In Texas, gun and illegal weapons offenses carry the potential for huge monetary fines as well as jail time. Upon conviction, you will have a criminal record and potentially lose the right to ever own or carry a gun in the future. A weapon offense lawyer in Garland from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help protect your legal rights and work diligently on your behalf to quickly resolve the situation.
Call us today at 214-696-9253.
What Penalties Can I Face for Illegal Weapons Charges in Texas?
In Garland, some of the most common weapons offenses relate to illegally carrying a firearm or carrying an illegal or banned weapon.
Another common weapon offense concerns people with prior felony convictions (in the last five years), active restraining orders, or prior domestic assault convictions.
A simple weapon offense typically carries class A or class B misdemeanor charges.
Conviction on a class B misdemeanor means the potential of a $2,000 fine and up to 6 months’ in jail. Conviction on a class A misdemeanor means a potential $4,000 fine and as much as 1 year in jail.
Under certain circumstances, prosecutors can increase weapons charges to felony status. In Texas, felony convictions carry the following penalties:
State Jail Felony
$10,000 fine, up to 2 years in jail
$10,000 fine, up to 10 years in prison
$10,000 fine, up to 20 years in prison
$10,000 fine, up to 99 years in prison
What if your weapon offense occurred along with another crime?
You may face aggravated charges if you carried a weapon in the course of committing another crime — whether or not you used or even pulled the weapon.
In the case of a robbery, for example, having a weapon during the commission of the crime qualifies you for aggravated robbery charges.
The penalties for an aggravated weapon offense will depend on the nature of your charges, whether you have any prior convictions on your record, and whether a child was present during the commission of the crime.
In some cases, the prosecution may seek federal weapons violations charges in addition to or instead of Texas state charges. If so, you may face a federal indictment or even a grand jury.
What are Texas’s firearms and weapons laws?
In accordance with Section 46 of the Texas Penal Code (TPC), most Texas residents can legally own a gun but they must keep it out of sight either in their car or their home. However, there are certain weapons that residents cannot possess, as well as certain places in which residents cannot carry a weapon.
Texas Gun Laws
In Texas, the law prohibits you from possessing, manufacturing, transporting, working on, or selling the following items:
- Machine guns
- Armor-piercing ammunition
- Short-barrel guns
The law also prohibits you from carrying ammunition or accessories for any of the above weapons.
The TPC prohibits open carry of a firearm in the following locations:
- Nursing homes
- Amusement parks
In Garland, Title 7 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) permits you to carry a concealed weapon. However, you must also possess a handgun license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS). You must also keep the gun holstered.
You may not, however, carry a concealed handgun in any of the following locations.
- State or federal buildings
- Open voting sites
- Racetrack or OTR betting sites
Texas law also prohibits possessing or owning a gun if you belong to a known criminal street gang or if any court has prohibited you from firearms ownership.
Non-Firearm Weapon Laws
Under Texas law, you may not own, possess, carry, sell or trade any of the following items.
- Brass knuckles
- Grenades, bombs, rockets, or other explosive devices
- Nightsticks, maces, tomahawks, blackjacks, or other clubs
- Zip guns
- Fake bombs
- Chemical dispensing devices
As of September 1, 2017, it is legal to openly carry knives with blades longer than 5.5 inches.
How can a weapon offense lawyer in Garland help?
The first advantage that a weapon offense lawyer offers is an in-depth knowledge of both Texas and federal weapons laws.
Your attorney will also understand how to quickly identify and recover evidence relevant to your case and review it for potential weaknesses. Your lawyer can use this evidence to negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduction of your charges or even a dismissal.
In fact, if the state has not yet pressed charges against you, getting your lawyer on board as soon as possible may help you avoid formal charges.
The other invaluable service that a weapon offense attorney provides is wise counsel. Your lawyer can ensure that you understand your options and assist you in making the right choice for your future.
If you have a criminal record, having an attorney becomes even more important, due to the harsh penalties you face. And, if your charges include weapon offenses at a government facility (e.g., school, airport, etc.) or other restricted location, having a Garland gun charges lawyer on your side may be the only way to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.
Call Randall B. Isenberg for a FREE Consultation Today.
Act quickly if you face a Texas weapons offense, especially if the prosecution has not yet pressed charges.
Weapon charges do not automatically lead to a conviction and an attorney can work quickly to build a case in your defense. Your lawyer can endeavor to negotiate your charges down or away or, if necessary, present a robust court case in your defense.
Attorney Randall Isenberg will bring more than three decades of experience to your case, including time spent working as a felony prosecutor and as a state judge. This experience, combined with an in-depth knowledge of Texas and federal laws, can help ensure the protection of your legal rights and produce the best possible outcome in your case.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg provides a free consultation and case review for potential clients facing Texas weapons charges. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to speak directly with a weapon offense lawyer in Garland: 214-696-9253.