarceration.

Who can possess a firearm in Maryland?

Although certainly people in Maryland have different views on guns and gun control, there are many people in this state who own or may want to have a gun.

Under Maryland law, the general rule is that an adult resident can possess a gun. However, there are many exceptions to this rule. As is the case under federal law, certain criminal convictions will disqualify a person from bearing a firearm. Also, someone who is subject to a protective order, unless it was issued ex parte, may not legally have a firearm.

What is a "plea bargain"?

Plea bargaining is important to understand because it is a significant part of the criminal justice system. For an accused individual facing criminal charges, and a potential plea bargain, there are likely many important questions that come up that need to be answered.

Plea negotiations fall into three main categories, including charge bargaining, sentence bargaining and fact bargaining. Charge bargaining and sentence bargaining are the most common. Charge bargaining refers to the accused individual pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for more serious charges being dropped. Sentence bargaining, likewise, refers to the accused individual pleading guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence or reduced sentence recommendation to the judge.

Law Offices of
James N. Papirmeister, Esq.

Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, Esq.
8630 Fenton St., Suite 320
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Office Number: 301-589-2100
Afterhours Number: 301-367-6500

Fax: 301-588-8848
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As Published in Washingtonian Magazine | Washington's Best Legal Minds | 2013