While Texas law has expansive laws concerning the ability to carry firearms, there are various circumstances in which carrying a firearm is illegal. If you are in one of the following situations, you could face charges for unlawful possession of a firearm. As a result, you can face significant penalties if convicted.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm Charges
If you are a convicted felon, you cannot legally possess a firearm for five years following your release from incarceration, or, alternatively, your release from community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision. After that five-year period has elapsed, you can possess a firearm, but only when you are on your property. Texas law further restricts you from possessing a firearm if you have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor for family violence, or violence against your family or household member, also for a five-year period following your release from confinement or community supervision, whichever is later. Likewise, if you are subject to a restraining order or protective order, you cannot possess a firearm so long as the order remains in effect.
In most cases, unlawful possession of a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000. In other cases, however, unlawful possession of a firearm constitutes a felony of the third degree, which carries a sentence of up to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Fortunately, there are some defenses to this crime. For instance, you may be able to argue that you did not knowingly or intentionally possess a firearm. You also can present evidence that you had a reasonable belief that your actions did not violate the law. Additionally, you may have a defense if you can prove that possession of a firearm was necessary, such as if you were a victim of a crime that placed you in serious danger.
When you are charged with any type of criminal offense in the state of Texas, including unlawful possession of a firearm, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests from the very beginning of your case. We are here to evaluate the facts surrounding your case, present your options, and provide you with the strongest defense possible. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.