Texas is among the most pro-gun states in our country. Still, some laws and regulations govern when, where, and how you can carry a weapon. If you have been accused of carrying a gun or another weapon into certain prohibited locations such as bars or airport terminals, you may face fines, jail time, and other penalties. You may also risk losing your license to carry firearms.
A Dallas lawyer for unlawful carrying of a weapon (UCW) is ready to fight the charges levied against you. Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg to schedule a free case review, during which a member of our Dallas criminal defense lawyers will explain the criminal charges you are facing, your rights, and all available legal options. Our Dallas weapons defense lawyers are ready to help you!
Understanding the Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon Statute in Texas
For years, Texas residents were prohibited from open and concealed carrying of weapons without a permit. That changed in 2021 when House Bill 1927 became law. This bill grants permitless carrying of a handgun to all Texas residents over age 21, except those barred by the state or federal government from owning a gun.
However, HB1927 still prohibits firearms for certain individuals and restricts certain weapon-related acts. Texas Penal Code Sec 46.02 details these restrictions.
A person may face a UCW charge in Texas if:
- They intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carry a handgun while:
- Being under 21 years of age, or
- Being convicted of an assault, deadly conduct, terrorist threat, or disorderly conduct within the last 5 years, and
- The person is not:
- On their personal property or a property under their control, or
- Inside or directly en-route to a vehicle or watercraft under their name or control
Furthermore, a Texas resident can also be cited a UCW charge if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carry a handgun in their personal vehicle or watercraft at any time during which:
- The weapon is in plain view, and the gun is secured in a holster.
- The person is engaged in a higher criminal activity than a Class C misdemeanor and is not a traffic or boating law-related violation. This applies even if you are otherwise legally allowed to carry that weapon.
- The law prohibits the person from owning a firearm.
Those under 18 can be charged with a UCW if they intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carry a location-restricted knife (a knife with a blade over 5.5 inches in length) and is not:
- In a property, motor vehicle, or watercraft that they own or is under their control
- Under the direct supervision of their parent or legal guardian
The UCW statute pertains to multiple types of weapons such as firearms, clubs, explosive weapons, and knives.
Although Texas is a strong proponent of its citizens’ gun rights, there are still many laws that govern who can carry weapons and where. If you are being investigated for a UCW-related offense in Dallas, contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg to protect your rights, freedom, and finances.
Fines and Other Consequences of a UCW Conviction in Dallas
Unlawfully carrying a weapon is generally classified as a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties including up to one year of jail time and/or a fine capped at $4,000, per Texas Penal Code 12.21.
A UCW for those under the age of 18 charged with carrying a location-restricted knife is classified as a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine not exceeding $500.
Unlawfully carrying a weapon on a property where alcohol is sold can result in a third-degree felony, which is punishable with a jail sentence between two and ten years. In addition, you may also be cited a fine of up to $10,000.
Aside from that, having a weapon-related offense on your criminal record can leave you with long-term consequences that may jeopardize your quality of life long after you have finished paying your legal dues. Some of the consequences that may follow you include:
- Difficulty in obtaining housing
- Difficulty in obtaining a mortgage or business or personal loan
- Difficulty in getting a job
- Potentially losing your license to carry for several years if charged with a misdemeanor or indefinitely if charged with a felony
- Potentially losing your professional license if it pertains to industries such as healthcare, nursing, or education
- Losing your children’s custody
- Potentially losing the ability to renew or apply for a security clearance
If you face weapons-related charges in Dallas, do not gamble with your life. A criminal defense attorney from our team can review your case during an initial consultation and determine the best strategy that may bring you a favorable outcome.
Let Our Criminal Defense Attorney, Randall Isenberg, Fight Your UCW Charges
For over 30 years, our Texas criminal defense attorney, Randall Isenberg, has represented some of the toughest criminal cases throughout Texas. When fighting your charges, Isenberg draws from his experience as a former prosecutor and state district judge, which gives him an end-to-end knowledge of the criminal justice system and the courtroom from all sides.
If you face criminal charges for unlawful carrying of a weapon, such as a firearm, club, or a location-restricted knife, our firm can investigate your case to determine the most effective attack based on the circumstances of your case.
Some of the elements that will be assessed include:
- Whether you intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carried the weapon in question
- Whether you were on your own property, vehicle, or watercraft
- Whether you were committing a significant criminal offense while carrying that weapon
Your Dallas criminal defense attorney will be there with you throughout the criminal justice process, from questioning to pre- and post-trial procedures. Depending on the facts surrounding your case, we may be able to have the charges against you dismissed. If that is not possible, our goal would be to get a reduced charge.
Dallas Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon Lawyer Near Me (214) 696-9253
Schedule a Case Review with Our Texas Unlawful Carrying of Weapons Lawyer
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg to set up an initial consultation, during which legal counsel will review your case, help you understand all your options, and guide you through the next best steps.
Contact us to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our criminal defense team.