Dallas Gun Charges Lawyer
Texas has some of the most liberal gun laws in the country, but that doesn’t mean facing gun or firearm charges here is a minor issue. Weapon offenses can lead to severe consequences, including hefty fines, a prison sentence, and a lasting criminal record. Given the potential repercussions, having legal representation is essential. A knowledgeable gun and firearm charges lawyer in Dallas can defend your legal rights and work toward a favorable outcome, possibly even including a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you. Contact us today to speak to a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer about your case.
Why You Need Highly Capable Legal Representation
Facing gun charges in Texas is a serious matter with consequences that could significantly alter your life. In Texas, firearm-related convictions carry severe penalties, ranging from hefty fines to long sentences to state prison. A conviction for a gun charge or weapons offense can also lead to the loss of future employment opportunities and hinder your ability to secure housing. It could even impact your basic freedoms, such as the right to vote or possess firearms.
Having a skilled weapons charge lawyer by your side is essential when the stakes are this high. A knowledgeable Dallas gun charges lawyer understands the complexities of firearm laws in Texas and can provide the robust defense you need. Here’s how a skilled attorney can help:
- Gathering Evidence: A weapons charges lawyer can thoroughly investigate your case, gathering evidence and questioning witnesses to build a strong defense.
- Plea Bargaining: If appropriate, your attorney can negotiate with prosecutors to reduce the charges or penalties you face, possibly avoiding a trial.
- Strategizing in Your Defense: A defense attorney for gun charges brings a deep understanding of gun and weapon laws and can challenge the prosecution’s case, looking for legal technicalities or errors related to your charges. Your lawyer reviews the specific circumstances surrounding your case to determine the best defense.
- Representing You in Court: Should your case go to trial, your attorney represents you, arguing on your behalf and striving to achieve a favorable outcome.
- Handling Post-Trial Matters: Even after a trial, your lawyer can assist with appeals.
If you’re facing charges for a gun or weapon crime in Dallas, the right legal representation matters. Broden & Mickelsen, LLP was established in 1998. We excel in handling complex state and federal cases. With over 60 years of combined experience and board certifications in criminal and appellate law, founders Clint Broden and Mick Mickelsen offer outstanding insights and defense strategies. They have a proven track record in securing favorable outcomes, particularly in challenging firearms cases. Contact our law firm today to learn more about how we can help.
Common Firearm Offenses in Texas
Texas’s gun laws outline various firearm offenses that carry significant legal implications. Here are some common examples of weapon and gun crimes under the Texas Penal Code (Note that these are crimes under state law. There are many other federal crimes related to guns and weapons):
- Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon: This offense occurs when an individual carries a handgun, illegal knife, or club on their person and is not on their own premises, premises under their control, or inside or en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft they own or control. Carrying these weapons in a manner that is threatening or visible to the public can lead to weapon charges.
- Possession of Prohibited Weapons: Texas law prohibits possessing any of the following: an explosive weapon, a machine gun, a short barrel firearm, armor-piercing ammunition, a chemical dispensing device, a zip gun, a tire deflation device, or an improvised explosive device.
- Concealed Handgun License Violation: If a person with a concealed handgun license (CHL) fails to adhere to the regulations governing carrying concealed weapons, it constitutes a criminal offense. Carrying a handgun in prohibited places and/or not disclosing the possession of concealed handguns upon request by law enforcement are criminal offenses.
- Concealed Guns or Firearms at Certain Locations: It’s illegal to carry concealed guns or firearms in specific locations such as airports, schools, polling places, courtrooms, and government meetings. Even with a CHL, carrying a firearm in these locations can result in weapon charges.
- Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon: In Texas, it’s illegal for anyone convicted of a felony to possess a firearm before the fifth anniversary of their release from confinement, parole, or probation. After this period, the law only permits them to possess a firearm at the premises where they live. However, under federal law, felons are totally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
- Unlawfully Brandishing a Weapon: Displaying a weapon in an intentionally alarming manner in a public place is considered unlawfully brandishing a weapon. This act is often treated as a threat or an act of intimidation, which can lead to serious gun crime charges.
- Illegal Sale of a Weapon: This offense involves selling a firearm to a person who is legally prohibited from owning one, such as a convicted felon, or selling one without proper background checks or documentation. Such transactions are serious weapons offenses under Texas law.
You could face severe penalties if you have been charged with any of these crimes.
Penalties for Dallas Weapons Offenses
Texas gun penalties or those for a firearm-related conviction can be severe and vary based on the specific nature of the offense and your criminal history. Understanding the potential consequences of a gun-related conviction is important for anyone who owns or uses firearms in Texas.
The most common classifications of gun crimes in Texas are:
- Class C misdemeanor – Punishable by a fine up to $500.
- Class A misdemeanor – Punishable by up to one year in a county jail and a fine up to $4,000.
- State jail felony – A jail sentence between 180 days and up to two years.
- Third-degree felony – Imprisonment of two to ten years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
- Second-degree felony – A minimum term of five years and a maximum of 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Here is a list of other possible penalties:
- Community service
- Loss of the right to own or possess firearms
- Mandatory firearms training or education courses
- Community supervision
- Paid restitution to victims
- Permanent criminal record
- Enhanced penalties for subsequent offenses
- Loss of certain civil rights, such as voting or jury service
Take the first step to avoid these harsh penalties by contacting our law office for a free case review.
Common Defense Strategies to Texas Gun Charges
If you face gun or firearm charges in Texas, a strong defense strategy is essential. Each situation is unique. A skilled attorney can evaluate the specifics of your case to determine the right strategy. Here are some potential gun possession defense strategies in Texas:
- Challenging Evidence: This involves questioning the validity, accuracy, or legality of the evidence against you. For example, if police obtained the evidence through an illegal search, we could argue it should be suppressed.
- Second Amendment Arguments: This strategy focuses on your constitutional right to bear arms. In the right circumstances, a Second Amendment defense could be successful. Note that this is a quickly evolving area of the law. The Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in 2022 finding that gun laws must be consistent with the nation’s historical tradition, placing the legality of thousands of gun laws in question.
- Compliance with State and Federal Laws: Showing that your actions complied with both state and federal firearm laws can be a strong defense. This might include proving you had the necessary licenses or were within your rights to carry the firearm.
- Lack of Possession: Arguing that you did not actually possess the firearm in question can be another effective strategy. This could mean proving that you were not aware of the firearm’s presence or that it did not belong to you.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing gun or firearm charges in Texas, don’t wait to seek help. Contact Broden & Mickelsen, LLP today for a free consultation with a Dallas gun chargers attorney. Our team is ready to listen to your story, understand your situation, help you navigate the legal process, and offer guidance on the best way forward.