Dallas Weapons Crimes Lawyers
Defense against Firearm & Other Serious Charges
Texas has some of the most favorable laws regarding firearm possession and ownership, but it is still common for Texans to be charged with weapon, firearm, and gun crimes. Contrary to popular belief, some of the penalties for weapons charges in Texas can be quite harsh if the case is not handled properly. An aggressive Dallas weapons charge attorney can greatly minimize the fines and other punishments you face.
Types of weapon and firearm charges in Texas:
- Improper gun discharge
- Possession of an illegal gun or carrying a gun illegally
- Selling or gifting a gun illegally
- Use of a weapon while committing a crime
Texas Open Carry & Concealed Handgun Laws
As per House Bill 910 of the 2015 Texas legislative session, it is legal for people with open carry license to carry openly in the state of Texas for 2016, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. This means that hundreds of thousands of Texans that own handguns are now able to openly carry them without a permit in shoulder or belt holsters in most public places. A Concealed Handgun License (CHL) is still necessary for those wishing to carry concealed handguns. You may face criminal charges if you do not have a CHL which can have serious repercussions for future employment and licensing.
How Are Weapons Charges Made?
There are various ways in which a Texas gun-owner (legally or illegally) may be charged with a weapon crime. Someone may tip off the police that an individual is in possession of a weapon or firearm illegally, or carrying a concealed handgun without a permit. Police may find a gun or other weapon on the body of a person during a stop and frisk, or at a routine traffic stop for speeding or other infractions of traffic laws, or for making an arrest on a separate charge.
Another common occurrence is for people to forget they have a weapon stored in hand carried luggage until they are at the airport, when security scanners find the weapon. If you find yourself facing unlawful possession of a firearm charges, call an experienced Dallas gun charge lawyer to get help.
Illegal Weapons in the State of Texas
Unless federally licensed, a curio made before 1899, or an antique, the following weapons are never allowed in the state of Texas as per state statute: Machine guns, explosive devices (rockets, bombs, grenades, mines), sawed off or altered shotguns, and rifles less than 26 inches long, shotguns with barrels shorter than 18 inches, rifles with barrels shorter than 16 inches, and zip improvised hand guns.
Possession of any of the above weapons is considered a third-degree felony and carries a punishment of two to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Brass knuckles and switchblades are also illegal and carry a punishment of a Class A misdemeanor and are punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Chemical dispensing devices (mace), armor-piercing ammunition, and tire deflation devices are also illegal.
Additionally, those who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor domestic assault cannot legally possess any type of firearm in Texas within five year of their release from prison, jail, or probation, and after that five year period that individual is only permitted to keep a firearm at their home. Violating these laws is a third-degree felony if the previous conviction was a felony, and a Class A misdemeanor if the previous conviction was a domestic assault conviction.
Can I Own a Firearm if I Was Convicted of Domestic Violence?
According to Texas law, when someone is convicted of domestic violence in Texas, they are often prohibited from possessing firearms for five years after their release. This is most commonly seen with individuals who were convicted of a Class A misdemeanor for causing intentional harm to someone their family.
Texas law states that “family” includes foster children, foster parents, current and former spouses, blood relatives, and individuals who have a child together.
Additionally, Texas Penal Code Chapter 46 states that an individual cannot possess a firearm after they’ve received mention that they are subject to a protective order. The order must also explain the consequences of possessing a firearm or ammo. Further, the courts are often encouraged to suspend concealed-carry licenses from individuals who are subject to protective orders.
Contact a Dallas Weapons Charge Defense Attorney Today
No matter the charge against you, hiring an experienced Dallas weapons charge defense attorney with the Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC will greatly increase your chances of decreased firearm or weapons charges or a dismissal of charges altogether.
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