Weapons Charges in Fort Bend County, Texas

Certain weapons are considered dangerous under Texas law and possession of these weapons can lead to a criminal charge. Carrying these weapons in certain areas, such as a school zone, can potentially lead to even more serious consequences. If you’ve been arrested for unauthorized use of a weapon in Fort Bend County, you need to speak to an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney.

What Counts as a Dangerous Weapon Under Texas Law?

Title 10, Chapter 46 of the Texas Penal Code includes an extensive list of what is considered to be a dangerous weapon. You may be charged with a criminal offense if found in possession of any of the following:

  • Any type of club, including a blackjack, nightstick, mace or tomahawk
  • Explosive weapons, including bombs, grenades, rockets or mines
  • Firearms and handguns
  • Knives with a blade longer than 5 ½ inches
  • Daggers, bowie knives, swords, spears
  • Brass knuckles
  • Machine guns
  • Short-barrel firearms
  • Switchblade knives
  • Armor-piercing ammunition
  • Fake bombs
  • Any device capable of dispersing chemical substances
  • Zip gun
  • Firearm silencers

Under Section 46.02, a person has convicted a criminal offense involving a weapon if they:

Knowingly, intentionally or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife or club and is not inside their premises or inside a motor vehicle en route to their premises

It is also illegal to possess a handgun in a motor vehicle if the gun is in plain view or you’re engaged in criminal activity, a member of a street gang or other otherwise prohibited by law from possession a firearm.

There are exceptions for what constitutes a criminal offense involving a weapon. For example, you may have a weapon if you’re a member of law enforcement or if the item in question is an antique or collectible. If you’ve been arrested for a weapons violation, you should consult a Fort Bend County criminal defense attorney to discuss the type of crime you’ve been charged with.

Unlawful Transfer of a Weapon

Transferring a weapon to someone else may also be considered a crime, depending on the type of weapon involved and the person it is transferred to.

Under Texas Penal Code §46.06, it is illegal to:

  • Transfer a handgun to someone if you know that person intends to use it to commit a crime
  • Transfer a handgun, club or knife to a child under the age of 18 without a parent’s consent
  • Sell a firearm or ammunition to someone who is intoxicated
  • Sell a firearm or ammunition to a felon who has been paroled or released from prison for less than five years
  • Give or sell a firearm to someone who has an active order of protection against them
  • Buy or otherwise receive a handgun when there is an active protective order against you

Loaning, giving or selling a weapon to someone without doing a thorough background check can quickly lead to life-altering consequences. If you have questions about when and how you can legally transfer or accept weapon, consult a qualified Texas criminal defense attorney prior to doing so.

Weapons in Prohibited Areas

The state of Texas also makes it illegal to have weapons in certain areas, including school zones. If you commit a weapons violation in a school zone, the penalty is enhanced one level. This means that if you committed a Class B misdemeanor weapons violation, the charge would be elevated to a Class A misdemeanor if the crime occurred near a school.

Under Texas law, weapons are prohibited within 300 feet of a school or any area where a school function is taking place, such as a dance, field trip or sporting event.

In addition to school zones, Texas law prohibits you from carrying a weapon in a number of other places. According to Section 46.03 of the Penal Code, it is illegal to possess a weapon near or at any of the following:

  • In a polling location on election day
  • Inside any courthouse or courtroom
  • At a racetrack
  • Inside an airport
  • To a place of execution as prescribed by the Texas Department of Corrections

The prosecutor is not charged with proving that you knew the weapon was on your person, which can make it very difficult to defend yourself against a weapons charge. You should consult with your Fort Bend County criminal defense attorney to develop the strongest defense strategy for your case.

Use of a Deadly Weapon in the Commission of Another Crime

If you commit certain crimes and use or display a deadly weapon, this is considered an aggravating factor and may result in enhanced charges. For example, if you assault someone and use a deadly weapon to cause bodily injury, the charge may be elevated from a Class B to a Class A felony, which can potentially carry a life sentence. Charges can also be elevated if you use a weapon during the commission of a robbery, kidnapping or sexual assault.

What Are the Penalties for a Weapons Charge in Texas?

Weapons violations can be categorized as a misdemeanor or felony, depending
on the details of the alleged crime. The penalties for misdemeanors range from a simple fine to incarceration in the county jail. The penalties for felony convictions range from up to one year in state jail to life imprisonment as well as a fine of up to $10,000. The following chart provides a breakdown of the penalties you may incur if convicted of weapons charges.

Class Sentence Fine
Class C Misdemeanor No jail term $500
Class B Misdemeanor Up to 180 days in county jail $2,000
Class A Misdemeanor Up to one year in county jail $4,000
State Jail Felony Up to one year in state jail $10,000
Third Degree Felony 2 to 10 years in state prison$10,000
Second Degree Felony 2 to 20 years in state prison$10,000
First Degree Felony 5 to 99 years in state prison $10,000

Hiring a Fort Bend County Criminal Defense Attorney

As you can see, the penalties for a weapons offense can be steep and have the potential to irrevocably change your life. If you’ve been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, illegal transfer of a weapon or another weapons offense, you need the aid of an attorney who is experienced in dealing with these types of charges.

Attorney Lee D. Cox specializes in assisting clients who have been charged with weapons violations in defending their rights. As a former prosecutor, Lee understands the complexities of the Texas legal system and is committed to obtaining the best resolution possible for your case.

Call the law office of Lee D. Cox today at 281-762-7345 to schedule a free initial case evaluation. You can’t afford to let a conviction for weapons charges ruin your life. Call now to get the experienced legal representation you need to defend yourself against misdemeanor or felony weapons charges in Fort Bend County, Texas.

20+ Years of Experience in Criminal Defense

I began my career with the District Attorney's office and have been in private practice focusing on criminal defense in Fort Bend and surrounding counties since 2002.

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