When you are convicted of a felony crime, you are stripped of many rights. These rights include the right to vote, stand on a jury, and bear arms. Texas is one of the staunchest supporters of the Second Amendment, though Texas also takes a hard stance against convicted felons possessing guns and other weapons.
Being caught in possession of a weapon will send you back to prison and result in additional felony charges. The state may label you a repeat or habitual felony offender if you are convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon. This can result in additional time in prison and further damage your criminal record.
Maybe your arrest was the result of a misunderstanding, or you needed the gun for your protection. Regardless of how the offense was committed, The Gonzalez Law Group wants to help. We will listen to your story and formulate a defense plan that is in your best interest.
The sooner you contact our firm, the better. With over 70 years of collective experience, we know what it takes to win a case or have it thrown out. To schedule a time to speak with us, call (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in the online contact form.
- Texas Penalties for Felon in Possession of a Weapon
- Can a Felon Restore their Gun Rights in Texas?
- Additional Resources
Texas Gun Laws for Felons
If you were convicted of a felony crime in Texas, you may not own or possess a firearm. You can be charged under section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code if found in possession of a gun in the following situations:
- Following conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the release from incarceration or release from probation, parole, or mandatory supervision
- Possessing a weapon at any location other than your residence
You can possess a weapon five years after you’ve been released from prison or completion of probation, but with certain restrictions. Texas law only allows convicted felons to possess weapons at their home. Being found in possession anywhere outside of a personal residence is a violation of the penal code.
The offense that resulted in your felony conviction is required to meet certain criteria for you to be considered a felon under section 46.04 of the Texas Penal Code. These requirements include:
- The offense is designated by Texas law as a felony
- The offense contains all the elements of a felony
- The offense was punished by a year or more in a penitentiary
If you are found guilty of possessing a weapon as a felon, you will be charged with another felony offense. Depending on your previous felony conviction, you may be considered a repeat or habitual felony offender. This will result in elevated penalties and prosecutors are likely to be less forgiving.
You are looking at a third-degree felony if you are convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm. You will be sent back to prison for two to 10 years and be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
Since this would be a second or subsequent felony offense on your record, the court may consider you a repeat felony offender. This will result in an elevated charge and additional time in prison.
Texas law is not kind to those who habitually commit crimes, especially felonious crimes. According to section 12.42 (a) of the Penal Code, your charges could be elevated to a second-degree felony if you already have a felony offense on your criminal record and are convicted of a third-degree felony.
The penalties for a second-degree felony include the following:
- Two to 20 years in prison
- A fine that can cost up to $10,000
As mentioned earlier, your gun rights are automatically restored five years after your release from confinement or probation, but you can only possess a weapon where you live. This can be frustrating, especially if you enjoy hunting or going to a gun range.
There are only a few options for Texas felons looking to fully restore their gun rights, and none of them are easy. You can either petition to have the conviction expunged, certified for non-disclosure, or be pardoned by the Governor. Unfortunately, though, not every felony offense is eligible for expunction or non-disclosure.
It may seem like an uphill battle, but petitioning to have a felony offense expunged, certified for non-disclosure are pardoned is worth the fight. If this is the route you plan to take, contact The Gonzalez Law Group.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm | Texas Penal Code– Visit FindLaw to read the full text of the section of the penal code that governs felons in possession of a weapon. You can read the precise legal definition of the offense and learn about other criminal convictions that are prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Penalties for Repeat and Habitual Felony Offenders | Texas Penal Code– Follow this link to learn more about elevated penalties for repeat offenders. You can see how penalties for a second or subsequent felony offense are elevated and which offenses will result in an automatic life sentence.
Houston, TX Weapons Crimes Lawyer
Because you already have a felony conviction on your criminal record, prosecutors are going to come after you with a vengeance. To mitigate the penalties, you should contact The Gonzalez Law Group. Our attorneys will work diligently on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. The sooner you contact us, the better your chances of a more favorable outcome in court. Call (832) 530-4070 to schedule a free case consultation. The Gonzalez Law Group defends clients accused of weapons crimes in communities across Harris County such as Pearland, Friendswood, Jacinto City, and Webster.