SKILLED GUN CRIME ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING GUN CRIME OFFENDERS IN BETHESDA
Between 2013 and 2016, Montgomery County’s Firearms Investigation Unit (FIU) recovered 1,016 firearms. Between January 2016 and December 2016, there was a 1,434-firearm investigation throughout Maryland. Montgomery’s FIU Special Investigation Division executed more than 56 percent of gun investigations in 2016.
Although Bethesda has experienced a decrease in crimes in 2016, weapon incidents have increased by 13.3 percent. This means that many gun-related arrests occur in the Bethesda area. If you are a Bethesda resident currently facing charges of a gun-related crime, you should seek legal representation immediately.
At Alpert Schreyer, LLC, our Bethesda Crime Attorneys work with gun crime offenders throughout the Bethesda area. To schedule a free case evaluation, call our office today at (866) 444-6363 or send us an email through our online contact form.
COMMON GUN-RELATED OFFENSES IN MARYLAND
A person may be charged with a gun-related crime under various circumstances. It is important that you are made familiar with gun-related offenses because not knowing that something is criminal is not a defense in the case of gun-related crimes in Maryland. The following are some gun-related offenses commonly investigated under Maryland law:
- Unlawfully transporting a handgun: A person can face charges for Unlawfully Transporting a Handgun where they fail to lock their gun in a lockbox and/or they fail to separate their gun and ammunition.
- Failing to adhere to school gun-free zones: A person can face charges with Failing to Adhere to Gun-Free Zones where they carry a gun in a school zone, parks frequented by children, courthouses/public buildings, or in other places of public safety concern.
- Unlawful gun possession: This umbrella covers several infractions. The most common is where a convicted felon carries a gun or where a person carries a gun without a valid Maryland license. Under no circumstance may convicted felons carry guns OR ammunition.
- Common misconception: When a person attempts to carry and conceal under a permit from another state, they can face charges of unlawful gun possession. Maryland law only recognizes carry and conceal licenses granted by Maryland. The consequence of operating under this misconception could lead to a handgun in the vehicle and/or person charge.
Although the above lists some of the most common gun-related offenses, it doesn’t mean police will never arrest you for one for the less common gun-related offenses, such as conspiracy to violate gun laws. If you are in the unfortunate circumstance where you face charges for one of these less common gun-related offenses, rest assured that our Bethesda attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC would be more than happy to assist you.
CONSIDERATIONS IN POSSIBLE GUN CRIME PENALTIES
When determining penalties, the court considers many factors, including:
- The type of weapons you possessed: If police cited you for transporting a concealed or open handgun without a license or permit, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. If police cited you for the transportation of a “Destructive Device” such as a machine gun, silencer, sawed-off shotgun, or sawed-off rifle you would be risking a felony, which carries a 10-year sentence without parole.
- Where you were when the infraction occurred: If you were in a school zone, parks frequented by children, courthouses, airports, and places of public safety concern, this carries a penalty of 90 days to a 3-year prison sentence. However, repeat offenders will face a maximum of 10 years for violating this section.
- Whether you are in an approved field of law enforcement: If you are a law enforcement officer, a correctional officer who works in the prison system, or in some sector of the armed forces your case might fit under a Maryland exception.
- The number of weapons you were carrying at the time of your incident: The volume of the of guns at the time of your incident can greatly affect your penalties. Be sure to consult an attorney immediately on how this affects your case.
- Whether your gun incident involves drugs, violent crimes, or if the defendant has prior criminal convictions: If your incident involves drugs, violent crimes, or if you have prior criminal convictions, it is important that you seek an attorney who specializes in both federal and state gun law immediately. Because your incident fits this category, the prosecutor will be able to prosecute you federally under Maryland’s Exile Program. This means that both state and federal prosecution will most likely seek pretrial detention and you would serve up to 20 years in addition to your initial charges. This means that you will be detained without the potential for bail.
MARYLAND’S EXILE PROGRAM
Maryland’s Exile Program has potentially had a significant impact on Bethesda residents because nearly 50 percent of the firearms recovered by FIU in 2016 were incident to domestic violence and during the possession of control dangerous substances. Because these infractions can lead to felony prosecution, it is important that you seek out an attorney experienced in litigating cases that go to the federal level through Maryland’s Exile Program.
HOW MIGHT A BETHESDA GUN-CRIME ATTORNEY DEFEND MY CASE?
Your attorney will examine possible defense strategies for gun-crime cases on a case-by-case basis. Preserving your evidence is the greatest tool your attorney has in defending your case, so it is important that you seek out an attorney immediately. It is also crucial that you present your most honest self to your attorney and give as many details as possible of the incident. Here are some common defenses commonly used to defend gun-crime offense:
- Illegal search and seizure: One of the most common defenses in gun-crime cases is to prove that the arrest was a result an illegal search and seizure. Where you can prove that the police used illegal methods or used unreasonable pressure or threat against witnesses and other parties, the court will drop your case.
- Constructive possession: Constructive possession is another common defense in gun-crime cases where it can be proved that there was no direct possession. Direct possession infers that the gun was not simply attached to you because it was found nearby.
HOW CAN A BETHESDA ATTORNEY HELP ME?
Gun crimes are a serious accusation that could result in 20 years in prison, a permanent record, and other serious penalties. It is important that you hire a criminal attorney experienced in defending gun-related offenses. The top-rated Maryland attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, have more than 25 years of experience defending offenses. Schedule a free case evaluation at (866) 444-6363 or through our online contact form.