Austin criminal defense lawyer The State of Texas has been one of the strongest supporters of the US Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms for all Americans over the years. That said, the state still understands the need for laws regarding carrying weapons to maintain Second Amendment rights for Texans while also keeping citizens safe. The state law outlines circumstances that make it unlawful to carry a weapon in Texas.
Defining Unlawful Carry of a Weapon in Texas
Texas state law allows most people the right to bear arms, in line with the Second Amendment. But it also prohibits people from carrying guns and other weapons in certain situations where there is a concern regarding people’s welfare. The Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon statute in Texas state law makes it illegal to carry handguns and other weapons in the state by certain people and/or in certain situations. In the summer of 2021, significant changes were made to the UCW laws in Texas. During the 87th Texas Legislature, several bills relating to carrying weapons were introduced, including the Permitless Carry Bill (HB1927). The Permitless Carry Bill was signed into law on June 16th, 2021 by Governor Greg Abbott, and went into effect on September 1, 2021, amending Texas Penal Code § 46.02(a) to allow Texas residents to open carry certain weapons without a permit or license of any kind. (The bill still prohibits some citizens from having firearms, including convicted felons and people convicted of family violence.)
What Are the Punishments for Unlawful Carry of a Weapon Convictions in Texas?
If an individual violates UCW laws in Texas, he or she is commonly charged with a misdemeanor, though they can be charged with a felony charge in some cases. Class A misdemeanor charges for UCW are punishable by up to a year of jail time and a fine of up to $4,000. Third-degree felony charges for the offense are punishable by two to 10 years of jail time and a fine of up to $10,000. The exact punishments depend upon the specific circumstances of each case; a lawyer can help determine the possible punishments that apply in a given case.
Fighting Unlawful Carry of a Weapon Charges in Texas
Austin criminal defense lawyer There is a major possibility that UCW charges can lead to a conviction in court. It is vital that you know the law and how it impacts your case so you can take steps to fight any UCW charges levied against you. The first step you should take is to contact an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney to help build a case that will achieve the best possible outcome for you. If you need an attorney in Austin, Texas or the surrounding area, the experienced and competent counsel at Erskine Law can help you. Brian Erskine is a professional, board-certified criminal defense attorney with years of experience handling a wide variety of cases in Texas, including those involving charges for unlawful carry of a weapon. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with UCW, contact Brian Erskine at Erskine law.