Maryland Gun Charge Investigation
The process of investigating a crime is an instrumental element in putting together a trial. Law enforcement uses the process of an investigation as a way to gather evidence to build their case against an individual or individuals whom they suspect are guilty of committing a particular crime. The recovery of a weapon such as a firearm is typically one of the main goals in an investigation when law enforcement begins their search for evidence. An experienced gun attorney will also use the information that police officers and the prosecution team have gathered during their discovery process to begin building a case for their client.
An individual who believes that he or she is under criminal investigation should seek the legal counsel of a knowledgeable attorney as soon as they can. Legal representation plays a key role in whether or not an individual is convicted of a crime, especially if the prosecution has built a strong case based on evidence found during an investigation. An attorney who is brought in to represent someone during the earliest stages of a case will not only be equipped with the skills necessary to build a strong defense, but they will also have more time to do so.
Investigation Techniques Used By Law Enforcement
Despite popular belief, when a gun charge investigation takes place, it is led by the prosecutor in a case. Police officers play a pivotal role in the entire process, however, it is a prosecutor who will rely on the evidence that is discovered in an investigation to build their case against the defendant.
Depending on the severity of the crime being investigated, law enforcement will take certain measures to retrieve information, such as:
- They can obtain warrants to tap phone lines.
- They can obtain warrants to search an individual’s home.
- They can follow an individual.
- They can obtain an individual’s phone records for call history, etc.
Verifying A Firearm
If a firearm is recovered during an investigation, police officers must then follow the appropriate procedures to verify that the weapon is operable. There are certain scenarios where a gun is found, but cannot be considered a weapon, and they include:
- If the gun is a toy or wall decor.
- If the gun cannot fire bullets anymore.
- The firing pin is missing.
- Someone has poured concrete into the barrel.
To verify that a firearm is operable, police officers will take a gun to a range and perform a test fire. Once they do this and confirm that the gun is still functional, they will receive a certificate of fire operability, which will allow them to convict the owner of the weapon.
Avoiding A Gun Charge
An individual that owns a gun must understand that a weapons charge is a serious matter, and the consequences of a conviction can be disastrous with regard to the effect that it will have on their family, friends, finances, and employment. If someone knows that they will be traveling with their weapon, it is crucial that they make sure it is transported properly. If he or she is storing the weapon in their home, they must make sure that it is stored properly. In some cases, an individual is legally barred from possessing a firearm. This poses a problem if he or she is unaware of the fact that their record precludes them from having weapons and are they are then caught with a gun. Ultimately, someone who owns a gun or is considering owning one must be sure to make wise decisions and understand that owning a firearm is a serious responsibility.