Facing domestic violence charges in Texas can be overwhelming, as your future suddenly becomes uncertain. You may worry about spending time in jail, paying expensive fines, and suffering other negative consequences. For instance, will a domestic assault conviction take away your right to own a firearm? Let’s take a look at how Texas domestic violence laws can affect your second amendment right.
Understanding the Texas Five-Year Firearm Ban
In general, Texas residents who have been convicted of a felony offense cannot possess a firearm for five years following the completion of their sentence. Section 46.04 of the Texas penal code states, “A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if he possesses a firearm: (1) after conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the person’s release from confinement following conviction of the felony or the person’s release from supervision, parole, or mandatory supervision, whichever date is later; or (2) after the period described by Subdivision (1), at any location other than the premises of at which the person lives.” Additionally, those who have been convicted of a Class A misdemeanor assault offense under Section 22.01 of the penal code, often involving a member of the person’s family or household, is subject to the five-year firearm ban.
Protective Orders and Gun Rights
Texas recently revised its laws to prevent individuals who are subject to a protective order from possessing firearms. If the court has issued a final or temporary order of protection against you, which is intended to protect family members, household members, dating partners, and victims of stalking or sexual assault, you will likely be compelled to forfeit your right to possess a firearm. The law provides that a person commits the offense of unlawful possession of a firearm if “the person possesses a firearm after receiving notice of the order and before expiration of the order.” In many cases, the court will also suspend concealed-carry licenses for those who are subject to a protective order.
Protecting Firearm Rights in Pearland
Although you may face a five-year suspension in your right to possess a firearm, there are some notable gaps in these laws. As explained here, the firearm ban does not typically apply to those “convicted of violent assaults against a current or former dating partner, unless the defendant has been married or lived with the victim; and it does not apply to people convicted of threatening a family or household member with imminent violent injury.” It’s important to note that federal law usually permanently prohibits those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence offenses from firearm possession. The consequences of a domestic assault or domestic violence offense can be significant, so contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney right away to discuss your options.
If you are facing domestic assault charges in the Pearland or Houston area, contact the Law Offices of Keith G. Allen, PLLC today at (832) 230-0075 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.