Anyone who is facing weapons charges in Texas should begin working with our experienced Dallas weapons charge defense attorneys to begin developing a defense strategy. Given that weapons charges can be based on various alleged acts—from possession of a weapon to use of a weapon—defense strategies for weapons charges can vary widely and will require distinct defense strategies. Indeed, for any case where a person is facing weapons charges, the defense strategy should be tailored to the specific facts of the case and must be tailored to the precise elements of the offense. While you should always work on the particulars of your defense with a weapons defense attorney to ensure that the strategy is appropriate for your case, the following are common weapons defense charges.
Sometimes a law enforcement officer will induce another person to become involved in a criminal act, such as the purchase or discharge of a firearm or another weapon. In such cases, it may be possible to raise the defense of entrapment, but there are specific elements of the defense that must be met.
Self-defense is a common defense strategy for weapons offenses involving the use of a firearm or another weapon. According to Texas law, self-defense is part of the broader category of “justification as a defense.” You can raise the defense of self-defense if you can prove that you were “justified in using force against another when and to the degree” that you reasonably believed that the force was “immediately necessary” to protect you against another person’s “use or attempted use of unlawful force.”
In sum, self-defense requires you to prove that you had a reasonable belief that the use of the weapon was necessary to protect yourself or another person against somebody else.
Fourth Amendment Violation
If you were caught with an unlawful weapon during a search, you may be able to raise the issue of a Fourth Amendment violation in your defense. Police must have probable cause to conduct a search, and if you were personally searched or your property was searched when there was no probable cause, you could argue that an unlawful search and seizure occurred.
Accidental Discharge of a Firearm
Arguing that you accidentally discharged a firearm will likely only be a strong defense if you are facing charges that require intent. Otherwise, it is important to know that, under the Texas Penal Code, the reckless discharge of a firearm—even if it is accidental—can result in Class A misdemeanor charges and felony charges in some circumstances. However, if you are facing charges for a more serious offense that involves an intent to fire a weapon or an intent to cause serious bodily injury or death, you could seek to have your charges reduced.
Contact a Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing weapons charges in Texas, you should get in touch with one of our experienced Dallas criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible to begin developing a defense strategy to help you beat the charges. In some cases, even if you cannot get an acquittal, we may be able to have your charges reduced. Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC to learn more about the criminal defense services we offer.