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Texans are allowed to own firearms, so long as they hold a valid license. However, when they commit an offense, there may be severe penalties for carrying, purchasing, selling, or using a firearm in any manner that is deemed unlawful. The laws surrounding the use of a handgun, for instance, differ from those for a rifle, and it takes the help of a knowledgeable Lubbock gun lawyer to explain the complexities.
If someone is facing potential penalties, they owe it to themselves to find an experienced Lubbock defense lawyer who will work hard to secure the best possible outcome for their case.
Minimum and Maximum Penalties
They potential classifications and penalties for a gun offense in Lubbock range from a Class A misdemeanor with up to a year in the county jail, up to a felony with a minimum of a third degree, which is up to 10 years in a penitentiary. If that person has prior felony convictions other than the felony possession, they cannot use a felony possession. For example, if the person got charged with robbery and got penitentiary time, which is what made it a felony, they cannot use that again to enhance it. If the person has another felony conviction, it could move the punishment range any place between a maximum of 10 years up to up to habitual if they have two prior penitentiary trips, which is a minimum of 25 years up to life in the penitentiary.
Typically, the minimum is a Class A misdemeanor. That could mean the minimum would be no jail time and no fine if a person is convicted of that offense up to that same extent, the Unlawfully Carrying of a Weapon (UCW), up to a year in the county jail and up to a $4,000 fine. The minimum on felonies is two years, but that could be probated, as well.
If they found themselves in an enhanced where they had prior felonies, theoretically they could be going to the penitentiary for life.
Factors Influencing Sentencing
Attorneys and prosecutors will want to uncover if there was intent, what the criminal history of the accused is, whether it was a mistake, whether they used the gun as a weapon, or if they walked into a store that has a permit and just had it in their pocket.
The history of the person is also a factor that will influence the prosecutor’s decisions. They will want to know whether the person has no criminal history and accidentally left their gun in their bag when they went through security or if they have been in an out of prison their entire life, which could influence the penalties they face in Lubbock.
If a person is found guilty of illegally distributing a firearm to a minor, they would be looking at a potential felony case and depending on what happens with that, they could even get themselves in trouble with some federal issues.
Influence of Location of Offense
The location where the offense was committed may have an impact on the sentencing. If a person has a gun in a school, for example, schools are gun free zones, so that can get a person in real trouble since it could be a violation of state and federal law. A person cannot have a firearm in a bank or these other areas. These types of things will increase the penalty.
The additional penalties are the UCW or the unlawful discharge, the felon in possession, or violation of the concealed handgun permit. All of those could be additional. A person could have other criminal charges, which will depend on the facts of the case.
Working with a Gun Attorney
The first thing that a person has to do after being accused of a gun offense and learning of the penalties for a gun offense in Lubbock is to understand that every case is different. There is not one case that is exactly like any other case, and attorneys will need to investigate the facts. They need to find out what areas they might be able to litigate violations of the law. They will want to uncover if there were search warrants and if there were stop issues or arrest issues from the police. From there, they will sort the game plan together and begin building a unique defense.