In some instances, it is illegal for certain individuals to be in possession of a firearm. Furthermore, many times when a crime involves the use of a weapon the penalties will automatically be enhanced. This could mean that a crime that is normally considered a misdemeanor can be upgraded to a felony, which would dramatically influence the amount of time you could spend behind bars.
The best way to avoid extensive time behind bars is to consult with a Travis County defense attorney who may be able to find mitigating factors that could prevent your charges from escalating.
Defense Attorney for Weapons Charges in Travis County
If you have been arrested for a crime involving a weapon, it is important to act quickly. Kevin Bennett of The Law Office of Kevin Bennett is ready and willing to provide you with the aggressive legal representation that you are in need of. He tenaciously represents individuals in and around Travis County, Lakeway, Austin, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Rollingwood, and West Lake Hills.
Contact Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a consultation about your charges. Your initial consultation is free, and it is the first step in the defense planning process.
Information on Crimes Involving Weapons in Texas
- What is Considered a Weapon in Austin?
- Common Weapon Offenses Defined by the Texas Penal Code
- Penalties Commonly Associated with Weapons Crimes
- Concealed Weapon Carry Laws in Texas
According to Texas Penal Code § 46.01, the following objects are considered weapons, and could lead to criminal charges:
- Clubs (nightsticks, maces, tomahawks)
- Explosive objects (bombs, grenades, rockets)
- Hoax bombs
- Firearm silencers
- Zip guns
- Machine guns
- Short-barrel firearms
- Armor-piercing ammunition
- Illegal knifes (blade over five and a half inches)
- Switchblade knives
- Chemical dispensing devices
Most crimes of this nature lead to felony charges. Some of the most common of these offenses committed in Austin and Travis County include:
Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon: Texas Penal Code § 46.02 states that it is illegal to recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally carry a weapon in a public place. You can now expunge any past unlawful carry convictions, arrest, or charges prior to September 1st 2021.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm: Section 46.04 declares that it against the law to possess a firearm if:
- You have been previously convicted of a felony, and have not been out of prison for at least five years
- You are a state employee and currently have a protective or restraining order out against you
- You have been convicted of domestic assault, and have not been out of jail/prison/community supervision for at least five years
Unlawfully Carrying a Firearm: According to section 46.02(a1) of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with this offense if he or she knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly carries a handgun. Individual can be charged with this offense if:
- The offender is participating in criminal activity
- The individual is prohibited from having a firearm in his or her possession
- The firearm is in plain sight
- The offender is a member of a gang
Places Weapons are Prohibited: Under section 46.03 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with this offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possesses or goes with a firearm, illegal knife, club, or prohibited weapon listed in Section 46.05(a) to a location where they are prohibited. Examples of places that weapons are prohibited under Texas law can include:
- A school or educational institution
- The Austin Airport
- The Travis County Jail
- Any Travis County Courthouse
An Austin criminal defense lawyer can assist you with any of these charges.
Depending on the circumstances, the offenses mentioned above are usually considered Class A misdemeanors or third degree felonies. A Class A misdemeanor carries a potential jail sentence of up to a year, and/or a fine of up to $4,000. A third degree felony is punishable by between two to 10 years behind bars, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If an individual uses or possesses a firearm or other object listed in section 46.01 of the Texas Penal Code during the commission of a criminal offense, his or her charges can be enhanced. For example, robbery, assault, sexual assault, and kidnapping can be enhanced to aggravated/armed robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault, and aggravated kidnapping, respectively.
According to Chapter 411 of the Texas Government Code, individuals can legally carry a concealed handgun in Texas if he or she applies for and meets the necessary requirements.
In order to be eligible for a license to carry, an individual must:
- Not have been previously convicted of a felony
- Not have criminal charges pending
- Not have an active restraining or protective order against them
- Be current on child support payments, government fees, and taxes
- Not have a drug or alcohol dependency
- Not have certain diagnosed psychological disorders
If an individual meets the necessary requirements, he or she can receive a license to carry which will grant them the ability to carry a handgun in public places that do not sell alcohol.
Finding a Qualified Lawyer to Defend You against Weapons Charges in Texas
Kevin Bennett is an experienced defense attorney who has experience representing individuals who have been charged with crimes involving weapons in Austin, Lago Vista, Travis County, Lakeway, Pflugerville, and the surrounding areas. In order to put yourself in the best position to achieve the outcome you desire, contact The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today, so that Bennett can serve you.
Call Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a consultation about the details surrounding your alleged crime. Your first consultation is free, and it is the first step in fighting to maintain your freedom and a clean criminal background.