Are You Facing Charges Involving Guns Or Other Weapons?
While Texas is very friendly to gun owners, the penalty for violating a weapons law in Texas is harsh. Retaining a knowledgeable and experienced San Antonio criminal lawyer can increase your chances of fighting your pending charges successfully. Our attorneys at Clarissa Fernandez Pratt, Attorney at Law, always aim for a dismissal of all charges, and they have a reputation for aggressive representation in Bexar County and surrounding areas. Hiring the right lawyer can reduce your sentence, probation period and even your fines.
Common Firearm And Weapon Charges In Texas
Some weapons charges stem directly from possessing or using a firearm or other weapon, while others may be included as part of committing another crime. Common charges include:
- Improper gun discharge in a municipality
- Unlawful carrying of a weapon
- Possession of a stolen weapon
- Use of a deadly weapon while committing a crime
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
Whatever charges you face, the consequences can be quite serious and result in the loss of your right to own or carry firearms, in addition to other penalties.
Texas Open Carry Law
House Bill 910 allows citizens to open carry a handgun in Texas so long as gun owners carry the handguns in a shoulder or belt holster in most public places without a permit. Handgun owners should be cautious upon entering a private establishment and be on the lookout for prohibited carry signage. Concealed handgun licenses are still required for those wanting to carry concealed handguns in their purse or on their person. If you find yourself facing firearm charges, call an experienced San Antonio gun charge lawyer to help.
What Happens To Your Gun Rights After Being Accused Of Domestic Violence?
When someone is convicted of assault causing bodily injury involving a family member, domestic partner, spouse, dating relationship or roommate, they are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm for five years after their release from jail, probation or prison. Family is defined as foster children, foster parents, current and former spouses, blood relatives, and individuals who have a child together, and even roommates. Texas Penal Code Chapter 46 also prohibits firearm possession if someone is subject to a protective order.
Felon In Possession Of A Firearm Charges
In Texas, convicted felons cannot legally possess a firearm and may face serious consequences if found with one. Texas Penal Code 46.04 places restrictions on firearm ownership by convicted felons. Under the statute, if a convicted felon possesses a firearm within five years of their felony conviction and has completed their prison or probation sentence, they can be found guilty of unlawfully possessing a firearm.
A conviction for a felon in possession of a firearm is usually a third-degree felony offense or class A misdemeanor that carries up to 10 years of prison time and up to a $10,000 fine. However, in certain circumstances, five years after a felon’s release from prison, parole or probation, a felon can possess a firearm in their home under Texas law.
Common Consequences For A Texas Weapons Charge
Weapons charges in Texas are considered misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances of the crime. Texas takes unlawful possession of a weapon, including firearms, very seriously.
Unlawfully carrying a weapon in Texas is generally charged as a class A misdemeanor, which carries up to one year in county jail and up to $4,000 in fines. Certain circumstances may lead to a third-degree felony charge, such as owning a firearm as a felon or carrying a gun into an establishment that sells alcohol. A felony conviction has harsh penalties, including up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
What Is Considered A Federal Gun And Weapons Crime?
Generally, any offense that occurs while crossing state boards can be charged as a federal crime. For example, if someone smuggles weapons or ammunition across state lines, it will be a federal offense.
Federal gun and weapons crimes range from violent offenses to nonviolent crimes, including:
- Possessing a gun as a convicted felon
- Bringing a firearm into a restricted place
- Illegal sales of firearms
- Fraud in the purchase or sale of a firearm
- Using a gun during the commission of a crime
While gun charges are convicted at the state and the federal level, federal crimes are typically more severe in nature and carry tougher penalties.
Common Consequences For A Federal Gun Crime
Federal gun charges are serious and carry harsh penalties, typically more severe than state weapons charges. The manner and length of punishment will heavily depend on the circumstances of the case. Still, each crime carries a mandatory minimum sentence.
The minimum sentence for possessing a gun during a crime is five years, seven for brandishing a gun and 10 years for discharging a firearm during a crime. The mandatory minimum sentence increases with severity. For example, possessing a machine gun during the commission of a crime has a minimum sentence of 30 years in prison. These sentences also come with expensive fines that vary based on the offense.
Schedule A Free Consultation
It is very important to consult with an attorney before any protective order hearing or pending family violence charge. Hiring an experienced San Antonio weapons charge defense attorney can increase your chances of a dismissal. Call our team at Clarissa Fernandez Pratt, Attorney at Law, at 210-920-2535 or reach out online for a free consultation.