An individual who has been convicted of a felony offense loses the right to own a firearm in Texas. Those who have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor for domestic violence are under similar restrictions.
The Texas Penal Code Section Title 10, §46.04, under “Unlawful Possession of a Firearm” states, in essence:
- A person who has been convicted of a felony is committing a third-degree felony if found to be in possession of a firearm.
- After five years from release from prison, or the completion of community supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision, the individual can regain the right to own a firearm – at his or her own home.
While the Constitution Bill of Rights protect the freedom to bear arms, when it comes to felons, this right is lost for at least five years, after which it is restricted. If you are found to be in possession under these circumstances, you may be facing prison time and fines. In Texas, felons may not be restricted from firearm ownership for a lifetime but have the option of regaining the right through a restoration of that civil right. When this right has not yet been restored and a firearm or weapon is found in your possession, the situation is a very serious legal problem, demanding help from a highly-qualified, experience criminal defense lawyer.
Penalties for Felon in Possession
The penalties imposed upon in cases of felon in possession are harsh. For a third-degree felony, the maximum sentence from 2 to 10 years in prison, along with fines up to $10,000. For a second-degree felony (often the charge for habitual offenders) a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 can be imposed.
Defending Felon in Possession Charges
To defend a person facing this felony charge requires high level legal skills. The types of defenses that may help you avoid conviction include:
- You did not knowingly possess a firearm, but it was owned by another party in your household.
- The search of your home was unlawfully performed, violating your constitutional rights.
- You had the right to own the firearm due to having had the right restored.
- The weapon was taken from another individual who was threatening you with harm during commission of a crime.
Why Choose Attorney James Alston?
The outcome of your case, will in large part, be the direct result of the skills of your criminal defense lawyer. Experience is a critical point in avoiding serious penalties. Attorney James Alston in Houston has an outstanding level of experience that could benefit you, including the following:
- Served as a prosecutor for eight years in the Harris County DA’s office
- Provides personal counsel to each client – will not turn your case over to an associate or assistant.
- Board-certified as a specialist in criminal law
- Focuses on extensive investigations into police processes to reveal rights violations.