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Mandatory Minimums: What are they?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | criminal defense |

In addition to being a useful vocal warmup if you’re about to do some public speaking, mandatory minimums are a somewhat controversial concept that can be encountered during the sentencing phase of a criminal case in Maryland.

By definition, mandatory minimums require judges in cases in which the defendant has been convicted of certain offenses to impose a sentence of a term of imprisonment of at least the time specified in the related section of the Maryland Code.

In Maryland, there are four major categories of crimes that are subject to non-suspendable mandatory minimum penalties:

  • Firearm crimes
  • Drug manufacture/distribution crimes
  • Crimes of violence
  • Sexual crimes

In this post, we’ll share with you the details about the firearm crimes that are guaranteed to have you facing substantial time in prison if you’re convicted.

The unlawful use of a firearm in the commission of a felony or crime may only be a misdemeanor, but a conviction requires a sentence of at least five years in prison, up to a maximum of 20 years.

Similarly, a conviction for the use of an assault weapon, rapid fire trigger activator, or magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds in the commission of a felony or a crime of violence also requires a sentence of at least five years in prison, up to a maximum of 20 years.

Simply possessing a regulated firearm after you have been convicted of a crime of violence or select drug crimes is a felony in and of itself with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, though you could face up to 15 years for a conviction.

Finally, there are actually two different mandatory minimum sentences if you have or use a firearm during the commission of a drug offense, depending on whether it is your first offense or a subsequent conviction.  For first-time offenders, this crime is a felony and carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison, up to a maximum of 20 years.  Subsequent convictions are simply 20 years in prison, no more and no less.

How can Maronick Law help?

 If you think you may be facing a crime for which there is a mandatory minimum sentence, the attorneys at Maronick Law stand ready and eager to help defend you.

In order to find you guilty, the prosecutor in your case would have to prove the various elements of the specific crime beyond a reasonable doubt, which equates to a level of certainty of roughly 98-99%.  Anything less certain that that, and a judge or jury must find you not guilty.  We are a firm of litigation attorneys who thrive in the courtroom, so we would relish the chance to attack the constitutionality of any search warrant that resulted in the seizure of a firearm or to cast doubt on whether something satisfies the definition of a “drug crime.”  Our attorneys have the training, knowledge, and experience to understand the elements of a firearm charge that are ripe for attack and are fully prepared to represent you through trial.

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