Are You Breaking Weapons Laws?
As outlined in the penal code of the state of Texas, it is illegal to possess certain firearms in the state of Texas that are considered especially dangerous to the public. Note that these illegal items aren’t limited only to certain types of guns/firearms, but also cover other types of weapons.
Illegal firearms and weapons in the State of Texas are as follows:
- Any form of club, including tomahawks, maces, blackjacks, and nightsticks. A club is classified as any item that is specifically designed or adapted for inflicting serious bodily harm by striking a person with it.
- Any explosive weapons like bombs, grenades, rockets, or mines. Explosive weapons are qualified as any object that is designed to cause serious bodily harm or property damage or for causing such a loud noise that public panic or terror would ensue. This also includes any device made to deliver or shoot the explosive device. Hoax bombs that are designed to imitate the appearance of an incendiary device are also illegal.
- Illegal types of knives are as follows: a knife with a blade over five and a half inches long, a hand instrument meant to cut or stab by being thrown (like throwing stars), a dagger (like a stiletto, dirk, or poniard), a bowie knife, a sword, or a spear.
- Any of the following unlawful firearms: a machine gun, a short-barreled firearm (barrel length of less than 16 inches, 18 inches if a shotgun), a firearm silencer (any item made to muffle the sound of a firearm going off), armor-piercing ammunition, a machine gun, or a zip gun.
- Other prohibited weapons: knuckles, a chemical dispensing device, or a tire-deflation device.
Types of Weapons Charges
According to the Texas Penal Code, if you are knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally carrying your weapon with you in an area other than your home/property or your car, you can be charged with Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon. The charges for this offense can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.
You can be charged with Unlawfully Carrying a Firearm if you knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally carry a handgun in their car or on their body in plain view, if a person is in a gang, if the person is prohibited from owning any firearms, or if the person is engaged in criminal activity.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm can be charged against a person if they possess a firearm and meet one of the following criteria:
- A convicted felon before the fifth anniversary of their release from prison.
- Convicted of domestic assault and is before the fifth anniversary of their release from confinement or community supervision.
- An employee of the state (other than a sworn peace officer) and are still under a protective or restraining order.
Aside from simply possessing illegal weapons, it is also illegal for any weapon (even legal ones) to be brought into many public areas such as schools or educational institutions, polling places during voting, racetracks, courts, airports, or within 1,000 feet of a premises of the Texas Department of Justice where an execution is occurring. If a person knowingly brings their weapon or firearm into one of these places, they can swiftly be charged with a criminal act.
Facing Severe Punishments?
Despite the fact that Texas has fairly lenient firearms laws as compared to the rest of the country, severe punishments are reserved for people who break these laws. The base penalties for weapons offenses can begin at a Class B misdemeanor, which results in a $2,000 fine and 180-day jail sentence at the most. The most severe penalties for a weapons offense can result in a first-degree felony charge with a $10,000 fine and life in prison. Depending on the case, charges can become more severe if the individual has a history of weapons charges or other criminal activity, brought the weapon into a certain place, the type of offense, and other details of the case.
Arrested for Weapons Charges in Austin?
While Texas firearm laws are some of the most lenient in the country, getting arrested for owning an illegal weapon or carrying a weapon without a license can still lead to harsh penalties. In certain circumstances, both crimes can lead to third-degree felony charges which means two to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. You can also lose any future rights to own a firearm again in your life.
Moreover, anytime you use a gun while committing another crime, regardless of whether you fire it or not, the offense is automatically raised to ‘aggravated’ status, making it a first-degree felony.
The following are charges that are worsened by the presence of a weapon or firearm:
- Aggravated Robbery
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Kidnapping
A felony charge on your record will significantly lower your chances of getting a steady job later in life and could be seen as a serious liability by many landlords. This is where an experienced and knowledgeable attorney comes into play.
Hire a Strong Legal Defense Team
When you’ve been charged with a weapons crime, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to fight for your rights.
Meredith “Shelly” Troberman has worked for prosecution teams before, and he knows what the prosecution needs to get a conviction and how to defend her clients against it. Blair Carroll has defended thousands of clients in courts across Texas.
Contact Us Today
At Carroll Troberman, PLLC, we make a point of listening to our clients. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can hear your side of the story and begin to build a strong case in your defense.
Contact Carroll Troberman, PLLC today at (512) 772-2442 to set up a free and confidential consultation.
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