Firearm / Weapon Offenses
Individuals who are charged with a firearm or weapon offense in Houston frequently commit this criminal offense unknowingly. Under Texas law, almost anyone can possess a firearm in an enclosed location in their vehicle or in their home. However, an individual can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense if he carries his handgun in an unlawful place or is prohibited from carrying a weapon because he is a convicted felon.
The possible penalties for committing a gun or weapon crime in Houston are serious, including a permanent criminal record, high fines, inability to possess or own a firearm in the future and/or jail or prison time.
If you are charged with a firearm or weapon offense in Houston, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights, freedom and future. The prosecutor has the burden to prove each element of the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. This means if the jury has a reasonable doubt in their mind, the jury should find you not guilty.
Houston Weapon Offenses Lawyer
If you are accused of committing a firearm or weapon offense in Harris County, or any of the surrounding counties in Texas, including Montgomery, Fort Bend, Waller, Liberty or Brazoria, call the Law Office of James G. Sullivan & Associates for a free consultation at 281-546-6428 about your firearm or weapon charges. Sullivan knows the law and will make every effort to achieve a dismissal, a not guilty or a reduction in the charges against you.
Firearm and Weapon Examples
Section 46.01 of the Texas Penal Code lists the weapons, guns and firearms that may be prohibited and/or could result in a criminal offense:
Chemical dispensing devices,
Firearm and Weapon Offenses
Under Texas law, an individual who is charged with any of the following criminal weapon offenses could face severe penalties and consequences:
According to Texas Penal Code§ 46.02(a), an individual can be charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon if he intentionally, knowingly or recklessly carries a weapon on his body when not on his property or inside his vehicle. This offense can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor or a felony of the third degree.
According to Tex. Penal Code § 46.02(a-1), an individual can be charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm if he intentionally, knowingly or recklessly carries a handgun on his person or in his vehicle:
that is in plain view,
when he is engaging in criminal activity,
when he is prohibited from having a firearm in his possession, or
if he is a member of a criminal street gang.
This charge can result in a conviction of a Class A misdemeanor or of a felony of the third degree.
According to Tex. Penal Code § 46.02, an individual can be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm if he possesses a firearm and:
has been convicted of a felony and possesses the firearm before he has been released from confinement for five years;
has been convicted of domestic assault and possesses the firearm before he has been released from confinement or community supervision for five years; or
he is an employee of the State and possesses the firearm before the expiration of a protective or restraining order against him.
This offense is punishable as Class A misdemeanor or felony of the third degree.
An individual can also be charged with a weapons offense if he possesses a weapon during the commission of a serious criminal offense. Commonly referred to as aggravated offenses, these offenses can include, but are not limited to, the following:
Aggravated Robbery, and/or
Aggravated Sexual Assault.
Additionally, an individual who knowingly carries a weapon in a prohibited public place can be charged with a criminal offense. These places can include, but are not limited to, the following:
Polling places on election day,
Texas Concealed Weapon Carry Laws
According to Chapter 411 Subchapter H of the Texas Government Code, individuals in Texas who have applied for and met the requirements for a license to carry a concealed handgun are permitted to carry a handgun in a public place that does not sell alcohol.
In order to meet these requirements, an individual must not have a felony conviction, must be in compliance with all state and federal laws and meet other listed criteria.
An individual may be disqualified from receiving a concealed handgun license if he:
Has any currently pending criminal charges,
Has any alcohol, drug, chemical or substance dependency,
Has been diagnosed with certain types of psychological disorders,
Has defaulted on state or city taxes, governmental fees or child support, and/or
Has a protective or restraining order against him in place.
Firearm and Weapon Penalties
Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code lists the basic statutory penalties for firearm, weapon and gun crimes in Texas. However, these penalties can increase depending on a variety of factors, including the type of offense the person allegedly committed, where the offense allegedly occurred, whether the alleged offense involved a minor, whether the person is considered a violent offender and whether the alleged offender has any criminal history.
A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor weapons offense can result in a jail sentence up to 180 days and/or a fine up to $2,000.
A conviction for a Class A misdemeanor weapons offense can result in a jail sentence up to one year and/or a fine up to $4,000.
A conviction for a state jail felony weapons offense can result in a state jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
A conviction for a felony of the third degree weapons offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
A conviction for a felony of the second degree weapons offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
A conviction for a felony of the first degree weapons offense can result in a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
Firearm and Weapon Resources in Houston
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) – Concealed Handgun Licensing Program – The Texas DPS website provides general information on concealed handguns in Texas, how to apply for a concealed handgun in the state, answers to frequently asked firearm and gun questions, and Texas laws regarding firearm and weapon laws.
National Rifle Association (NRA) – The NRA is a national organization that promotes the Second Amendment right to bear arms in the United States and encourages responsible firearm education for every citizen.
Texas Concealed Handgun Association (TCHA) – This Texas organization supports every responsible and law-abiding citizen in Texas to lawfully keep, own and carry firearms, in addition to seeking to improve handgun laws in Texas, promoting responsible firearm safety and use, and encouraging high standards for firearm instruction and safety.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – Houston Field Division – The ATF Houston Field Division is responsible for criminal enforcement and industry regulatory activities throughout north Texas. The ATF is a national agency focused on reducing violent crime, including arson and explosive-related crime throughout the U.S. The Houston Field Division is located at:
ATF Houston Field Division
5825 N. Sam Houston Pkwy, Suite 300
Houston, Texas 77086
Tel.: (281) 716-8200
The Law Offices of James G. Sullivan & Associates | Harris County Firearm Crime Lawyer
If you are accused of committing a firearm or weapon offense in Harris County, or any of the surrounding counties in Texas, including Montgomery, Fort Bend, Waller, Liberty or Brazoria, call the Law Office of James G. Sullivan & Associates for a free consultation at 281-546-6428 about your firearm or weapon charges. Sullivan knows the law and will make every effort to achieve the best outcome for your situation.