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technology-2500010__480-300x200According to a recent press release by the Prince George’s County Police Department, thirteen of its own officers have been indicted on charges of theft and misconduct in office.  The indictment was revealed last week at the Prince George’s County Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro.  The defendants in the indictment were mostly experienced members of the police force, as ten were Corporals and one has since retired.  Based on the press release the department began an internal investigation after catching wind that several officers were working for a security company and receiving compensation while on duty at police officers.  The company serviced more that 20 apartment complexes in the county from at least the end of 2019 until February 2021.  The officers were suspended in April of 2021.  Among other allegations, the officers allegedly provided false information to the apartment complexes in order to justify their continue employment.  The total amount that the officers profited is alleged to be between $1,500 and $25,000, which means they are facing felony charges in addition to the misdemeanor charge for misconduct in office.

The department initiated the investigation after another high-ranking officer pleaded guilty to tax evasion several years ago.  In an effort to make sure this type of conduct ends with this indictment, the department has instituted policy changes that began a few months after the officers were suspended.  The policy changes include a blanket prohibition on officers working as security guards, as well as hiring a third-party software company to allow officers to clock out of work before beginning secondary employment.  The internal affairs division of the department will also conduct site investigations of any secondary employment locations that employees disclose, and  these site investigations will be conducted at random.

The officers are charged with theft based on the allegation that they were collecting taxpayer dollars while engaged in private employment.  It’s true that the defendants did not physically steal anything, but their pay from the government was accepted under circumstances where the they were clearly double dipping.  It is still an interesting and fairly uncommon means of charging a theft case, and if the cases go to trial, there may be some arguments that could sway a jury to acquit.  Regardless, state prosecutors seem to be in good shape on the misconduct counts.

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police-224426__180Yesterday the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland announced the guilty plea of a 25-year-old Baltimore man who committed a robbery while on supervised release for another federal crime.  According to facts presented in the guilty plea, back in January of this year the defendant attempted to rob a convenience store in Baltimore City.  The store clerk refused to comply with the defendant’s demand for money, whereupon the defendant displayed a gun from within his waistband.  Off-duty Maryland State Police officers responded to the scene shortly after the store manager called 911, and were joined by Baltimore City police officers minutes later.  The defendant was detained by law enforcement officers, and search incident to arrest revealed a loaded 9mm handgun in the defendant’s waistband.  Security cameras inside the store captured the entire incident on video, making the guilty plea the only reasonable choice for the defendant.

The 25-year-old defendant now faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the federal robbery charge, which is codified as attempting to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery.  Robberies are generally prosecuted in state court, but the federal government can obtain jurisdiction over virtually any commercial robbery committed in the U.S.  This most commonly plays out for bank robbery cases due to the fact that banks are insured by the FDIC, and also gun stores that are licensed to do business by the federal government with a FFL (federal firearms license).  But the Commerce Clause allows the feds to obtain jurisdiction over other business that have a potential customer base from multiple states.  The question is whether it’s possible – not likely that a local convenience store in Baltimore City is frequented by individuals from across the country.

Sentencing for the defendant in the federal robbery charge is set for September of this year, though he also must answer for the violation of supervised release.  Supervised release is the federal term for probation, as there is virtually no difference between the two.  Supervised release simply occurs after a defendant has been released from a term of incarceration.  The federal justice system no longer uses suspended sentences; rather when a defendant violates probation or supervised released, he or she could face up the maximum remaining prison sentence upon a guilty finding of a violation.  For example, a defendant sentenced to 5 years on a robbery charge could face up to 15 years upon if found in violation of supervised release.  In Maryland state court, most judges impose suspended sentences to cap the amount of time that could be imposed in a violation of probation, but some judges simply suspend the maximum and decide an appropriate sentence should the defendant violate.  Any defendant who receives a probation before judgement (PBJ) faces the maximum penalty upon a violation of probation.  There are exceptions including whether the violation is considered non-technical or technical.  In Maryland state court, technical violations have a presumptive non-binding cap of 15 days for a first violation.  Technical violations include positive drug tests, failing to complete treatment or failing to pay restitution.  Non-technical violations include missing more than one probation appointment and/or committing a new offense.  Many defendants believe new arrests are the only non-technical violations but this is not true, as it is just as common for defendants accused of absconding to receive some or all of their back up time.

