Carry a weapon in public? A former prosecutor violates the law! (2021)
Have you been arrested and charged with illegally carrying a weapon in Texas? Perhaps the police claim that you illegally carried a firearm, rifle, or other type of weapon? It can be confusing to say exactly what is and is not legal when it comes to owning a gun or any other weapon in Texas.
Recent legislation has further blurred the lines, and many have inadvertently broken the law as a result of this confusion. If he has been wrongly accused of possession of a firearm, contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney today.
Can you open a loaded gun in Texas?
There is a common misconception that since Texas is an open carry state, you can buy a gun and carry it anytime, anywhere without a license. However, this is not the case. There are still restrictions that must be taken into account if you decide to open the transport.
Pursuant to Texas Criminal LawYou can openly uploada long barreled weapon. However, an amendment to Texas firearms law under the Firearms Transportation Act of 2021 provides that a person who carries a firearm in public may do so by concealing the firearm and ensuring that no part of the firearm is fully or partially exposed OR the firearm is open in a holster.
Even so, you may not carry weapons near colleges or universities, polling stations, courthouses, airports, bars, professional sporting events, jails or jails or hospitals or nursing homes. You are also not allowed to carry a weapon in a public place while intoxicated.
While the new open carry law sounds liberal, there are other laws that prohibit you from carrying and owning certain weapons, with restrictions on when and where you can carry them.
If you break the law and arecharged with illegal possession of firearmsIt can have dire consequences for your life. Depending on the circumstances of the charge and whether you have a criminal record, if convicted, you could pay a hefty fine and serve a lengthy sentence in county jail or jail.
There are many different weapons charges under the Texas Penal Code with different penalties. Penalties increase significantly if you use a weapon in the commission of another crime or if you have previously been convicted of a crime.
regardless of whether you arecharged with misdemeanoror a firearms case, you should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney who will help you fight for your freedom.
Carrying a weapon illegally
If you have been arrested in Fort Worth or a neighboring town in Tarrant County, Texas and charged with illegally carrying a weapon, you need the help of an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney to ensure those charges are erased from your criminal record. People often think of a gun or a knife when they hear the term "weapon." However, "Weapon" can contain a number of items that you wouldn't normally consider.
LowTexas Penal Code Section 46.01,Waffenare defined as:
- Explosive devices such as grenades, bombs, rockets, etc.
- Clubs like batons, tomahawks, clubs.
- Shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches in length.
- Rifles with barrels less than 16 inches in length.
- Rifles and shotguns modified so that the overall length is less than 26 inches.
- Knives with a blade longer than five and a half inches, including a bowie knife, sword, or spear.
- machine guns.
- air guns.
- Brass stamps.
- Silencers for firearms.
- A tire deflation device.
also lowTexas Penal Code Section 46.02, the state of Texas must establish beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements of the offense of unlawful possession of a firearm:
“A person commits a criminal offense if the person: (1) intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a firearm; (2) at the time of the offense: you are under the age of 21; or have been convicted of a felony or felony committed within the five years preceding the date the felony in question was committed; and not on the person's own premises or premises under his control; or on or directly en route to a motor vehicle or vessel owned or controlled by the person.”
In other words, it is illegal in Texas to carry a "gun, knife, or club" in your vehicle that is "in plain sight" when not on your property or under your control.
Penalties for Illegal Gun Possession in Texas
Unless you have a license to carry a weapon, it is illegal to knowingly and intentionally carry a weapon when it is not on your property. The penalty imposed will depend on the weapon involved and where you were at the time of the crime, and you will need the help of an illegal firearms lawyer.
Penalties are heightened if the weapon is carried near a school, a place where alcoholic beverages are sold, a courthouse, a racetrack, a polling place on Election Day, or the security perimeter of an airport. Even if you have a legal right to own a gun, if you sell or lend it to someone who does not have a legal right to own it, or allow a child to have access to a gun without protection, additional penalties will apply.
Exceptions apply to the possession of antiques. You may also carry a weapon in your vehicle as long as it is not visible.
