If you’ve been charged with a DWI, it can be terrifying knowing that this mistake could negatively affect your future in a variety of ways. The state of Texas upholds a variety of different DWI penalties, so it’s understandable to question whether your DWI charge will keep you from owning a gun. The answer on whether your DWI will affect your gun rights, however, lies in the severity of your charge.
If your DWI charge was a felony, you won’t be able to purchase or own a gun in Texas. If your offense was a misdemeanor, you can still buy a gun as long as you’re not in the process of being charged with a Class B or A misdemeanor that could potentially land you in jail.
Knowing the gun laws for your specific situation can get confusing, which is why speaking with a Fort Worth DWI lawyer about your charges can be a great place to start. At The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy, our attorneys have handled numerous criminal cases and would be happy to support you through any legal issues you might be facing.
DUI vs. DWI
The state of Texas differentiates between DUI and DWI based on age. A DWI is a more severe penalty than a DUI. Anyone who is over twenty-one years old and is caught driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or above can be charged with a DWI. Anyone under the age of twenty-one who is pulled over and has any alcohol in their blood whatsoever can be charged with a DUI.
Minors under the age of twenty-one can also be charged with DWIs if their BAC is above 0.08.
Misdemeanors vs. Felonies
When determining whether you can buy a gun with a DWI, it all comes down to whether your charge is a misdemeanor or a felony charge. If this is your first or second DWI offense, your charge will likely be a Class B or Class A misdemeanor. In this case, you still have the right to buy or own a gun as long as you’re not in the process of being charged with a crime.
If you have a third-offense DWI on your record, it will be charged as a third-degree felony. As a felon, you’ll no longer have the right to bear arms.
Contact a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer
Even if you don’t get convicted of a felony, the repercussions of having a misdemeanor on your record can be life-altering, and obviously, a conviction can mean further consequences beyond losing the right to own a gun, such as also losing your driver license. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer to defend your case can save you a lot of trouble in the future when you try to rent an apartment or apply for a job. At The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy, we’re prepared to fight for you in court and work to get your charges dismissed.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case in further detail, contact us by calling 817-605-1010 or by filling out the contact form below.