In Maryland, gun possession laws are strict and the mandatory minimum sentences for violating them can be stiff. As a consequence, weapons crimes charges should never be taken lightly. For instance, possession of a firearm following a previous felony conviction; the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony; and the use of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime carry a mandatory prison sentence of 5 years, as well as additional penalties depending on the circumstances.
In addition, weapons crimes charges, including gun possession charges, can create a criminal record, including an arrest record. A criminal record can potentially present additional challenges for the accused individual related to job, housing and family. Because of the serious potential penalties and consequences associated with weapons charges, criminal defense options should be thoroughly considered and understood.
Criminal defense options can aim to help avoid mandatory penalties or reduce incarceration periods related to weapons charges including gun possession charges; carrying a gun without a valid permit; carrying a gun; committing a felony with the use of a firearm; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; as well as other gun-related charges. Criminal defense rights are available to any individual who has been accused of a crime.
A strong criminal defense strategy can help accused individuals respond to the charges they are facing and can be based on a dispute of the facts or witness statements or a violation of the accused individual's rights. Understanding the criminal justice system and having guidance throughout the process can be important to any individual charged with a crime.