What constitutes a weapons crime in Texas?

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2022 | Criminal Defense

If a Texas police officer pulls you over in traffic or shows up at your front door, asking to step inside to have a look around, it can be an unsettling experience. There is no guarantee that such interaction will turn out in your favor. In fact, things might get a lot worse before they get better, especially if a police officer winds up taking you into custody on suspicion of a weapons crime.  

It’s important to understand your rights and to know how to defend them. Some of the language in the penal codes regarding weapons violations is ambiguous, which means that refuting criminal charges regarding weapons can be challenging. The more you know ahead of time, the better able to mitigate your circumstances you might be if you are facing charges for a weapons violation in a Texas court. 

Terms that refer to various types of weaponry  

If a police officer files a report that involves you in regard to a supposed weapons violation, you might see one or more of the terms included in the following list in the report:  

  • Club 
  • Explosives 
  • Knife 
  • Firearm 
  • Handgun 
  • Chemical dispensing device 
  • Improvised explosive device 

Each of these is a term legally defined under Texas penal codes for weapons. However, there are often extenuating issues that call into question whether a specific definition or code directly applies to a particular incident resulting in a person’s arrest.  

HB1927 made open and concealed carry legal in Texas 

If you’re age 21 or older, House Bill 1927 made it possible for you to openly carry a handgun in Texas or to carry one in a concealed fashion. This is if federal law does not legally prohibit you from possessing a firearm. If a police officer takes you into custody for illegal possession of a firearm, it’s imperative that you know your rights.  

Refuting weapons charges in court 

Any time you face arrest and charges for a crime in Texas or some other state, you have an opportunity to refute the charges in court. There are often several criminal defense options and strategies available in a particular set of circumstances.  

The average person might not be aware of all options, which is why most defendants request a meeting with an experienced criminal defense attorney before heading to court; attending such a meeting is a way to support to explore defense options and obtain recommendations as to whether to request a case dismissal or enter a specific plea.