Domestic violence charges can carry severe consequences. In addition to jail time or a probation sentence, there may be collateral consequences as well, such as being required to stay away from the alleged victim or being required to attend anger management classes.
Is one of those collateral consequences being prohibited from purchasing or possessing a gun after domestic violence charges?
Some Domestic Violence Charges Will Prohibit You From Possessing a Firearm
Domestic violence charges in Texas generally refer to offenses committed against a current or former dating partner or spouse, some family members, and current or former household members, regardless of whether there was a romantic relationship. In Texas, certain domestic violence convictions trigger a ban on possessing a firearm.
If you’ve been convicted of or plead guilty to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, you will be banned from owning or possessing a firearm for five years. If you receive a jail sentence, you must wait five years from the date you’re released to attempt to regain your rights to possess or own a gun.
In some cases, you can be prohibited from possessing or owning a gun even if you haven’t been convicted of a domestic violence offense. If there was a protective order issued against you by the court, you will no longer be able to possess a gun unless you are employed as a peace officer. You are also prohibited from possessing ammunition.
After an Arrest, Before a Conviction
If you’ve been arrested for a domestic violence charge, but not yet convicted, and there’s no protective order in place, you are not required under Texas law to relinquish any firearms that are already in your possession. However, if the judge believes that you are a danger, they can require you to turn over your firearms while the case is still pending.
Federal Law is Much Stricter
The Texas laws surrounding domestic violence convictions and gun ownership are less strict than federal laws. Under federal law, if you’re convicted of domestic violence crime, you are prohibited from possessing or owning a gun for the rest of your life.
Reach Out To Vinas & Graham, PLLC, For Questions On Buying A Gun With A Domestic Violence Charge
Domestic violence charges carry severe consequences and should always be taken seriously. If you’ve been convicted of a domestic violence charge, it’s likely that you will be banned from possessing or owning a firearm for at least five years. Failing to abide by this condition can lead to even more serious consequences.
If you have questions about the law or want to know what to do after a domestic violence charge or conviction, contacting an experienced criminal defense lawyer is a good idea. Vinas & Graham, PLLC can help. Call the law firm of Vinas & Graham today at 713-229-9992 for a consultation or fill out the online contact form for a callback. You can also follow us on Facebook to learn more about our firm and what we do to help our clients.