Maryland Gun Charge Prosecution
It is important that an individual who is facing a gun charge understands the specifics of their charge. An experienced gun lawyer who is familiar with the weapon laws of the state of Maryland can help their clients not only understand the specifics of their charge but also by understanding the penalties that accompany said charges if they are convicted. Cases that involve the use of a firearm are taken very seriously in the state of Maryland, and they are prosecuted quite frequently.
An attorney will provide their client with the specifics of the charge that they’re facing as well as the components of the legal process, including:
- What the penalties of their charge are.
- What the burden of proof is.
- What the elements of the offenses are.
- Any possible defenses.
The severity of an individual’s offense will ultimately dictate whether their case will be tried at a state level or a federal level, but it is important that the defendant understands the implications of either possibility.
What Must Be Proven
When faced with a case involving a firearm, a prosecutor is going to approach it quite aggressively. They will use the defendant’s prior criminal history as a component that rationalizes a conviction; they will also try to tie the firearm used in the criminal act to the individual facing the weapons charges. If the prosecutor does discover that the defendant has a criminal record, it will be the job of the attorney to address previous charges and isolate them from the case being tried.
Although many individuals are charged with the possession of a firearm, the weapon in question is usually never found on them at the time of their arrest. Again, the prosecutor will use evidence found during the investigation and discovery process to tie the weapon to the defendant, but if there are no fingerprints it becomes somewhat difficult to do so. Very frequently, the defense that an attorney builds against their clients’ case focuses on fighting the ability to prove that the individual was in possession of the weapon.
An individual that is facing weapons charges should know the temperament of their prosecutor. Typically, an attorney will be able to gauge the specific style and approach that a prosecutor uses when they’re trying cases, and they can follow suit by modifying their defense strategy. It is also crucial that the defendant knows whether or not the prosecutor in their case is willing to negotiate, and what the offer may be if a negotiation is, in fact, possible. They will do whatever they can to create a nexus between the individual and the firearm. They actually can and frequently do try to pull up the fingerprints from the firearm itself. Everything they are trying to do is to make sure they connect the individual to the firearm.
It is important to understand that the goal of a prosecutor is to convict the defendant. With that in mind, the will do whatever they can to create a nexus between the individual facing criminal charges and the firearm. The prosecutor will quite frequently attempt to pull up the fingerprints from a firearm in an effort to establish whether or not there is a match. Everything that they do will be in an effort to connect the individual to the firearm. Having an attorney with a background in firearm cases is often times the difference between a negotiation and a conviction with maximum penalties, which is why legal counsel is crucial.
An individual that is facing gun charges has the right to have a trial before a judge or a jury. It is important, however, that he or she understands that their jurisdiction and the laws within it will play a major role in the route that their trial takes. Although trials are always the same with regard to how they work, and all jury trials are conducted the same way, the trial process, as well as the state’s burden of proof, can be very different depending on the area.
Because guns are so ubiquitous and so common, these charges are very frequent. With that in mind, most prosecutors who handle these types of cases regularly know what they are doing. They also know what they have to face, and it is up to the defense attorney to hold them to the task.