A report on police activity in Ocean City for June 2021 has highlighted a significant increase in arrests dealing with weapons violations, according to the Maryland Coast Dispatch.
In May, there were 111 weapons arrests, compared to 73 in 2020 and 40 in 2019. Of the weapons arrests, 59 were for knives and 34 were for firearms.
In one instance, a patrol officer responding to a disturbance saw a 19-year-old Baltimore man in the back of a vehicle loading a semi-automatic handgun. While officers were detaining the passenger and arresting him for several firearm charges, a teenage male approached and tried to interfere with the arrest, according to Ocean City Police.
The two men were arrested and taken to the Ocean City jail for processing along with the 18-year-old female who was the driver of the vehicle.
The defendant from Baltimore was charged with carrying a loaded handgun, handgun in vehicle and possession of a firearm by a person under 21. The other male defendant was charged with having a handgun in the vehicle as well as several additional charges for interference with the police including obstructing and hindering, resisting/interfering with arrest, disorderly conduct, second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer and reckless endangerment.
Both male defendants were held without bail by the District Court Commissioner and then released on $50,000 bail after being seen by a judge the next day. The female defendant was released on her own recognizance by the commissioner. The three co-defendants were given an August trial date in the Ocean City District Court.
Illegally carrying a firearm in Maryland is a misdemeanor. Penalties vary depending on the number of previous offenses:
- First offense — up to three years in jail and fines ranging from $250 to $2,500;
- Second offense – can carry a prison sentence between one and 10 years;
- Third and following offenses – three or more convictions require a minimum of three years in prison with sentences up to 10 years.
Maryland law allows a wide variety of gun charges, including illegal possession of a handgun, handgun in the vehicle, handgun on person when not allowed, etc.
One of those defenses includes arguing that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to search the car or home. When law enforcement conducts illegal searches and finds firearms as a result, the charges can be dismissed.
Another defense is called “constructive possession.” In such instances, your Ocean City gun crime attorney will argue that the weapon was not directly under your control. If a weapon was found nearby, but not in your direct possession, this can be a successful defense.
A third option is to get the Ocean City gun charges placed on the “Stet Docket.” In such an instance, your Ocean City weapons charges will be placed on the court’s inactive docket and, if you successfully complete the conditions that, in some cases can be as simple as not being arrested for the next several months, the charges will be dismissed without further action on your part.
An Ocean City gun crime lawyer can help you with your weapons charge. An experienced attorney can go over the facts of your case to determine the best defense. The consultation is free.
Maronick Law LLC is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh weapons violations charge needs. If you have access to Zoom, we can meet with you remotely. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.885.4022 or via the website.