Gun Crimes in Texas

Texas has some of the most liberal gun laws in the country; there is actually no age requirement for possessing a gun. Right-to-arms advocates love to point out that despite this, Texas has a much lower number of gun-related homicides in the country (65%) than states where gun laws are much more stringent such as California at 69%, Michigan at 76%, and Illinois at a whopping 86%. However, just because Texas is gun-friendly doesn’t mean there are no gun crimes that can be slapped against a clueless resident.

Under Texas law, gun owners are typically not allowed to carry their guns outside their own premises unless it is a rifle or shot gun. A person with a license to carry a concealed weapon may legally bring a handgun off their private premises except when:

  • Intoxicated
  • On certain premises (amusement park, religious worship, medical care facilities, nursing homes, and any meeting place by a government agency) with the proper warning signage as stipulated under Texas Penal Code §30.06
  • Within 1000 feet of a correctional facility where an execution has been scheduled
  • At polling places during elections
  • At any racetrack
  • Attending an interscholastic event except when the event involves handguns (shooting competitions)
  • Inside a school or education building or transport vehicle
  • At any bar or restaurant that derives more than 50% of its income from selling alcoholic beverages
  • In secured areas of any airport except if the weapon is packaged and encased as check in baggage subject to regulations

A violation of any of these conditions constitutes a gun crime and carries stiff penalties. Nevertheless, according to the website of Inglis Defense, if you are charged with a gun crime in Texas, don’t think that friendly gun laws mean you are going to get off easily, even if you had no intention of doing harm to anyone or didn’t know you were violating any laws. Ignorance of the law is not a defense. You need to consult with competent gun crime lawyers practicing in the area to get you out of this type of sticky situation.

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Understanding Drunk Driving Crimes

drunk drivingHaving drinks with a group of friends is fun, but make sure that you have a way to get back home. Driving while intoxicated puts yourself and other drivers around you in danger. Most people are not really aware, but driving while intoxicated or DWI (also called driving under the influence or DUI) is generally considered a crime. Intoxication can be due to alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medications. Depending on the state that the offence was committed, it can either be a misdemeanor or a criminal offense.

Driving while intoxicated is considered as among the serious driving offenses and accounts to a third of road accidents and traffic deaths. There are heavy penalties for DWI or DUI, and lately there have been pressure in increasing the punishments to violators these traffic offences. There are presently three laws that pertain to drunk driving: first, driving under the influence where it is considered a crime to drive while impaired with alcohol, drugs or narcotics, second, having a blood alcohol (BAC) level of over 0.08% where all states consider it a crime to drive with such BAC levels regardless of whether the ability to drive was impaired or not, and lastly, felony DWI/DUI where some changes can be accounted as a felony and could lead to a prison sentence.

There are certain differences between a misdemeanor DWI offense and felony DWI offense. Whereas a misdemeanor only needs a light DWI defense since a violator who choose to settle for the damages they caused can lead to compromise where the violator can have a reduced or no penalties at all, a criminal defense may be necessary when felony DUI/DWI is committed. DUI/DWI can escalate to a felony charge if the violator had similar past offenses within seven years (depending on the state or jurisdiction). When the victim of the DUI/DWI accident died as a result, then the violator can be charged with felony DUI/DWI. Repeat offenders can be charged with felony DUI/DWI regardless of whether the accident caused a fatality or none.

Anyone who has experienced being caught driving while intoxicated or under the influence knows the value of having the right lawyers or legal help. Other than keeping or getting back your driver’s license, having proper legal representation could help in lowering penalties and fines, as well as settle possible compensation for the victim of the accident.

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