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.
Most of our readers know that being in possession of certain types of firearms can result in criminal charges in Maryland. What many do not know is that the same can be said about certain individuals who are in possession of ammunition as well.
An assault charge is an example of a violent crime in Maryland. Like some other categories of criminal charges, such as drug charges or sex-offense charges, violent crime charges come with a stigma that can remain even if the defendant is acquitted of the crime or the charges are dismissed. Individuals in Maryland who face violent crime charges often find that others may have certain pre-conceived notions about the type of person they are.
From the news we see these days, many people probably think that there is a nationwide crackdown on crime occurring throughout the country, especially drug-related crimes. Well, while it may be true that some leaders of state and federal agencies are doing everything they can to stamp out crime, gangs and drug rings, it is important to remember that anyone who is arrested in America has constitutional rights.
One of the most prominent and well-known constitutional rights in America is the right to bear arms. However, this right is not without many significant restrictions. Maryland residents should know that if they are accused of violating any gun laws in Maryland, including gun possession laws, they may face some very significant consequences.
Ask anyone who works as part of the criminal justice system - prosecutors, public defenders and judges alike - and they will tell you that one of the primary sources of criminal charges arises from traffic stops. A police officer may stop a citizen for something as simple as a broken taillight, but then notice something even more serious once contact is made with the driver: an odor of alcohol or marijuana; a check revealing an open warrant; or perhaps a weapon is in plain sight in the vehicle. It seems that there are many things that can go wrong during a traffic stop.
One way that law enforcement officials will attempt to make arrests in drug cases is to compile enough evidence to convince a judge to sign a search warrant for a residence. Once the law enforcement officials have the search warrant in hand, they can wait and attempt to serve the warrant at the best possible opportunity to construct a strong case. That appears to be what occurred in nearby Annapolis, as a tactical narcotics team served a warrant at about 6 pm on September 14, reportedly leading to one arrest and the seizure of multiple guns and various drugs.
When our readers think of criminal cases in Maryland that involve weapons, they probably think of guns or knives. They probably don't consider the fact that individuals who are alleged to be in possession of explosives may face weapons charges as well.
Different parts of the country have different views on firearms and other weapons. These views can be easy to see in how a state codifies weapons crimes. In Maryland, the state laws concerning firearms are some of the harshest in the nation.
The city of Baltimore, Baltimore County and Howard County recently dropped bans on stun gun possession and ownership. The reversal is based upon a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the possession and use of stun guns are protected by the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment.