Gun & Firearm Charges in Dallas, TX

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Although Texas’ gun laws are liberal compared to many in the country, they are complicated and it’s crucial that you obey them. You risk your employability and peace of life by violating the law. If you’re accused of a gun crime, speak to a a defense lawyer with experience in Texas weapons cases.

Unlawful Carrying of a Firearm in Texas

In Texas, you can be charged if you “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” carry a handgun while:

  • You’re younger than 21
  • You’ve been convicted of an offense that prohibits you from having a weapon, either temporarily or permanently
  • Display the firearm in plain view while in public (unless the gun is holstered)
  • Are intoxicated while you hold the weapon.

You’ll be violating the law if you carry a firearm while off your property or outside your vehicle.

Weapon Offenses in a Vehicle

In Texas, you could violate gun laws if you’re inside a vehicle or on a boat if the gun is in plain view (unless you’re 21 or older, or licensed to carry, and the gun is holstered). Furthermore, you could be charged with a weapons crime if you’re engaged in other criminal activity (such as DWI, drug possession) while possessing a gun.

Criminal Possession of a Firearm

It’s illegal for anyone released from felony incarceration to possess a firearm within five years of the end of their sentence. That means anyone released from prison, community supervision, or parole cannot own a firearm for five years. After five years, they can carry a weapon in their home, in their vehicle, and while directly in route to their vehicle. They cannot have a gun in public.

Additionally, anyone who is subject to a restraining order or was convicted of domestic violence cannot own a firearm.

Gun Crime Penalties in Texas

The punishment for illegally owning or carrying a gun in Texas can vary. Depending on the circumstances, you might be facing a misdemeanor or a felony. Most cases of unlawfully carrying a weapon in Texas qualify as Class A misdemeanors. If convicted, you could spend one year in jail and fines up to $4,000.

However, some cases of unlawfully carrying a weapon escalate to a third-degree felony. You’d face up to a ten-year prison sentence and fines up to $10,000. For instance, if you had a gun within five years of serving time for an assault family violence conviction, you may be charged with felony unlawful possession.

Accused of Gun Crimes in Dallas? Call Mike Howard

Texans can openly carry handguns in public, provided they are in holsters, without needing a “license to carry.” However, according to the Dallas Police Department, there have been more than 700 weapon law violations in the city this year alone.

You could be fined, jailed, or put on probation if you’re accused of wrongfully or criminally possessing a weapon. You may lose the right to own a weapon. Attorney Mike Howard can explain the nuances of Texas’ gun laws and help you defend your rights.

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Get a Dallas Gun Crime Lawyer To Fight For You

If you’ve been accused of illegally possessing a firearm in Dallas, you must show you had a right to carry the gun or that you weren’t breaking the law. Attorney Mike Howard can help you prepare a defense to show you didn’t violate Texas law. He’s helped countless clients beat criminal charges and is ready to start on your case.

A firearm charge lawyer can guide you through the legal process, ensuring you receive equitable treatment. They’ll look through the circumstances around your arrest and look for flaws in the prosecution’s case.

Your attorney can pursue alternatives like charge reductions or dismissals. This could spare you from time behind bars, fines, losing the ability to own a firearm and a life-altering conviction.

See Our Gun Charge Results

  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon – Dismissed
  • Aggravated Assault Deadly Weapon — Dismissed

More Results

Please visit our criminal defense resource center for more information about your rights and the legal process regarding weapons-related charges, firearm restrictions, and more.

Gun & Firearm Charges FAQs

Where is Carrying Firearms Prohibited in Texas?

Texas law prohibits carrying firearms in specific locations. You cannot carry a gun into schools, polling places on election days, courtrooms, government buildings, correctional facilities, or hospitals. You cannot have a firearm in bars or establishments that derive 51% or more of their income from alcohol sales. Private property owners can restrict firearms on their premises.

Do I Need a License to Carry My Handgun?

In 2021, Texas passed a law that allows most Texans who legally own a firearm to carry it openly without a permit or training. Texans were already permitted to carry rifles without a license.

Can I Get a First-Time Gun Charge Dismissed?

It depends on the circumstances. You may be able to get charges dropped or reduced if you don’t have a criminal history, depending on the facts of your case. However, if you were brandishing the weapon or illegally owning it after a felony, you may face felony charges. You can discuss defense strategies with your attorney.

Will Charges Be Dismissed if I Used a Gun in Self-Defense?

Self-defense is a tricky argument in gun cases. You could face criminal charges if you were using a firearm when you shouldn’t have it, even if you feared for your life. Self-defense laws can vary by jurisdiction. In many situations, using a gun for self-defense should be a “last resort” to be an effective argument. Discuss using self-defense as an argument against gun crime charges with your attorney.

Defending Against Gun Crime Charges

Each case is unique. The details of your case and the evidence used to fight the charges will differ from someone else’s circumstances. You can explore defense strategies with your attorney to get your charges dropped or reduced.

Your attorney will be looking for any possible defense against your firearm charge. Maybe the evidence wasn’t collected lawfully. Maybe the police didn’t interview enough witnesses or relied on hearsay to build their case. Your attorney can review the evidence against you to determine the best course of action.

The prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That burden of proof means they must convince a jury or judge that there is no reasonable conclusion besides guilt in your case. Your attorney will fight to introduce skepticism, which can give you a chance of getting charges dropped.

Start with a Case Evaluation

We can help you get your life back.

When you’re ready to take the next steps, attorney Mike Howard is here to discuss your situation and design a plan to deal with Dallas firearm charges. Trust our experience, empathy, and ability to help put charges behind you.

Get Your 30 Minute Case Evaluation
(214) 296-2221

Located in the Element Towers West Building at 3010 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, Texas, attorney Mike Howard handles criminal cases across Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant Counties at the state level and in the Northern and Eastern Districts at the federal level.