Maryland Gun Offense Arrest Process
A gun charge is quite a serious matter in the state of Maryland, and individuals facing this offense find that it can be a difficult experience not only for them but also for their family and close friends as well. The process of being arrested is typically one of the most frightening parts of being charged with a criminal offense, and in those moments it is crucial that an experienced gun lawyer is contacted.
The Arrest Process
Police officers follow a very standard routine when making an arrest in the state of Maryland. Once someone has been apprehended for a gun offense:
- They are taken to the precinct
- They are processed
- They get their information
- They see a commissioner
It is important to understand that a commissioner is not an attorney; they are a public servant. The commissioner’s role is to review the case and make a decision as to whether or not an individual should be released from jail. When they make their decision, they are considering two major factors:
- Is this individual a flight risk?
- Is this individual a danger to the community at large?
An attorney can be contacted and brought in to represent an individual facing gun charges during the commissioner phase.
The arraignment process can be one of the most stressful parts of a trial for an individual that has been charged with a criminal offense. During an arraignment, the likelihood of a judge releasing the defendant depends on few factors including:
- The criminal history of the individual that has been charged.
- The nature of the offense.
- Whether or not there were any victims involved in the crime being tried.
- The type of firearm that was used in the crime.
If an individual has a clean record and no violent past, that may have a positive effect on how he or she is charged by the judge overseeing the case during an arraignment or bond hearing. If, however, the individual has had prior weapons, assault, or crimes of violence charges, that is going to eliminate the likelihood of there being any leniency from the court.
Being Labeled A Danger To The Public
When someone is considered a danger to the public, the court is referring to the fact that the defendant may pose a threat to either an individual, a victim, or the public at large. If an individual or individuals have been threatened with a weapon, whether it is domestic or unrelated, the court will always put the safety of the victim(s) first. If the individual who has committed the crime has also committed numerous other offenses, they will be deemed a risk to the public at large.
Being Labeled A Flight Risk
Flight risk is a term used to refer to the likelihood of an individual not to showing up for a court date. When a judge considers whether or not an individual should be deemed a flight risk, they consider a few different things, which include:
- A person’s ties to the community; is this person a resident of Maryland? Are they a citizen?
- Does this person have a history of failures to appear in court?
- Is the offense itself one that exposes this person to such significant risk of incarceration that they may leave?
Once a case has been reviewed, a commissioner can release the individual being held on a bond or they can order them to be held without bond. The final decision is inevitably up to them. If a person is held without bond or a bond is set so high that they cannot afford it, the individual being held is entitled to a bond review in front of an actual judge the next business day. Again, an attorney can be present and, at this point, the judge can do one of three things:
- They can lower the bail
- They can leave the bail the same
- They can raise the bail
There is always a risk involved with the bond review at this phase, but the arrest and booking process cannot be changed.
With regard to Federal bonds, an attorney can choose to postpone or delay a hearing so that they can build their case, build evidence, or do whatever is necessary to make the best impression during the release hearing. An attorney will use this tactic because once a person is ordered to be held, it is very difficult to get them out, whereas delaying it gives them the ability to have the hearing at a later date when they’re more prepared.
Contacting An Attorney
After someone has been arrested, an attorney should be contacted the moment that someone who has been charged with an offense is given the opportunity to utilize their services. An experienced gun lawyer should definitely be present for a hearing with the commissioner so that they can guide the flow of the review. The sooner that they are involved in an individual’s case, the sooner they can start to develop a strong defense for their client.