Ocean City Gun Crimes Defense Lawyer
While the Second Amendment guarantees citizens the right to bear arms, individual states can implement their own gun laws independent of existing federal gun laws. Maryland is known for having enacted some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. The Maryland criminal code places strict restrictions on the purchase, possession, and use of firearms in the state and imposes harsh punishments for gun violations, some of which may include:
- substantial prison time
- heavy fines and penalties
- the loss of certain civil rights
- the requirement of probation.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a gun-related crime in Ocean City or elsewhere along the Eastern Shore, you can expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Local law enforcement and prosecutors aggressively pursue convictions for gun offenses which is why it’s so critically important to retain a qualified gun crime lawyer who will protect your rights and fight the charges against you.
Richard Brueckner tenaciously defends people facing all types of gun charges including:
- unlawful purchase of a firearm
- unlawful possession of an unregistered firearm
- wearing, carrying, or transporting handgun
- crimes committed with a handgun
- felon in possession of a firearm
- carrying a gun on school property
- high-capacity magazine charges
- AR-15 assault rifle charges
- transporting a gun in your vehicle without a permit
Mr. Brueckner is a former prosecutor which gives him a huge advantage when taking on your case. While serving as the Senior Assistant State’s Attorney in the State Attorney’s office, he won more than 80 jury trials and achieved successful outcomes in thousands of cases, many of which included gun charges. He is well versed and knowledgeable in Maryland handgun laws and is committed to obtaining the best outcome for you whether it is a dismissal, acquittal or favorable plea agreement.
CALL US FOR A FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION 410-430-1464
Maryland Gun Laws
In 2013, under Gov. Martin O’Malley, Maryland passed the Firearm Safety Act which set forth the following restrictions:
- New gun buyers buying a firearm other than a hunting rifle, shotgun, or antique firearm must obtain a valid Handgun Qualification License (HQL) granted by the licensing bureau of the state police department. As part of the HQL application process, the buyer must submit to a digital fingerprint background check and complete a four-hour Firearms Safety Training Course presented by a State approved instructor.
- Bans military-style assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines (cannot hold more than 10 bullets)
- Prohibits firearm purchases by felons, certain domestic abusers, and people with a history of mental illness
Wearing, Carrying, or Transporting a Handgun
Maryland state code Section 4-203 states that is illegal to wear, carry or transport a handgun, either out in the open or under concealment without a valid permit. The only exceptions to this law are for those who require a firearm to do their jobs such as on-duty law enforcement and corrections officers, and certain military personnel. Other circumstances which allow for the transport of a handgun must be for legitimate purposes such as to sell or repair the gun or to take to a shooting range. Even with the proper permits, there are tight restrictions while transporting a gun. A gun must be placed in a protective box in your vehicle out of your reach. It must remain unloaded and the ammunition must be safely locked away.
Wearing, carrying, or transporting a handgun without a permit is considered a misdemeanor punishable by:
- minimum of 30 days in jail and up to 3 years in jail and fines ranging from $250 to $2,500 for a first offense;
- a prison sentence between 1 and 10 years for a second offense;
- minimum of 3 years in prison with sentence up to 10 years for three or more offenses.
Carrying a Weapon on School Property (misdemeanor)
- punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to three months in prison, or both (first offense)
- one to 10 years in prison (second offense)
- 5-10 year prison sentence for subsequent offenses
Possession of a firearm at a public demonstration (or in a vehicle within 1,000 feet of a demonstration)
- misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Carrying a weapon while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
Use of a Handgun During a Crime of Violence
The most severe gun crimes in Maryland involve using a firearm in the commission of a violent crime (murder, manslaughter, drug possession/distribution, kidnapping, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, etc.). These are “enhanceable offenses” meaning that if you are convicted of a violent crime and used a gun to assist you in that crime, the judge will sentence you to an additional 5-20 years in prison. For example, if you were convicted of robbery, you would face 30 years in prison plus 5-20 more years. The first five years of a gun sentence are mandatory without the possibility of parole. The sentences for both crimes is served consecutively, not concurrently.
Assault Pistols and Detachable Magazine Offenses
As of October 1st, 2013, it is illegal to possess an assault weapon. Any purchases before this date may be grandfathered in unless that weapon has been grandfathered in due to previous possession, or if that weapon was legally inherited by a lawful possessor.
- Shotguns, pistols, and rifles with a capacity of over 10 rounds
- Certain Semi-automatic centerfire rifles, such as those with a flash suppressor or grenade launcher;
- Shotguns with a revolving cylinder; and
- Magazines over 10 rounds.
The penalties associated with assault pistol offenses include a misdemeanor conviction as well as a jail sentence of up to three years along with a fine of up to $5,000. If you used an assault pistol to carry out a violent crime, you may face a prison sentence between five and 20 years.
Building a Defense for Gun Charges in Ocean City
When we take on your case, we will conduct an immediate investigation of the facts surrounding the alleged crime. We will aim to identify any weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case and be on the lookout for any improper conduct by the police during and after your arrest. Depending on your circumstances, there are various defense strategies for gun offenses in Maryland. Building your criminal defense early is the best way to fight for your rights.
Constructive possession – Attorney Brueckner can argue that the weapon was not directly under your control. If the weapon was found nearby, but not in your direct possession, this can viable defense.
Illegal search and seizure — Many arrests for gun crimes occur after a police searche’s a suspect’s car, house, or personal belongings. The fourth amendment of the Constitution protects you from illegal searches and seizures. Before police can search your property, they must have probable cause to believe you committed a crime or a search warrant signed by a judge. If the police violated your constitutional rights and found a firearm during an unlawful search, we can file a motion to suppress the evidence and get the charges against you dismissed.
Get charges placed on Stet Docket — Attorney Brueckner may try to convince the State’s Attorney’s Office to postpone your case by placing it on the court’s inactive docket. If this happens you would waive your right to a speedy trial and must complete agreed upon conditions and if successfully completed, the charges will be automatically dismissed.
Get Started On Your Gun Defense Now: call Richard J. Brueckener, a Criminal Defense attorney based in Ocean City, MD, who is also a former prosecutor. Recieve personal attention and a unique defense strategy. Richard will always meet with you and your family directly, you will not end up on a pile of folders on a paralegals desk. Call today: 410-430-1464