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Discharge Of Firearm In Certain Municipalities

The State of Texas strongly supports the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. As a matter of fact, throughout the years, Texas laws regarding firearms have become more relaxed while other states’ laws have become more stringent. For example, virtually anyone over 21 can own a handgun without additional licensing.

But, the Texas gun laws are relaxed. There are still laws that prevent firearm use within certain municipalities. For example, Texas Penal Code § 42.12 makes it a crime to recklessly discharge a firearm in a municipality with a population of 100,000 people or more. If this offense is committed, it is a Class A misdemeanor which can result in a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail.

Texas Discharge Of Firearm In Certain Municipalities Attorney

If you are facing accusations of discharge of a firearm in a certain municipality, The Law Office of Kevin Bennett can fight for your rights. Texas criminal defense attorney Kevin Bennett at The Law Office of Kevin Bennett can expose every weakness, every false accusation, and every exaggerated claim in the case against you. He will seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed.

The Law Office of Kevin Bennett helps clients throughout the greater Austin area, including such areas as Oak Hill, West Austin, and Manchaca. Call (512) 476-4626 right now to set up a free consultation.

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Information Center

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What Is Considered Reckless?

The statute only criminalizes discharging a firearm in a municipality when it is done “recklessly.” But what exactly does recklessly mean in this instance? Under Texas Penal Code § 6.03(c), recklessness is defined as the conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustifiable risk, constitution a gross deviation from ordinary care. Therefore, if the firearm is discharged with proper care, it may not be considered a crime. But on the other hand, a prosecutor may try to charge the crime for even the smallest indicator of reckless intent.

For example, a prosecutor charged the crime when a firearm was discharged into the air. The same applies to discharges around a school or public park. It has also been argued that shooting close to a building or in the direction of a highway may constitute recklessness as well.

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Penalties for Discharge Of Firearm In Certain Municipalities in TX

As a Class A Misdemeanor, the discharge of a firearm in a municipality is the most serious kind of misdemeanor in Texas. As stated above, it can carry a fine of up to $4,000 and one year of jail time. Even though the crime is only a misdemeanor, it is still a serious crime and can greatly affect an individual’s life because it will go on their criminal record.

Once an individual has a criminal record, it can be found by potential employers, housing authorities, and banks, who will look up criminal records to determine if they will give a loan for various reasons. Even though there will be many effects they may see throughout their life, like the employment opportunities and the decreased amount of loans they qualify for, there will also be other effects. Having a criminal record can impact an individual’s personal life as well.

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Potential Defenses for Discharge Of Firearm In Certain Municipalities

A successful defense may reduce or even eliminate a firearm charge. With the penalties of jail time and the potential harm to an individual’s reputation on the line, it is essential to defend the charge with the assistance of an experienced attorney on the accused individual’s side.

Prosecutors must be able to prove the criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot meet this burden of proof when bringing evidence to the judge or the jury, the charges may be dropped entirely.

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Can The Charge Be Removed?

Once something is placed on a criminal record, it may be able to get removed eventually. In Texas, a crime can be removed from a criminal record or expunged after some time. This means that when or if employers, landlords, and banks run a background check, they may not see the charge. This can help the charged individual have better chances at home loans, getting jobs, and renting apartments or homes.

In Texas, an individual who has been arrested for a crime, but never officially charged with it or found not guilty can have their record expunged. Once an individual is charged and found guilty, they are no longer eligible for expungement, but they may qualify to request an Order of Nondisclosure, which seals the records in Texas. This would remove the charge from the public domain so banks and future employers may not be able to see it, but law enforcement still has access. This can come into play if the charged individual commits another crime in the future.

Filing for an expungement can be a complex and confusing process. Depending on the charge, the individual may have to wait as long as three years to request an expungement. Once an expungement is requested, the judge decides whether it will be granted or denied. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney greatly increases the chances of success when seeking an expungement.

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Additional Resources

Discharge Of A Firearm | Texas Penal Code – The Texas Penal Code section describes the crime of discharging a firearm in a municipality.

Gun Laws | Texas State Law Library – Information from the Texas State Law Library about gun ownership and applicable laws in Texas.

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Austin Discharge Of Firearm In Certain Municipalities Attorney | Travis County, TX

If you have been arrested for discharge of a firearm in a certain municipality, it is imperative that you secure the legal counsel of a qualified defense attorney in Austin, TX. At The Law Office of Kevin Bennett, Travis County defense lawyer Kevin Bennett has defended countless clients facing accusations of weapon crimes. With years of experience under his belt, he has obtained many successful outcomes.

Don’t wait another moment to protect your rights and future. Gain legal representation today by calling attorney Bennett at (512) 476-4626. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett accepts cases in Austin and surrounding areas such as Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Lakeway, West Lake Hills, Bee Cave, and Sunset Valley.

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