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The ways individuals can be charged with a gun offense in Lubbock can vary. Over the years, the situation has become that if the felon is in possession, it becomes a higher grade. If a person has a gun or a concealed handgun license, they have some authorization by the state to actually possess it. When a person violates that, that state’s position is that it wants to make sure that potentially the individual does not have the right to possess that firearm, or cannot have it in an open or concealed handgun carry.
There can be severe penalties for various gun offenses that individuals need to be aware of. An experienced gun attorney will be able to advocate for anyone facing gun charges in Lubbock and will be able to build their case.
The most common gun charge is Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon (UCW). There is also the felony offense or misdemeanor offense of deadly conduct. That is shooting the gun off in certain areas. For example, a person cannot fire the firearm inside the city limits. Then there is the felony charge of possession and felonies go up to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, as well.
If a person illegally possesses the gun, officers have to prove possession. Possession in Texas means care, custody, and control. They can show it from a constructive possession or actual possession. Actual possession is when the person has the gun in their hand and the police officer sees it. Constructive possession is a situation where a person is driving their car down the road, they get stopped, their vehicle gets searched, and under the front seat is the firearm. They are going to try to argue that the person knew it was there, which is constructive possession.
To have possession, just the gun being there is not enough. For example is, there are four in the car with a gun. The person gets stopped and at that point in time, everybody gets arrested or one person has a felony. So, the person with the felony gets charged. If that person did not know that the gun was there, they would not be guilty of the offense of possession.
A person does not have to have a gun on their person to be charged with possession. They can show that the person constructively possessed it, had carry, custody, and control, and that knew it was there. It may be in the car and the person was outside of the car, so it does not have to be on the person.
It is common to be charged with other offenses along with a gun offense in Lubbock. Often, the officer is investigating something else, like driving while intoxicated. The person gets stopped and arrested for a DWI and they find a gun in the car. Even if it is a legitimate reason and the person has a concealed handgun license, they will charge them with the other offense, as well. Conspiracy in Texas, and this is not federal, involves three or more people acting. Conspiracies in the state law do not occur much, but gun conspiracies can still come up in potential gun offenses in Lubbock as an additional charge.