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technology-2500010__480-300x200Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to the summer season in Maryland’s only beach town, but these days tourists from the region begin traveling to Ocean City to attend events and enjoy the night life as soon as the weather turns warm.  With graduations completed and school about to let out, it’s safe to say that summer is now in full swing down at the ocean.  This being a criminal law Blog we’re not here to report on the calendar of events in OCMD, but rather the host of new arrests and police activity that comes with the dramatic uptick in visitors.  This week one notable arrest took place after a New York man was pulled over for multiple traffic infractions including aggressive driving, and traveling roughly twice the 35 miles per hour speed limit on the Philadelphia Ave. section of coastal highway.  This area is one of the busiest and most heavily trafficked areas of Ocean City, so needless to say officers rushed to pull the vehicle over as soon as possible.  It seems that the actual traffic stop was effectuated without much drama, but the defendant’s alleged actions that followed were anything but calm and collected.

According to an Ocean City Police Department press release, officers detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage upon approaching the defendant, and shortly thereafter determined that he was driving on a suspended out-of-state driver’s license.  The defendant was then requested to complete standardized field sobriety exercises, and was arrested after becoming uncooperative during the tests.  He was initially arrested for DUI, fleeing and eluding and disorderly conduct, but it turns out these charges only represented a fraction of what was yet to come.  While the defendant was seated in the backseat of the patrol vehicle, he attempted to make a phone call from his smartwatch.  Making unauthorized phone calls while in custody is a huge no-no with police and correctional officers, but the defendant was not happy about giving up his watch to the police.  He allegedly became aggressive and kicked the arresting officer in the face chest and arms, and then kicked another officer who came over to offer assistance.  Ocean City EMS arrived on scene to treat the defendant and the officer, and the defendant was taken to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin for treatment.  After receiving treatment for what the police deemed were minor injuries, he was taken to the police station and booked for a total of 5 criminal charges including two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct and obstructing and hindering.  He also received 16 traffic citations for charges including DUI and driving under the influence of drugs.  The defendant faces hefty fines and potential points for aggressive driving, reckless driving and negligent driving, and according to the charges the defendant’s license was already suspended in the state of Nevada.

The defendant was denied bail by the District Court Commissioner, but granted release on a $25,000 bail the following day when he went before a judge.  He posted bail and now will return to court in July for his trial date.  The Blog will continue to follow this case as it progresses through the court system, and we anticipate whichever judge hears this case will not be pleased with the defendant’s alleged conduct.  Aggressive driving combined with driving under the influence is a dangerous combination, especially in a crowded area such as lower Ocean City. The driving behavior combined with the alleged assault on police officers made a bad situation even worse, though the defendant may be able to challenge many of the charges in court.  He certainly is going to require a strong defense to avoid jail time and permanent convictions on his record.

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hammer-802296__480-300x225In a highly controversial decision at the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville, a judge has ordered an alleged murder’s case to be transferred to juvenile court.  The decision angered family members of the four victims, one of whom had died from gunshot wound injuries.  The defendant was originally charged as an adult with one count of murder in the first degree and three counts of attempted first-degree murder in addition to various assault and firearm offenses for allegedly firing 16 rounds of ammunition into a crowd at a Germantown basketball court.  The defendant, who is considered a respondent now that the case has been transferred, was accused to using a homemade polymer ghost gun to fire the shots.  At the time of the incident he was just 14 years old, and now that the case has been transferred, he could be released from a secure juvenile facility in less than one year.  The judge explained his opinion over the course of 30 minutes, and sided with the defense despite strenuous objection from the Office of the State’s Attorney.

While the families of the victims have every right to be outraged by the decision, the judge was bound to follow the rule of law in Maryland, which has changed drastically in the past year.  Any juvenile who is charged as an adult may petition to transfer the case to juvenile court.  This has become known as a reverse waiver hearing, and the judges are required to weigh five independent factors including age of the child, the child’s physical and mental condition, the child’s amenability to treatment in a juvenile facility or program, the nature of the offense and public safety.  In the past too many judges have focused on the nature of the offense, and if it was especially violent the transfer would be denied in the name of public safety.  Pursuant to what is now known as the Davis case, judges are no longer allowed to make these swift, allegation based decisions.  The Court of Appeals in Davis reiterated that the controlling principal of the justice system is protection of the public, and that a juvenile delinquency program that is most effective at treating, educating and rehabilitating offenders will best protect the public in the long run.  Amenability to treatment has become the determinative factor when considering transfer, and the other four factors ultimately lead up to amenability.  Amenability in this context is best interpreted as whether a child would benefit from a juvenile program.  If the answer is yes, then the case should be transferred regardless of the underlying nature of the charges.

