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Baltimore weapons convictions leading to harsher prison sentences

The fight against violence in Baltimore is a common political focal point. Lately, the focus has been on violence among youth. Numbers now show that the criminal justice system has intensified its castigation against defendants arrested for gun charges in Baltimore.

According to The Baltimore Sun, convicted gun offenders in the city are serving more time than they have in the past. The mayor takes pride in this fact, using it as support for recent, current and future efforts to further combat violence in the area.

Research shows that in 2009, the average prison sentence that convicted gun offenders served was less than three years. Defendants would be sentenced to several years in prison and have the majority of their sentences suspended.

As of 2011, that relatively lenient trend changed. The average time in prison served following felony gun convictions last year was more than five years. Judges are suspending less of the sentences, sending the message that the system will not go easy on cases involving firearms.

The trend in gun offender sentencing also sends a message to defendants and defendants' families. A felony gun charge is nothing to take lightly. As data proves, weapons charges can result in serious penalties, penalties that could possibly be mitigated with the help of an aggressive criminal defense attorney.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Baltimore gun offenders serving longer sentences," Tricia Bishop, May 29, 2012

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