Defense for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in Austin, TX

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Texas law firmly upholds Second Amendment rights to possess and bear firearms, but there are portions of the Texas Penal Code that make it unlawful to possess, carry or use a gun or other weapon in certain situations. Several crimes fall under the category of weapons charges. Some are classified as felonies and can lead to imprisonment upon conviction. If a weapon is used in the commission of another crime in Texas, the penalties will automatically be enhanced.

The State of Texas aggressively prosecutes weapons charges. Because of the severity of the penalties for conviction of weapons charges in Texas, it is crucial to engage an experienced Austin felony defense attorney to help you fight the charges you are facing. At Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., we can investigate the case against you and give you a fighting chance to stop an improper prosecution and punishment.

At Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., we firmly believe that anyone facing weapons charges deserves an aggressive defense. Our experienced Austin weapons charges lawyers will do everything legally allowable to secure the best possible outcome for you. We have a history of successfully representing clients across Central Texas. We are ready to put our skills and resources to work for you.

Call Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. today for a confidential consultation with one of our Austin weapons charges criminal defense attorneys.

What To Do if You Are Facing Weapon Charges in Texas

If you have been arrested for criminal possession of a weapon or the use of a weapon in a crime, you could be facing a lengthy prison term. While you should cooperate with law enforcement, you must also protect yourself from legal jeopardy.

Upon arrest for weapons charges in Travis County or Austin, Texas, you should respectfully decline to answer the questions of police until you speak with a defense attorney. Law enforcement officials must stop interrogating you once you ask to speak to a lawyer. They must allow you to contact an attorney and only question you while that individual is present.

At your first opportunity, you should contact Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. You need a qualified defense attorney by your side to defend your rights and your freedom as you navigate the Texas criminal justice system.

Why Choose Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. To Defend Your Rights?

For 60 years, the attorneys at Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. have provided top-notch legal representation to people in Austin and the surrounding areas who have been accused of crimes. We are experienced trial lawyers who do not shy away from complex legal challenges. Our experienced team thrives in trial settings and has received multiple prestigious awards and recognition for our work for our clients, including:

  • Member of The Best Lawyers in America
  • AV® rating from Martindale-Hubbell legal directory
  • Rising Star by Texas Super Lawyers
  • 0 Superb rating by Avvo

We are focused on providing the best possible representation for our clients. No two cases are exactly alike, so we will take the time to understand your situation and the details of your charges.

Our objective is to secure the best possible outcome for you by having the charges you face reduced or dropped. If an equitable arrangement can’t be negotiated, we will build the strongest possible defense strategy on your behalf and be ready to go to court.

Understanding Texas Gun Laws: Regulations and Restrictions

As of 2021, people who qualify under the law can carry a handgun in a public place in Texas without a license to carry (LTC). Generally, to carry a handgun in public in Texas without an LTC, a person must:

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Texas law does not specifically restrict who can carry a long gun, such as a rifle or shotgun. However, some people are prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm by law under Section 46.04. A person may not possess a firearm for five years after their completion of the sentence handed down for a felony or assault involving a member of the person’s family or household.

Certain places are off-limits to firearms (both handguns and long guns) in Texas. They include:

  • School buildings, grounds, and buses, including colleges and universities
  • Anywhere a high school, collegiate, or professional sporting event or interscholastic event is taking place unless a participant possesses a gun as part of the event
  • A polling place on Election Day or during early voting
  • Any government court or offices utilized by the court unless allowed in writing
  • Jails and prisons
  • Rooms where public meetings of governmental bodies are taking place
  • Secured areas of airports
  • Amusement parks
  • Racetracks
  • Businesses licensed to sell or serve alcohol
  • Hospitals and nursing homes

Exploring the Different Types of Weapons Allowed in Texas

Texas Penal Code 46.01 defines several weapons that may be regulated under Texas law:

  • Armor-piercing ammunition
  • Chemical dispensing devices
  • Clubs and blackjacks
  • Explosive weapons
  • Firearms
  • Firearm silencers
  • Handguns
  • Hoax bombs
  • Improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
  • Location-restricted knives (knives with a blade over five and one-half inches)
  • Machine guns
  • Sawed-off shotguns
  • Tire deflation devices
  • Zip guns

Most Frequent Weapon Charges in Texas: Recognizing the Entities Involved

The criminal defense attorneys of Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C. handle weapons charges cases involving:

  • Illegal possession of a weapon or firearm (felon in possession of a gun, possession of a stolen or unregistered firearm)
  • Unlawfully carrying a firearm (possession of a weapon at a place where weapons are prohibited)
  • Using a weapon in the commission of a crime, which may be charged as:
    • Aggravated assault
    • Assault with a deadly weapon
    • Threat with a deadly weapon
  • Unlawfully brandishing or discharging a firearm
  • Unlawful weapon sales
  • Unlawfully transporting weapons or firearms trafficking
  • Making a firearm accessible to a child

Carrying Concealed Weapons in Texas: What You Need to Know

As of September 1, 2021, HB1927 made it legal in Texas for most people 21 or over to carry a handgun in a holster without a permit, both openly and/or concealed.

This law modified the 2016 open carry law by eliminating the requirement to have a license to carry.

This means that most people 21 or over may carry a handgun without a license to carry in Texas.

The law does not prohibit a public or private business from disallowing handguns on its premises. Local governments may prohibit guns at:

  • Public parks
  • Public meetings of governmental bodies
  • Parades, political rallies, or official political meetings

The law also allows law enforcement officers to disarm a person “at any time the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the person, officer or another individual.”

Breaking Down Texas Weapon Penalties and Consequences

Weapons charges in Texas are generally filed as Class A misdemeanors or third-degree felonies.

A Class A misdemeanor in Texas is punishable by up to 1 year in prison or a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

A third-degree felony in Texas is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Using or possessing a weapon during the commission of another crime or while committing a crime in a school zone can lead to harsher penalties if you are convicted. Punishment will be increased to the punishment prescribed for the next highest category of offense, such as from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony.

A second-degree felony in Texas is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

A person found guilty of a state jail felony can be punished for a third-degree felony if they used or showed a deadly weapon when committing the offense or as they fled after committing the offense.

A state jail felony is punishable by 180 days to 2 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Talk to a Criminal Defense Lawyer on Weapons Offense Charges

Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., has successfully defended clients in the Austin, Texas, area against weapons charges and similar criminal charges since 1963. Hire an experienced and knowledgeable Austin weapons charges defense attorney from our firm to ensure you have quality representation and individualized attention throughout the legal process.

You need to engage an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest or indictment on Texas weapons charges. The longer prosecutors are allowed to build a case against you without a defense attorney protecting your rights, the more challenging it is to obtain the best outcome for you.

In Travis County and the greater Austin, TX, metro area, contact Minton, Bassett, Flores & Carsey, P.C., for experienced legal representation against weapons charges. We are dedicated to defending our clients as aggressively as possible. Call us or contact us online now.