Interpreting Evidence in Maryland Gun Investigations
The importance of interpreting evidence in Maryland gun investigations is to prove or disprove the accused’s possession of that firearm. Under Maryland law, possession is not equated to ownership, therefore whether or not the associated gun is registered to the accused may not be relevant to the individual’s case.
Possession means that the gun was directly on the person, the defendant, or somewhere in an area that the defendant could have access to it, have knowledge of it and could express some sort of control over it. Gun possession cases may not always have a clear picture that one person exercised control or possession of the gun. Therefore, an experienced firearm attorney could be considered an asset when trying to interpret evidence.
How Maryland Categorize Firearms
Commonly, the legal list of firearms includes mostly semi-automatic guns which means they have the ability to fire multiple rounds very quickly. Those are considered to be prohibited under Maryland law, and there is a list of specific manufacturers. Machine guns are prohibited and they are defined, but it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, what most people’s general thoughts are when they think of the word machine gun.
There are several different types of firearm that are defined under Maryland law that are prohibited. There are always exceptions to every law, but in general, there is a pretty clear understanding of what is prohibited for a person to possess.
What is Handgun?
A firearm can be described in a lot of different ways under Maryland law. A handgun could mean a pistol, revolver, or another firearm capable of being concealed on the person. The definition goes on to include both short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles.
If a rifle or a shotgun is a typical barrel length, its inability to be concealed would prevent it from being considered a handgun. Handguns do not include antique firearms in Maryland. Firearms manufactured prior to 1899 would be considered to be antiques, so it is not illegal to possess them. Maryland also has a definition for something called an assault weapon which is prohibited, with some exceptions.
How an Attorney Conducts their Investigation
Before interpreting evidence in Maryland gun investigations, an attorney could first focus on what the individual is being charged with. They may then compare it with associated crimes in order to determine the elements of the accused’s potential defenses. Because the prosecution has the burden of proof, they must prove the element of each and every crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Benefit of a Lawyer
Sometimes it takes an experienced attorney to recognize the deficiencies within the state’s case. Experienced lawyers know that sometimes it is important not to ask anything at all during cross-examination. It could be critical to avoid asking questions that could potentially expose enormous gaps in the defendant’s evidence. Experienced lawyers wait until the correct time, bring it to the attention of the judge, and make a strong argument, and the judge grants a motion for judgment of acquittal. Contact a lawyer to begin interpreting evidence in Maryland gun investigations.