Texas Gun and Weapons Charges Lawyer
Board-certified criminal defense attorney in Kerrville handles firearm offense cases
Though Texas honors the constitutional rights of gun owners, possession of a firearm under certain circumstances can put you on the wrong side of state or federal law. When that happens, you need a skilled and experienced Texas gun crimes lawyer to defend you. The Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C. in Kerrville provides determined representation in state and federal court cases arising from a wide range of weapons charges. Whether you are accused of discharging, brandishing or possessing a weapon unlawfully, you can face severe penalties. I am ready to challenge the charges against you, and fight for a favorable resolution of your case.
Defenses to gun and weapons charges
If you are charged with illegal possession, the authorities must prove that you were knowingly in possession of the weapon and exercised control over it. In cases where police found the weapon due to an illegal search, the evidence would be inadmissible, which would likely lead to a dismissal of charges. Even in cases where someone is accused using a firearm in the commission of an murder or another crime, you might be exonerated based on your right to use deadly force to defend yourself.
Unlawful possession of a firearm in Texas
Under Texas law, certain individuals do not have the right to possess a firearm, such as:
- Convicted felons
- Illegal aliens and nonimmigrant visa holders
- Persons convicted of a misdemeanor within the previous five years
- Persons subject to a court’s domestic violence order
- Persons who use, or are addicted to, unlawful drugs
- Mentally incapacitated individuals
- Parents subject to child support collections by the Texas Attorney General
Even residents with a conceal-carry permit are not allowed to bring their firearm to certain designated locations. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time with a weapon can put you in serious legal jeopardy.
Federal weapons charges
Under certain circumstances, firearm charges may fall under federal jurisdiction. These include:
- Illegal possession of a firearm — It is a Class C felony under federal law for certain individuals to possess firearms. The offense is a punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
- Use of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime or drug trafficking felony — Penalties start at five years’ imprisonment when a firearm is carried by someone involved in a serious crime. This increases to seven years if the weapon was brandished and 10 years if it was discharged. Should the weapon be a machine gun, the sentence could run as long as 30 years.
- Illegal sale or purchase — A sale can be illegal based on the type of weapon or the person who is buying. Conviction for an unlawful sale could lead to imprisonment for five to 10 years. Buyers who make false statements or use straw purchasers to avoid detection can also face up to 10 years in prison.
- Altered or removed serial number — Tampering or possessing a tampered gun can mean five years in prison.
- Possession of a stolen firearm — If you knowingly possess a stolen gun or stolen ammunition, you face 10 years in prison.
Given the severity of the potential penalties, you should immediately consult a Kerrville criminal defense attorney when you are facing a federal weapons charge.
Use of a gun or weapon during a violent crime
Using a gun during the commission of a crime is an automatic escalation, even if the gun is not fired. Thus, assault becomes aggravated assault, and robbery becomes aggravated robbery. These enhancements could potentially add years to a potential sentence.
Contact a board-certified Kerrville defense attorney for gun charge representation
The Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C. in Kerrville provides skilled criminal defense representation to Texans accused of violating state and federal weapons laws. To schedule a consultation regarding your case, please call me at 830-955-8168 or contact me online.