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Mandatory Minimums

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | criminal defense |

What are they?

In this second blog post of our Mandatory Minimums series, we’ll be highlighting another category: crimes of violence.  Remember, 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.

We already discussed firearm-related crimes in our first post.  That leaves the following categories of crimes that are subject to non-suspendable mandatory minimum penalties:

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

In this post, we’ll share with you the details about the offenses designated as “crimes of violence” that are guaranteed to have you facing substantial time in prison if you’re convicted.

What is a crime of violence?

The Maryland Criminal Law Article 14-101 actually lists twenty-six separate offenses that qualify as a crime of violence when determining whether a mandatory minimum sentence is required.  Some of the highlights include obvious charges like murder, assault in the first degree, and rape, but also included in this list are less common offenses like mayhem, arson, and the continuing course of conduct with a child.

With crimes of violence, the determining factor for a mandatory minimum is not related to the offense itself, but rather how many prior offenses an individual has committed.  There is no mandatory minimum sentence the first time an individual has been convicted of a crime of violence.  Those penalties only come into play on subsequent convictions.

For a second conviction of a crime of violence, after having been convicted of a prior crime of violence and served a term of confinement for that conviction, a judge is bound to order a minimum sentence of at least ten years in prison.

For a third conviction of a crime of violence, after having been convicted of two prior crimes of violence and served at least one term of confinement for those convictions, a judge is bound to order a minimum sentence of at least twenty-five years in prison.

Finally, if someone receives a fourth conviction for a crime of violence, after having been convicted of three prior crimes of violence and served at three separate terms of confinement for those convictions, then a judge must sentence the defendant to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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.  If there is any question as to whether the charges you’re facing constitute a “crime of violence,” we can provide the necessary guidance to make sure you understand exactly what penalties you might be facing.  Our attorneys have the training, knowledge, and experience to defend against these kinds of serious criminal charges and are fully prepared to represent you through trial.





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