The defendant was originally charged as an adult because Maryland juvenile courts do not have original jurisdiction over individuals 14 and over who are facing charges that carry life in jail.  The first-degree murder and attempted murder charges all carry life in prison, which means the juvenile court did not have original jurisdiction over the defendant.  In most other cases a juvenile must be at least 16 before being charged as an adult, but for life felonies the minimum age is 14.  All defendants who are between 7 and 13 years old will be charged as juveniles, and can only be prosecuted in adult court if their case is waived up at a discretionary waiver hearing.  If your child is facing charges in any Maryland court contact juvenile criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Herbst anytime for a free consultation.  Benjamin has successfully argued for the transfer of numerous individuals to juvenile court, including a recent armed robbery case where the individual had already turned 18.  He has represented clients in every county in Maryland and is also an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer who specializes in firearm offenses and white collar crimes such as theft of government property and fraud.  Benjamin is available 7 days a week at 410-207-2598 to discuss the defenses that may be available in your case.

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handcuffs-2102488__480-300x169An assistant basketball coach at the University of Maryland was suspended last month after being charged with prostitution back in October in Prince George’s County.  The suspension is set to be completed this week, which means he could return to the sidelines as early as this Thursday when Iowa visits College Park.  The University announced the suspension on January 12, so the more likely return for the coach would be for this weekend’s road tilt against Purdue.  According to news reports from various outlets including the New York Post and the Baltimore Sun, the 40-year-old coach was arrested at a hotel in Largo after he reached out to an undercover detective posing as a prostitute.  The police posted a fictitious online advertisement under the general category of “women seeking men”, and the coach agreed to meet at a neutral location.  Upon arriving at the hotel, the coach and the undercover were in the room together when he allegedly requested sex in exchange for $80.  As soon as the coach handed over the money, the undercover officer gave an arrest signal to the takedown team waiting in the next room.

The takedown team is typically a group of 2 to 4 officers in uniform or police tactical vests who are monitoring the undercover and the suspect by audio and sometimes video.  While this type of surreptitious recording is typically illegal under Maryland and federal wiretapping laws, there are exceptions for law enforcement to monitor the safety of officers or confidential informants who are conducting investigative activities.  As soon as the arrest signal is given, some or all of the takedown team enters the room and places the suspect under arrest.  From there the police can actually choose to arrest the suspect on the spot, or take his or her information and issue a criminal summons at a later date.  The charge of prostitution under 11-306 carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail, which means an officer is not permitted to issue a criminal citation.  Criminal citations are generally only permitted for crimes that carry a maximum penalty of 90 days or less.  In this particular case the coach was arrested and booked for one count of prostitution general.  He was released by a District Court Commissioner a few hours later on his own recognizance, which is normal a standard misdemeanor solicitation charge.

This type of prostitution sting has been used by law enforcement for roughly the last decade, and while there have been hundreds if not thousands of arrests, it’s hard to measure the overall deterrent effect on the prostitution trade.  It seems that those who wish to seek out prostitutes and those who wish to offer these services will continue to find a way to link up regardless of the threat of arrest.  We expect that this type of law enforcement tactic will continue to be employed even as various websites have been shut down.  While the large majority of defendants arrested for prostitution crimes are simply seeking sex without strings attached, the motivation for law enforcement’s continued efforts to stop prostitution is to ultimately crack down on human trafficking.  The hope is that by eliminating the potential client base you can eventually eliminate the sex trafficking altogether, though the war on drugs has taught us this is more of a law enforcement money grab than a reality-based solution.

