In Texas, if a person is convicted of a felony, they may not lawfully possess a firearm, with some execptions. However, not all criminal charges result in a conviction or imprisonment.
In some cases, you might be placed on a type of community supervision called deferred adjudication. If you are on probation, you may wonder if the non-disclosure requirements and firearm prohibitions apply to your situation because you were not found guilty of an offense. Once you complete your deferred you must wait 5 years before you can file a petition of non-disclosure to seal your record. Also, you must wait 10 years before you can file for a license to carry a firearm.
What Is Deferred Adjudication?
Depending on your circumstances, a judge might order you to deferred adjudication. That means, rather than issuing a conviction in your case, they will put you on probation, which allows you to carry out your sentence in the community rather than jail or prison.
During the period of probation, you must comply with specific terms, which could include:
- Drug testing
- Maintaining employment
- Performing community service
- Avoiding additional run-ins with the law
Non Disclosure Deferred Adjudication
If you do not commit a probation violation, after your term finishes, you will not have a conviction on your record. However, you must petition for non-disclosure to have the information sealed from public access. You cannot file for a non-disclosure until 5 years after your release from community supervision.
When Can I Apply for a License to Carry?
Even though you can petition for a non-disclosure 5 years after your release from probation, your record will still be accessible to firearm licensing board. Under state law, you are not eligible for a license to carry (LTC) if you were convicted or went on deferred adjudication within 10 years of applying. Therefore, when the licensing board reviews your application, they will deny it if your judgment was issued before the waiting period is up.
Can I Have a Gun if I Don’t Have a License?
Technically, unless you are barred by law from owning one, you can have a gun even if you do not have a license to carry. Under Texas statute 46.02, it is lawful to carry a firearm on your own property or while you are in your vehicle or watercraft (as long as the weapon is not in plain view). Otherwise, if you don’t have a license, you cannot carry a gun around with you.
After you complete your term of deferred adjudication, you are no longer under indictment for an offense, which means you were not convicted and might not be prohibited from having a gun. Therefore, even if you do not have an LTC, you may be able to possess a firearm as long as you comply with state laws.
Contact Stornello Law Firm, P.C. for a Free Consultation
The laws concerning your rights are complex and dynamic. If you were charged with an offense and placed on deferred adjudication, our attorney can help you understand the effects of the judgment and when you are eligible to petition for non-disclosure and own a gun. Backed by over 20 years of legal experience, we know the law and how to look out for your best interests.
Get in contact with our firm today by calling us at (281) 761-7160 or filling out an online form.