Weapons Defense in Maine
Serving the Areas of Biddeford, Bangor, Saco, Augusta and Portland
Weapons charges can result from a variety of situations, as the broad term 'weapon' can be applied in many ways. A weapon can include almost anything that is used to inflict bodily injury upon another person, such as a firearm, knife, explosive device, baseball bat, and even feet or fists.
According to the weapons laws in Maine, you may not “Display in a threatening manner a firearm, slungshot, knuckles, bowie knife, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous or deadly weapon usually employed in the attack on or defense of a person”. You are also prohibited from carrying aconcealed weapon unless it is a special circumstance such as you are carrying a knife for hunting or fishing purpose or you have a gun permit that allows you to carry a concealed handgun.
Assault with a Weapon
Harming another person with a weapon is an aggravated assault crime. Assault charges must include intent and actual harm. If no one is injured, less serious charges for terrorizing or criminal threatening will likely be placed on the offender. If anyone is hurt in the slightest, this is enough to prove assault as long as there was also intent. Accidentally firing a gun or injuring a friend with a weapon can still result in criminal charges, but it will not be classified as aggravated assault because the crime was not “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly”.
Maine Gun Laws
While there are many types of articles that can be considered weapons, our attorneys have noticed that the most common weapons crimes in Maine are those that involve violation of state gun and firearm laws. These offenses can have harsh penalties especially if someone is injured. These charges include, but are not limited to:
- Carrying a concealed firearm or weapon without a permit
- Shooting into, from, or at a building or home
- Brandishing a firearm
- Purchasing a weapon illegally
- Unlawfully selling a weapon
- Illegal distribution of a weapon
Gun laws in Maine are not as strict as many other states. Most types of guns and ammunition are legal in Maine with the exception of machine guns and armor piercing ammunition. There is also no waiting period necessary to purchase a firearm. Guns are also illegal on or near school property and violation of this law is a misdemeanor offense. It is also illegal to carry a gun in a courthouse or anywhere in a public space when intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
If convicted, charges of this nature can result a severe limit on an individual's personal freedoms, and they will have to suffer the damaging effects of a criminal record. Those facing allegations of a weapons offense should immediately retain aggressive, determined legal defense.
Who is prohibited from owning a gun?
You can also be charged with a gun law violation for possessing a gun if you not legally allowed to own one in Maine. You may not sell guns to these certain people as well. The law prohibits certain individuals from carrying a gun. It is illegal for a person to carry a gun if:
- They were convicted of a crime punishable by at least 1 year incarceration in Maine
- They were convicted of a crime punishable by more than a year in prison in another state (except certain misdemeanors)
- They committed a crime using a dangerous weapon or firearm in Maine or any other state or federal jurisdiction
- There is a domestic violence protection order against them in Maine or any other state that orders them to cease hurting or threatening an intimate partner or that partner's child
- They were convicted of one of the above offenses as a juvenile
- They were found not guilty of any of the above crimes due to insanity or mental illness
Maine Criminal Defense Lawyer
When it comes to criminal justice, what constitutes a crime is open to interpretation. Aggravated assault, for example, requires the act of violence to be done “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly”. Imagine a scenario where a gun goes off by accident and someone is hurt. Though it was not done intentionally, the prosecution could argue that firing a gun under any circumstances is reckless behavior. For reasons like this, it is important to make sure that you have a quality legal defense.
Police look to crack down on individuals who violate gun and weapons laws. Fortunately, you have rights and an arrest does not mean that you are guilty. Our attorneys will work hard to build your defense and make sure your rights were not violated during your arrest. If you are facing charges for a crime involving a weapon or violation of Maine guns laws, call our criminal defense attorneys right now. Don't let a weapons charge affect you for the rest of your life, get the legal aid that you need.