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handcuffs-2102488__480-300x169The Frederick Police Department recently announced the arrest of a 20-year-old man in connection with a shooting at a local fast-food restaurant.  According to the department’s press release the suspect and a female began fighting inside the restaurant when another male attempted to intervene to break up the fight.  The suspect then shot the man multiple times, and he ended up succumbing to his injuries while still on scene.  The cause of death was ruled a homicide, and police filed charges for 1st and 2nd degree murder, as well as assault and various firearms charges later that night.  An arrest warrant was issued soon thereafter and police ultimately located and arrested the suspect.  Police are still gathering information, and the investigation is still considered active.  This means other suspects could potentially be charged in connection with the shooting, and/or the presence of the firearm.  The 20-year-old now faces a maximum penalty of life in prison for his actions, and could potentially face life in prison without the possibility of parole if the State elects to pursue this enhanced punishment.  Under Maryland law anyone convicted of first-degree murder faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.  There is also a 5-year mandatory prison sentence for anyone convicted of firearm use in a crime of violence, which is another charge the defendant is facing.

The defendant was brought before a District Court judge the day after his arrest, and as expected was denied bail or pre-trial release.  He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for the end of January, but the charges will almost certainly be filed in the Circuit Court for Frederick County before the preliminary takes place.  Based on a records check the defendant does not appear to have any prior adult criminal record in Maryland.  Juvenile cases are sealed from public view, so it is unclear whether the defendant has a history of violence or weapon possession.  As of this year, cases involving juveniles who are charged in adult court are also sealed from public view, though their case files may be available to view at the Clerk’s office.  Anyone over the age of 16 who is accused of a crime of violence such as robbery, attempted murder or first-degree assault will be charged as an adult in Maryland, as the juvenile courts do not have original jurisdiction over these cases.  Firearm offenses committed by juveniles 16 and over also must be tried in adult court pending a transfer request.

The Blog will continue to follow this tragic story and may post a follow up article in the future.  Frederick County has a relatively low rate of violent crime and especially homicide.  Over the past decade the murder rate has fluctuated between 1 and 5 per 100,000 of the population, which is typically on par with neighboring Montgomery County, but substantially lower than Prince George’s County, Baltimore County and of course Baltimore City.  Montgomery County recently recorded its highest number of murders ever, as a 35th case was recorded shortly before the year’s end.  If you or a loved one has been charged or is being investigated for murder, attempted murder, assault and any type of firearm offense call Maryland gun lawyer Benjamin Herbst anytime for a free consultation.  Benjamin specializes in offenses such as assault in the first degree, manslaughter, attempted murder and use of a firearm in a crime of violence.  He has defended clients in every jurisdiction in the state of Maryland including Frederick, Montgomery County and Baltimore.  He is also an experienced Eastern Shore criminal lawyer who has successfully defended clients in Wicomico, Worchester, Talbot and Dorchester Counties.  Call Benjamin anytime for a free consultation at 410-207-2598.
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weed4-300x194The 2022 Maryland legislative session is still a few weeks away from commencing, but there is already a proposed bill on the books.  House Bill 1 was pre-filed last week by a state delegate from Baltimore City, who is also the chairman of the state’s cannabis workgroup that was formed over the summer.  The text of the bill was made available to the public on December 22 but will not officially be introduced in Annapolis until January 12, 2022.  The bill basically directs the General Assembly to create law governing the legal use of cannabis for all adults over age over 21 as long as it passes in the next general election.  This means voters will ultimately decide whether marijuana becomes legal in November of 2022.  The question on the ballot will be short and sweet, and read “Do you favor the legalization of adult-use cannabis in the State of Maryland”.  As regular readers are aware, cannabis legalization has consistently been supported by the majority of Maryland residents according to scientific polling.  The most recent polling conducted by Goucher College in Towson has support for legalization over 60 percent, which is well beyond the possible margin of error.  If the voters act as Goucher predicts it looks like we’ll have recreational marijuana for sale in Maryland as early as July of 2023.

In order for this pre-filed bill to make it to become law and end up on the ballot in November it would have to be approved by at least three fifths of the total members of the House and Senate.  In reality there will likely be at least four fifths or 80 plus percent of lawmakers supporting the proposed referendum when it’s all said and done.  The legislature will then get busy creating rules for use, distribution, possession, regulation and taxation of cannabis within the state.  Two of the main issues regarding cannabis legalization (at least in the eyes of lawmakers) are determining where the tax revenue will go and addressing the impacts to law enforcement and the rest of the criminal justice system.  Some lawmakers have expressed concerns over the possibility of increased cases of impaired driving, and the inability of police to determine impairment, though law enforcement officers are already trained to recognize impairment from other substances besides alcohol.  Additionally, the standardized roadside exercises created by the NHTSA are not only designed for alcohol use.

