Weapons possession charges are those that include the use of weapons or merely the possession of one during a crime. Weapon possession charges are classified into two different categories: possession and use.
Weapon possession charges focus solely on the fact that the criminal was in possession of a weapon regardless of the fact that no one was injured, threatened, hurt or even saw that weapon. Certain weapons like guns, switchblade knives and brass knuckles are usually banned from possession due to public policy concerns.
There are also rules in the state of Houston that prevent certain people from accessing certain weapons like guns. For instance, people who have already been convicted are restricted from possessing firearms. Weapons possession charges are usually lower compared to weapon charges that include the actual use of the weapons.
There are also laws that allow certain people to carry concealed weapons as long as they are licensed. However, there are certain restricted areas where weapons are not allowed like churches, bars, correctional facilities, businesses that restrict the weapons and schools. In case a person is found in possession of a weapon in these areas, they are charged with weapons possession even though they were not involved in a crime.
These charges involve the use of illegal weapons during another offense and they are at times considered as aggravated offenses. It matters naught if the weapon was used to physically injure the victim, the mere display of the weapon to scare or intimidate them to comply is considered a weapon use.
Defense for weapons possession
In case you have been charged with weapons possession in Houston TX, you need to have a competent defense lawyer defending your case if you want to have a good outcome. You could be charged either in a state court or a federal court depending on the weapon. The punishment range will also vary depending on the weapon as well.
The very first defense strategy is proving that you were not in possession of the said weapon. For instance, if the weapon was found in your car, it could be argued that the car does not belong to you. The second defense is showing that the weapon is not illegal. This is usually more so in the case that the weapon used was a knife because there are exceptions for the collector or decorative knives.
If you are charged and convicted of weapons possession, you will face misdemeanor level punishment that could include probation or a year or two in prison. If you are already a felon and are charged with weapons possession then you face a felony punishment of up to ten years in prison.
Defense for display or use of weapon
The defense used for using weapon charges is usually similar to other assault offenses like self-defense, mutual combat, consent or proving that the said item was not an actual weapon. For instance, if you robbed a bank with a handheld in your coat pocket pretending that you have a gun, the defense could argue that the charges should only be robbery and not aggravated robbery. This is because you never actually displayed or used the weapon and this could impact the outcome of the case and the range of punishment.
In Houston TX, sexual assault is considered a second-degree felony that is punishable by two to twenty years imprisonment. If during the assault a weapon is used, the punishment range goes from five to ninety-nine years imprisonment. Regardless of the crime, whether burglary, robbery or assault, the charges, and punishments go higher if there was a weapons possession or use.
If you have been involved in a crime and are charged with weapons possession, the wisest thing to do is hire a competent defense attorney who will come to the rescue. A competent attorney will likely lower the charges and the punishment range significantly for you.