A conviction for a gun or weapon offense can result in serious penalties including stiff fines, jail or prison time, and inability to own or possess a firearm. Unfortunately, weapon charges often stem from unintentional criminal activity. While practically anyone is permitted to possess a firearm in their home or vehicle under Texas law, weapon charges can result if a person carries a firearm in an unlawful place or possesses a prohibited weapon. In addition, misunderstandings and misconceptions regarding the laws that regulate firearms and other weapons tend to run rampant because firearms and other weapons generally tend to be very popular in Texas and a hot topic for discussion.
Unlawful Carrying Weapons in Collin County, Texas
In Texas, a person unlawfully carries a weapon if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her body a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
- on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control; or
- inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control.
Carrying a Handgun Inside a Motor Vehicle in Collin County, Texas
In Texas, a person unlawfully carries a weapon if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her body a handgun in a motor vehicle or watercraft that is owned by the person or under the person’s control at any time in which:
- the handgun is in plain view; or
- the person is engaged in criminal activity (other than a minor traffic offense), prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, or a member of a criminal street gang
Prohibited Weapons in Collin County, Texas
In Texas, a person commits an offense if the person intentionally, or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells:
- an explosive weapon;
- a machine gun;
- a short-barrel firearm;
- a firearm silencer;
- a switchblade knife;
- armor-piercing ammunition;
- a chemical dispensing device;
- a zip gun; or
- a tire deflation device
Defending Weapon Charges in Collin County, Texas
Similar to drug charges, most weapon charges will stem from a search or seizure being made by a police officer. If the search or seizure was conducted illegally under the United States Constitution, then the evidence gathered as a result of the illegal search or seizure may be suppressed which often leads to a dismissal or an acquittal of the weapon charges.
In addition, most weapon charges required that the State prove a person’s specific mental state of mind before he or she may be convicted of a criminal offense. Hiring a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who is familiar with Texas laws related to firearms and weapons will ensure that your constitutional rights are protected and that you receive the aggressive defense you deserve.