The real drastic change for law enforcement after marijuana is legalized will be with probable cause determination to search upon stopping a vehicle.  Police will no longer be able to search a vehicle based on the smell of cannabis once it’s legalized for recreational use.  While possession of small amounts of pot are no longer criminal, it is still considered contraband for those of us without medical marijuana cards.  Contraband means  illegal regardless of whether there are criminal or civil punishments.  There will be exceptions to his rule of course, as drivers (and potentially passengers) under the age of 21 would likely still be subject to automobile searches by police.  Possession of marijuana by an individual under 21 will probably a similar civil infraction to possession of alcohol by a minor, but both are still illegal and require a court appearance.

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courtroom-898931_1280-300x226A former high ranking official for the Maryland Governor has pleaded not-guilty to four federal charges of wire fraud and two charges of misappropriation.  The 52-year-old former chief of staff to the Governor is accused of various missteps including using funds belonging to the State of Maryland to make a charitable contribution to a museum where he was a member of the board of directors.  The funds came from the Maryland Environmental Service corporation, where the defendant served as executive director prior to taking a position with the governor’s office in Annapolis.  Perhaps the most egregious allegation was that the defendant caused the board at his former employer to approve paying him a full year’s salary, over $200k, upon leaving to take the job with the governor.  The defendant apparently told the board that the governor himself approved to so called severance package, though the governor has vigorously denied any such approval.  In total, the former chief of staff is facing up to 100 years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.  He will obviously not serve anywhere close to the maximum amount of jail if convicted, but the charges are certainly severe.  The government informed the Federal Judge in the Baltimore courthouse that trial would take two weeks to complete, though there is no indication on whether advanced plea negotiations are taking place.  Discovery is apparently voluminous, and the defense needs time to assess the case before advising the client.

The same defendant is also facing a 27-count criminal information in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County for various other state offense including misconduct in office and violations of Maryland’s wiretapping laws.  There are allegations that the defendant secretly recorded conversations with the Governor and other high ranking state officials.  The state case has not been set for trial yet, and has a status conference scheduled in the middle of December.  There will likely be a ton of evidence for the defense to sift through in order to properly evaluate the case, so we do not expect a swift resolution.  Both cases may end up in trial or the defense may be able to work out some sort of global plea agreement.  Right now it is simply too early to tell which direction these cases are headed, but the Blog will post a follow-up article as news becomes available.

Maryland has strict laws regarding the recording or intercepting of private conversations and telephone calls, and each violation is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.  Even if another person uses or publishes a recording that has been intercepted unlawfully it could be a crime as long the publisher should have known a the recording was illegal.  Maryland is considered a two-party state when it comes to recording or intercepting conversations, which means both parties must be aware of the recording.  There are exceptions including when the police are conducting active investigations for a host of different crimes including murder, kidnapping, sex offenses, robbery, bribery, fraud, felony theft, firearms crimes and drug distribution.  In these cases the police may intercept wire, oral or electronic evidence in order to provide evidence of the crime.  The Maryland wiretapping law is codified under Title 10 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings section of the state laws, and not the criminal law section.  Subtitle 4 of the evidence part of this section covers wiretapping and electronic surveillance, and section 10-402 is the actual wiretapping law.

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handcuffs-2102488__480-300x169Earlier this week the mayor of Cambridge was arrested and charged with 50 misdemeanor counts for violating a Maryland statute commonly known as the revenge porn law.  The 32-year-old defendant is a graduate of Penn State University and a lifelong resident of Dorchester County.  When elected in January he became the youngest mayor in the history of Cambridge, and now it appears his time in office will end just shy of one year.  The charges were filed in the Circuit Court for Dorchester County via criminal information on November 15, which is the same day the arrest warrant was served.  This means the mayor likely knew about the pending charges in advance, and had time to hire counsel and plan a date to surrender to law enforcement.  The mayor was released on his own recognizance the same day he surrendered, likely as a result of his lack of prior record, strong ties to the community and voluntary surrender with counsel.  A scheduling conference is set for the first week in December, and from there status, motions and trial dates will be set.  Trial will likely be set sometime around April or May, but there is a good chance the case may be resolved before then.