Texas Gun Laws
Texas law places restrictions on your right to keep and carry a weapon and when you have the right to possess certain firearms. Texas law states that in order to carry a concealed weapon in public, you must have a Texas state license. However, even if you are authorized to carry a handgun or firearm in the state of Texas, you are prohibited from carrying a handgun or concealed weapon in any county or state jail, school, or bar.
Whether or not you have a Texas state carry license, Texas law prohibits you from displaying a deadly weapon in public in a manner that causes fear or alarm. Violation of this Texas law can result in one count of misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in the Tarrant County jail.
If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm, disorderly conduct, unlawful discharge of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm/weapon, or fatal conduct, the law firm of Hampton will carefully investigate and consider the firearm. prosecution and will fight for his freedom and to protect his right to continue to carry a weapon in the state of Texas. Call our Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers today!
Illegal possession of weapons
Texas law prohibits certain groups of people from possessing a weapon. You cannot own weapons if:
- He has a criminal record for which he has served a prison sentence and it has been less than five years since he was released.
- You are a government employee and there is a protection order or injunction against you.
- You have been convicted of domestic violence, either a misdemeanor or a felony, and it has been less than five years since you served your sentence, whether the sentence ranges from community service to prison.
When you have been charged with a misdemeanor or firearms possession charge, you need the services of an experienced Fort Worth criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight for your freedom and ensure that all of your constitutional rights are protected. .
Defense Against Texas Gun Charges
If you have been arrested and charged with illegally carrying a weapon, your number one priority should be to hire the best criminal defense attorney in Fort Worth or your Texas area to begin formulating a defense strategy to protect your liberty and integrity. criminal record. Part of this process requires that you educate yourself on Texas gun laws so that you are willing to work with your criminal defense attorney for your defense. Let's take a look at some effective legal defenses when accused of illegally carrying a weapon.
Absence of criminal intent to carry the weapon.
The State of Texas must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possessed or possessed a firearm or other defined weapon. What if you didn't know you had a gun in your possession? What if carrying the gun was a mistake or an accident?
For example, we represent several clients who have been accused of illegally transporting weapons at an airport. Under Texas criminal law, carrying a weapon at an airport is defined as a prohibited location, classified as a third degree felony, and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. However, it often happens that a client goes through airport security and forgets that he left his gun in his bag, which he took from the shooting range. Obviously, the client would never have intentionally or knowingly brought the weapon to the airport.
The real question is, would this apparent mistake or accident be considered "reckless" by Texas gun laws? Our argument has always been that it is negligence, not recklessness. Remember that "recklessness" is defined in Texas criminal law as "a person acts or is reckless with respect to the circumstances of his conduct or the result of his conduct when he is aware of something material and unjustifiable affecting him" . circumstances or result will occur. In this scenario, we argued that our client was not "aware" of the risk and did not "knowingly disregard" it. Often airport gun cases may go before a grand jury because the case may not be billed, paving the way for the arrest and criminal charge to be removed from the client's criminal record.
You were on your own premises
What if you were carrying a weapon illegally, but the place where you were carrying the weapon was a place or property that you owned or controlled? In this situation, the prosecutor cannot prove the crime of illegal firearms possession unless he can establish beyond a reasonable doubt that your possession of the firearm occurred at a location or property that was NOT under the control of he.
Consult an Experienced Firearms and Firearms Lawyer
You need someone to keep up with the ever-changing gun laws in Texas. For example, a new law went into effect on January 1, 2016, and more changes were made to Texas gun laws in September 2021. It is critical that you work with an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney who stays up to date with gun laws in Texas and have a proven track record of helping the citizens of Tarrant County and North Texas drop their gun charges.
If you are in the Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield, Tarrant County, Parker County, Johnson County or Denton County area, contact theHampton Law Firmnow for a free consultation and to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Jeff Hampton has years of experience defending firearms crimes and will work tirelessly to resolve your case. In addition, The Hampton Law Firm consists of a team of six experienced criminal defense attorneys working as Tarrant County prosecutors, with over 85 years of criminal law experience and over 550 jury trials in Tarrant County courts and of North Texas.
Call now for a free case review and free consultation at 817-826-9885.