Texas gun laws recently became even more lenient, as Governor Greg Abbott signed the Constitutional Carry bill (HB 1927) into law. As of September 1, 2021, Texans aged 21 and over can legally carry a handgun without getting a state license – unless they can’t possess a firearm because they are disqualified by state or federal law.
Why might you be disqualified?
One reason why you might not be able to possess a gun is because you have previously been convicted of a domestic violence crime. And the new Constitutional Carry law increased criminal penalties for family violence crimes.
- A Class A misdemeanor for family violence was increased to a 3rddegree felony.
- If a temporary emergency order, a final family violence protective order, or a marriage dissolution protective order has been issued against you, and you are in possession of a firearm, the penalty increases from a Class A misdemeanor to a 3rddegree felony.
(It’s not just family violence crimes that the new law effects. The bill also prohibits a person from permitless carry for five years if they were previously convicted of assault with bodily injury, deadly conduct, terroristic threats, or disorderly conduct with a firearm.)
Fighting Domestic Violence Charges
This change in Texas gun law makes it even more important to aggressively fight protective orders and family violence charges.
Most people don’t know when a temporary emergency order is being heard against them in court. The “victim” and their lawyer are the only people to appear before the judge and only their side of the story is heard.
Your right to possess a firearm is restricted when that initial temporary restraining order is granted. But you have a second chance to fight both the protective order and the firearm restrictions when a final protective order hearing takes place.
One of the biggest challenges to defending a case of false domestic violence allegations is the “he said-she said” nature of the crime. Someone can make a charge of domestic violence based on a perceived threat or emotional abuse, without any physical attack having taken place.
Putting together a strong defense can be like putting together the pieces of a puzzle – piece by piece a true picture begins to form. Character witnesses may be critical to proving what kind of person the “victim” is, and what kind of person the “perpetrator” is. A timeline of events may be needed to prove that some things didn’t happen when or as they were described. Medical records may be needed to prove that “injuries” were exaggerated.
A lot is on the line when facing down a charge of domestic violence – including your right to carry a firearm. Talk with the Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys and Lee and Wood, LP about the steps you can take today to defend yourself in court. Call 817-678-6771 or contact us online.