According to the 27-page charging document the mayor’s ex-girlfriend contacted law enforcement back in May when she discovered nude photographs of herself on a social media platform.  The victim apparently told law enforcement she only sent the pictures to one person, the mayor, and never gave him permission to distribute or post them.   Law enforcement then traced the origin of the posts back to an IP address tied to the mayor’s home in Cambridge.  In total the defendant was charged with 50 counts in violation of Maryland law section 3-809, which is part of the stalking and harassment section of the criminal code.  This offense was created back in 2014, and is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each count.  In order to establish a violation of this offense the state must prove the defendant knowingly and without consent distributed a visual representation of another engaged in sexual activity or with intimate parts exposed with the intent to harm, harass or intimidate the person depicted.  It seems clear from the charging document that the images meet the criteria, and the victim did not consent.  Therefore, all that is left to prove is that the defendant himself knowingly posted the pictures.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor, which is an independent office that was established in 1976 in order to combat public corruption.  The creation of this office may have stemmed directly from the outrage over the Watergate scandal during Nixon’s presidency.  Functions of the office include investigating, and if warranted, prosecuting government officials, employees or institutions that are alleged to have engaged in offenses such as bribery, extortion, perjury, obstruction of justice, voting law violations, misconduct in office and any other criminal offense.  The State Prosecutor’s Office is located in Towson, and is a separate entity from the Attorney General’s Office.  Located in Baltimore City, the AG prosecutes public corruption as well as complex multi-jurisdictional criminal schemes such as gang activity and drug distribution rings.

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pistol-1350484_1280-300x200Maryland has become notorious in the region for having overly harsh gun laws, and easily ranks among the top ten states in the country for the strictest set of laws.  The gun laws in neighboring states to the south and west such as Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina are not even in the same league as Maryland.  The same is true for other East Coast states including South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.  In these states it is legal and fairly common to transport a firearm in a vehicle, and in some it’s perfectly legal to carry a handgun on your person without a permit.  Maryland’s gun laws are far more in line with New Jersey and New York when it comes to carrying and transporting handguns and other firearms, and violations of these laws often mean immediate arrest and potential jail time.  The Second Amendment however does still offer some protection for Maryland gun owners who wish to legally arm themselves in public, provided they fit the eligibility requirements and are willing to navigate the miles of red tape it takes to obtain a permit.

In this post we will give a brief overview of the process to obtain a license to carry a handgun, and the possible hurdles a potential applicant may face.  The Handgun Qualification License or HQL does not allow a person to do anything but purchase a firearm, and will not be discussed further in this post.  The majority of Maryland gun laws are listed under the Public Safety Article, which contains dozens of statutes ranging from simple to highly confusing.  Title 5 deals with all the firearm laws and subtitle 3 codifies the handgun permit regulations.  According to §5-303 a permit is required any time a civilian wishes to carry a handgun.  Transportation of a gun may still be legal without a permit provided the owner has complied with the criminal statute that mandates the firearm be in a case, unloaded and inaccessible by the driver.  The gun owner would also be limited to traveling to and from his or her home or a gun range/shop.

The first step in obtaining a Maryland handgun carry license is to determine eligibility.  There is no sense in wasting the time and money to apply only to be denied due to ineligibility.  An applicant must be an adult and cannot have a felony conviction or a conviction for a misdemeanor if more than 1-year of incarceration was imposed.  Federal law would also prohibit an applicant who has any criminal conviction for an offense that carries more than 2 years of incarceration, regardless of the length of the actual sentence.  Most people who are interested in applying for a carry permit are well aware of these few provisions, and probably would not bother applying in the first place.  What they may not be aware of is that Maryland law also prohibits anyone with a drug conviction of any kind from obtaining a carry permit.  This includes possession of marijuana, and cases that may have occurred decades ago.  Applicants must also not be habitual users of drugs or alcohol or have exhibited a propensity for violence or instability.  This last provision may apply to anyone who has been served with a domestic violence protective order.

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