Columbia, Maryland Firearm Possession Defense Attorney
Protect Your Second Amendment Rights!
The penalties for possessing an unlicensed firearm, illegally possessing a firearm, or illegally discharging a firearm are severe in Maryland. Not only can you be incarcerated and ordered to pay fines to the state as you would with most other criminal violations, but a gun crime conviction can also remove your right to even possess a firearm at all. Losing your gun rights can disrupt your identity as an American and put your family at risk of harm if a violent criminal enters your home!
Fight for yourself and your Constitutional rights with the help of Portner & Shure, P.A. Our gun crime defense lawyers in Columbia, Maryland understand how much is on the line when you are accused of any firearm-related criminal violation. The work we do on your case could change your life forever, so we will do all we can to make sure it is for the better!
Email us or dial (855) 954-4141 today to begin with a free consultation.
Illegal Gun Possession in Maryland
Under Maryland law, you are permitted to own a handgun. However, pursuant to Criminal Code 4-203, you cannot wear, carry, or transport a handgun on your person or in your vehicle, whether or not the weapon is visible or intentionally concealed. The law effectively limits your ability to use a gun anywhere except on your private property. You can file for special firearm licenses that allow you to possess a handgun under different circumstances, though. Furthermore, you need a license to purchase and carry a firearm in the state at all.
Being in possession of a handgun without a license is a serious criminal violation. The potential penalties for violating Maryland’s firearm possession laws range from 30 days in jail to 10 years in prison. The penalties vary based on several factors, such as your prior criminal record and whether or not anyone was hurt due to your gun-related crime. Additionally, the law often requires mandatory minimum sentencing that keeps you behind bars with no chance of parole until the minimum expires.
Gun Possession by a Prohibited Person
Certain classes or categories of people are prohibited from owning or possessing a handgun in almost any circumstance. There are several reasons why a person can become prohibited from possessing or owning a handgun in Maryland.
People who are prohibited from owning and possessing a firearm are:
- Anyone convicted of a disqualifying crime, such as a felony or any crime that carries a penalty of more than two years of incarceration
- Anyone who is diagnosed with an alcohol or narcotic addiction disorder
- Anyone younger than 21 years of age
- People diagnosed with certain mental health disorders
- People who have been involuntarily committed to a facility
- People who have been limited by another person’s protective order
The maximum penalty for most gun possession crimes is 15 years in prison with a five-year minimum sentence that cannot be suspended. Parole cannot be granted within those first five years, either.
Gun Use During Violent Crime
The possible penalties for a gun crime will escalate if you are accused of using a firearm while carrying out a violent crime.
Maryland considers a violent crime to be:
- And others
You can be incarcerated for up to 20 years if convicted of using a firearm during a violent crime. Most sentencings require at least a five-year minimum sentence with no suspension and no parole. Any prior gun crime or violent crime convictions on your record will cause you to serve any future convictions concurrently instead of consecutively. For example, you are convicted of illegal gun possession and armed robbery while you have another gun crime conviction on your record. Each of your new sentences carries a 15-year incarceration penalty, so you would be in prison for 30 years.
Defenses to Gun Charges
Prosecutors across Maryland and beyond are notorious for applying the pressure in gun crime cases. Securing a conviction will look good on their résumés, and judges are also happy to pad their records with more gun crime convictions. The idea is that convicting gun crime defendants will prevent future crimes. Of course, the truth is that there is no strong correlation among convictions, harsh sentences, and deterring crime.
To fight an unjust conviction or unfair sentencing, let our Columbia gun crimes defense attorneys represent you. We have more than 25 years of experience going head-to-head with prosecutors for the most serious cases, including gun crimes.
A few defenses to consider for your case might be:
- You were mistaken for the actual suspect who committed the alleged crime.
- You had the correct license to carry your firearm.
- You used your firearm only on your property.
- You used a firearm solely in self-defense.
Keep in mind that all cases are different from the next. The defense that works for one case might not work for another. As your trusted criminal defense attorneys, it will be our job to create a defense that works best for your case, using the unique information available.
At your next opportunity, dial (855) 954-4141 and speak with our team.