When a Maryland resident is accused of a felony or a misdemeanor, that person might be judged by peers, society and, in some cases, the media, before the case is heard in a court of law. The prejudiced minds of people can often overshadow reality. When the accused is convicted of the crime, the penalties are often eclipsed by social excommunication. A guilty verdict often seems like a scarlet letter that is continually worn by the convicted person, which goes beyond the punishment the court deemed fitting.
Collateral consequences as defined by Maryland law extend the effects of conviction to a shunning of the individual. A Maryland resident convicted of a weapons charge can often face consequences that effect quality of life, such as the right to serve on a jury, hold a license to carry a firearm, gain employment and vote in elections.
The Election Law Article states that a person who is a convicted of a crime does not have the right to vote in any election while incarcerated. It must, however, be noted that under the state law the moment the convicted person leaves prison the right to vote is reinstated, unless the conviction involved election fraud, which then imposes a permanent ban on the convict person’s voting rights.
Furthermore, if a convicted felon has served a jail term of more than six months, under state or federal laws, the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article prohibits a convicted felon from serving on a jury. In cases where the incarceration term was more than two years, the Public Safety Article states that the convicted felon can no longer possess any form of an assault weapon or registered regulated firearm.
Source: DLS.State.MD.us, “Collateral consequences of a criminal conviction,” Accessed on May 29, 2015