While Texas offers its residents a variety of gun rights, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution and state law, there are still several ways you can potentially face weapons charges in the state. Keep in mind, Texas considers guns a weapon, but there are also other items which are categorized as weapons including:
- Brass knuckles
- Knives (including switchblades)
- Chemical sprays and more
While the most common types of charges will involve firearms, it is important to understand that the above referenced weapons could result in criminal charges as well. This is particularly true if you are in possession of any of these weapons while found committing another crime, or if you are stopped on a routine traffic stop and these weapons are identified on your person or in your vehicle.
Illegal Possession or Ineligible Person
There are certain types of weapons that are illegal to carry in the state of Texas. This includes switchblades, brass knuckles and certain modified long-guns. Additionally, there are certain persons who are not eligible to carry a firearm, including those who have been previously convicted of domestic violence charges, and anyone who, in the last five years, has served time or been on probation for a felony.
Special Circumstance Weapons Charges
There are specific circumstances where you can be facing weapons charges in Texas, even if the weapon is legal and you have the requisite permits. For example, if you carry a weapon into an establishment that serves alcohol and they have a no-carry rule, you could be facing felony charges. Anyone who owns a firearm and allows that weapon to be handled by a child under the age of 17, except in the instance where you are hunting or an otherwise adult-supervised activity, may also face charges. If the child causes another person harm with the firearm, you could be facing Class A misdemeanor charges which could result in fines of up to $4,000, and up to a year in prison.
Firearms in Texas Workplaces
Texas residents who legally own a weapon and have a concealed carry permit may not carry their firearm to work if their employer has prohibitions in place. While you may keep your firearm secured in your vehicle, if you carry your weapon into your workplace, you could be facing misdemeanor charges as well as the loss of your right to carry.
Charge Enhancements: Carrying a Weapon Legally
If you are arrested and facing charges of sexual assault, assault, or robbery, and have a weapon in your possession, you could be faced with the increased charge of ‘aggravated’. For these crimes, you could be facing first degree felony charges, which can be punishable by life imprisonment. Carrying a weapon while committing any non-violent crime may also warrant you serving a minimum of 90 days in jail.
Weapons charges should not be taken lightly. You need an aggressive criminal defense attorney, who will fight to have the charges reduced or dismissed, as soon as possible. Keep in mind, these charges can have a long-term impact on your life, including difficulty landing employment, trouble finding a home, and even problems with loans. If you are facing weapons charges in Texas, contact an experienced defense attorney immediately. You may schedule a confidential consultation by calling us at (972) 694-5277.