Maryland Gun & Firearm Attorneys
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. But federal, state, and municipal governments can place limits on this right in the interest of public health and safety. Prince George’s County and Montgomery County have the toughest policies on handgun and firearm crimes. In Maryland, there are several important regulations that apply to the use and ownership of firearms. Violating these laws can result in severe repercussions. For this reason, you should hire a skilled and experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a firearm or weapons violation. Your lawyer will be able to analyze the prosecutor’s evidence and mount an effective defense to the charges. In addition, your weapons charge defense attorney will help ensure that your rights are respected as you confront the criminal justice system.
Gun charges in Maryland can include:
- Gun possession
- Carrying a gun without a valid permit
- Transporting a gun in your vehicle without a permit
- Carrying a gun on your person
- Committing a felony with the use of a firearm
- Possession of a firearm by a previous convicted felon
- Use of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime
- Use of a handgun in a crime of violence
- Possession of a firearm on school property or proximity to school property
Defending Against Maryland Firearms Charges
The defense of firearms and illegal weapons charges can be difficult because these offenses—with the exception of possessing criminal instruments—do not involve the issue of criminal intent. Usually, a prosecutor needs to prove that you acted with criminal intent, also known as mens rea. But with most weapons charges, the mere possession of the weapon under certain circumstances is enough for the charges to stick.
Fortunately, there are other ways to fend off these charges. Many charges result from the police making a traffic stop and discovering an illegal weapon. In other cases, the police enter a home to conduct a search or apprehend a suspect for one crime, but also find evidence of a weapons violation. Your lawyer will need to carefully review the police’s conduct to determine whether they violated your constitutional rights in finding the incriminating weapon.
A prosecutor cannot use evidence in the case against you if it was obtained in violation of your rights. Some examples of illegal searches and seizures of weapons include:
- The authorities enter your home without a search warrant, your consent, or qualifying emergency circumstances and find an illegal gun
- The police find an illegal gun in your closet when entering your home to execute a search warrant—the police can only collect evidence in plain sight
- The police cannot pull your car over without having reason to believe you are doing something illegal
- Once they pull you over, the police cannot search your car unless you give them consent or they have probable cause that you are hiding something illegal
When the bulk of the prosecutor’s case is built on such illegal evidence, your lawyer can request the court to dismiss the charges against you. At McKenzie & Tehrani, we have significant experience challenging the prosecution’s evidence based on constitutional violations. If you’ve been charged with a Maryland firearms violation, call us today at (301) 309-3669 or cell (240) 604-6405 for a free and confidential consultation of your case.