If you have been arrested for Possession of Prohibited Weapons in Texas then you face the potential for serious penalties including fines, probation, community service, drug testing, and prison time. Conviction for this offense will lead to a permanent criminal history that may cause you to lose your job, miss the opportunity for future employment, or prohibit you from getting good housing.
If you are charged with Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, we can help defend against this charge. We may even be able to get your case dismissed. The circumstances of your alleged offense and your prior criminal history will weigh heavily in the outcome of your case, but we have helped may people accused of this crime over the past 20 years. We can help you as well.Understanding The Texas Law of Possession of a Prohibited Weapon
Texas law prohibits the intentional or knowing possession of any weapon listed in the prohibited weapon statute. That statute is contained in Chapter 46 of the Texas Penal Code. Section 46.05 identifies the following as some of the weapons prohibited in the state of Texas:
- Explosive weapons;
- Machine guns;
- Short-barrel firearms;
- Armor-piercing ammunition;
- Chemical dispensing devices;
- Zip guns;
- Tire deflation devices;
Obviously, some of these weapons are more commonly found than others. People are often surprised to find that a weapon that they own is actually prohibited or falls within the scope of this statute. It is important to note that the law does not require that you know the weapon you possess is prohibited in order to commit a crime.
Let's take a closer look at some of these prohibited weapons.
Explosive weapons: This category of weapons does not include all explosives. An item such as a fire-cracker is an explosive, but does not fall within this category of explosive weapon. This category of weapon is intended to target explosive devices that are designed to cause death, serious bodily injury, substantial property damage, or public panic.
Machine guns: A machine is defined as a firearm that can fire two or more shots with a single pull of the trigger. This is not limited to firearms that leave the manufacturer capable of doing so and may include firearms that are modified or adapted to perform in this manner.
Short-barrel firearms: If the barrel length of a shotgun is less than 18 inches, if the barrel length of a rifle is less than 16 inches, or if the overall length of either is less than 26 inches, then it is short-barrel firearm that is prohibited by Texas law. Most commonly this involves a short barrel or "sawed off" shotgun.
Armor-piercing ammunition: This will include ammunition that is designed primarily for piercing metal or body armor.
Chemical dispensing devices: This includes devices that are made to spray or otherwise dispense a chemical capable of adverse psychological or physiological effects on another person. IMPORTANT: The statute specifically excepts out small chemical dispensers that are sold commercially and carried for person protection. In other words this statute does not generally prohibit carrying pepper spray for self-defense.Defenses to Possession of a Prohibited Weapon
A criminal defense attorney experienced in defending Possession of Prohibited Weapons charges will work with you to explore possible defenses and create a case strategy that puts you in the best position for a favorable outcome. While the internet is a great source of information, it is important to consult with an attorney as to what defenses may be available in your case.
The following are some common defenses or otherwise mitigating circumstances that may arise in a Possession of a Prohibited Weapons case:
- The item was possessed solely as an antique or curio;
- The item was not intended to cause death or injury;
- The item was discovered following an illegal detention;
- The item was discovered following an illegal search;
- The item was possessed solely for novelty purposes;
- The item was not in the accused person's possession.
If you have been falsely or mistakenly accused of Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, then you need an attorney that can aggressively and effectively make your case. If we take your case, we want to see the charges dismissed or you found Not Guilty. Don't plead guilty to a crime that you didn't commit. Let us help you fight these charges and clear your name.Penalties for Possession of Prohibited Weapons
Possession of a Prohibited Weapon is generally a third degree felony offense. Any felony offense can result in conviction and prison time. The third degree felony charge of Possession of Prohibited Weapon carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine. Prior criminal history may lead to the enhancement of the charge such that it may be punished as a higher level felony resulting in up to life in prison. If you are charged with Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, it is critical that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our Prohibited Weapons Defense Attorneys can help.
Range of Punishment:
|First Degree Felony:||5 - 99 years or life in prison; fine up to $10,000.00|
|Second Degree Felony:||2 years - 20 years in prison; fine up to $10,000.00|
|Third Degree Felony:||2 years - 10 years in prison; fine up to $10,000.00|
|State Jail Felony:||180 days - 2 years in prison; fine up to $10,000.00|
|Class A Misdemeanor:||Up to 1 year in county jail; fine up to $4,000.00|
If you have been arrested for Possession of a Prohibited Weapon in Texas, then you face the possibility of serious penalties. You face the possibility of conviction for an offense that will follow you for life. Our criminal defense attorneys are former prosecutors and now defense attorneys that will fight for you to protect your rights and work to get you the best outcome in your case. We have more than 40 years of combined experience that you can have on your side.
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