Expunging Unlawful Carry of a Firearm
Over the years, Republican and pro-gun rights groups have fought for constitutional carry rights in the state of Texas. For the longest time, Texas residents were required to obtain a permit if they wanted to carry a firearm lawfully. Failure to secure said permit would result in criminal charges and the offender would be charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm.
Now, thanks to the “Permitless Carry Bill” (HB 1927), Texans can now expunge their records of unlawful carry if their conviction or charges occurred before September 1st, 2021. The news means that more than 130,000 people will be eligible for expungement on September 1st according to the Texas District & County Attorneys Association (TDCAA).
If you’ve been arrested, charged, or convicted of unlawful carry, then we suggest you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. They can walk you through the expungement petition, the process itself, and collect any information you may need to submit your petition.
Georgetown Attorney for Expunging Unlawful Carry of a Firearm, TX
A criminal record can hold you back from truly living your life. It could cost you possible employment opportunities, affordable housing, and may affect your chances of a home or business loan. These collateral consequences are serious and may follow you around forever if you don’t act to change it.
Now that the state of Texas has passed HB 1927, you can now expunge any conviction under Section 46.02(a) of the Penal Code. If you’ve been convicted of UCW in the state of Texas, we highly encourage you pursue expungement with Price Magee & Twine, PLLC. Michael Price is a skilled defense lawyer with extensive experience helping clients expunge their criminal records.
Call (512) 354-1880 today to set up your first consultation with a firearms defense lawyer at Price Magee & Twine, PLLC. Price Magee & Twine, PLLC accepts clients in Williamson County and Bell County including Georgetown, Coupland, Florence, Granger, Leander, Liberty Hill, Taylor, Thrall, Weir, Hutto, Austin, Bartlett, Belton, Harker Heights, Killeen, Little River-Academy, Nolanville, Temple, Troy, Holland, Rogers, and Morgan’s Point Resort.
- Texans Allows Non-Expungement for Unlawful Carry Convictions
- Expunge Your Unlawful Carry Conviction in Texas
- Expunging and Non-Disclosure in Texas
- Sealing Unlawful Carry of a Firearm in Texas
- Additional Resources
Texas Now Allows Expungement for Unlawful Carry Convictions
The state of Texas, decades ago, made the decision to bar expunctions for convictions of unlawful carry of a weapon. The decision was executed because at the time legislators believed it would deter offenders from unlawfully carrying in the future and decrease gun violence. However, the decision had the opposite effect.
Instead of decreasing firearm violence, the state was left with thousands and thousands of hard-working citizens who had permanent criminal records they can’t erase despite committing a nonviolent crime. Under this legislation, it was found that more than 130,000 people were convicted of UCW in the state of Texas. Fortunately, the state of Texas has restored the right to expunge unlawful carry convictions thanks to HB 1927.
HB 1927, also known as the “Permitless Carry Bill,” allows Texans to expunge any offense under the Texas Penal Code Section 26.035 if you were convicted of unlawful carry before September 1st, 2021 as it existed before that date. The bill also allows Texans the right to
“constitutional carry,” which is the legal carrying of a handgun openly or concealed without a license or permit.
Expunge Your Unlawful Carry Conviction in Texas
After September 1st passes, you will be able to file a petition to expunge your unlawful carry of a firearm conviction. Your first step before filing the petition is to find the district court that had jurisdiction over your charges. The expunction process can only be handled in the jurisdiction where the crime occurred.
For instance, if you live in Williamson County, but were charged and convicted of unlawful carry in Bell County, you’ll have to file for expungement with the Bell County courts. Once that’s done, the courts will send you a response with a date and time for the hearing.
It’s important to remember expungements are handled in civil courts. During the proceedings, you’ll be referred to as the petitioner and the other party (prosecutor or law enforcement agency that arrested you) will take on the role as the respondent. The respondent will be given a 30-day notice of your hearing and can then choose to appeal the decision if they wish.
If you meet the requirements for expungement and the respondent doesn’t appeal, your unlawful carry conviction will be erased. All files and records related to your arrest, charges, and conviction will be destroyed. No employer, peer, licensing agency, and government agency will be able to access your prior criminal record.
Expunging vs. Sealing Your Criminal Record
You may have heard the terms “seal” or “expunge” being used interchangeably on courtroom TV dramas or the late-night news. While they are similar, both terms explain two different legal processes that result in two distinct outcomes. Whether you decide to seal or expunge your record will depend on the facts surrounding your case.
If you expunge your record, the record itself is destroyed by the courts. It will be impossible for employers, higher education institutions, licensing agencies, or any other organization to find your UCW arrest, charges, or conviction. Not only that, but if you expunge your record you can legally deny an arrest or conviction in a job interview.
Sealing your record, on the other hand, yields a similar but different result. You must file an order of non-disclosure with the appropriate court if you want to seal your record. Once it’s sealed, most private and public entities will no longer have access to your record. However, the record won’t be physically destroyed so some government and licensing agencies will still be able to pull your charges. Some of these agencies include the Texas Medical Board and the Education Agency.
Sealing Unlawful Carry of a Firearm in Texas
For the longest time, the only option for offenders was to seal their criminal record after facing charges for unlawful carry. Only those who qualify for non-disclosure can seal their records. According to Texas law, you can seal your unlawful carry charges or arrest if:
- The judge placed you on deferred adjudication
- You successfully completed the deferred adjudication
- The appropriate time period has passed to file an order of non-disclosure
- You weren’t convicted of any criminal offense between your deferred adjudication and filing for the order of non-disclosure
The waiting period to file an order for non-disclosure will depend on the charges. If you were facing a felony for unlawful carry, you’ll have to wait at least 5 years to file for non-disclosure. If it was a misdemeanor, there is no wait time and you can immediately file for non-disclosure once you’ve finished deferred adjudication.
Texas Permitless Carry Bill | HB 1927 – Visit the official website for the Texas Legislature Online to read HB 1927, also known as the Permitless Carry Bill. Access the site to see the bill’s sponsors, authors, amendments, the actions the bill has gone through in both the House and the Senate, as well as the signature by Governor Greg Abbott.
How Constitutional Carry Made Its Way to Legislature – Visit the official website for The Texan, an online news source for Texas residents. Access the site to read an article by Daniel Friend and learn more about the perfect storm of factors that blew together to make Permitless Carry possible in the state of Texas.
Williamson County Unlawful Carry Attorney, TX |Expungement & Record Sealing Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been convicted of UCW before September 1st, 20201, call Price Magee & Twine, PLLC. Michael Price and his legal team have the skills and resources needed to assist you with every step of the expunction process. He has helped clients achieve expunction or non-disclosure for over twenty years and can use his prior experience for your case.
Call (512) 354-1880 to set up you first consultation with an unlawful carry Georgetown attorney for free. Price Magee & Twine, PLLC has offices set up in Georgetown but accepts clients throughout the greater Bell County and Williamson County area.