Expunging Unlawful Carry Convictions
Texas, for many years, required residents to acquire a firearm permit or license if they want to open or conceal carry a handgun. However, in 2021, the state of Texas passed a bill called HB 1927, which would legalize constitutional carry rights for Texans everywhere. Not only that, but the “Permitless Carry Bill” will now allow Texas residents to expunge their records of unlawful carry as long as they were convicted before September 1st, 2021.
The bill’s passing means that over 130,000 people will be eligible for expunction according to the Texas District & County Attorneys Association (TDCAA). Thousands and thousands of Texans will finally have a second change at a clean record. This expunction could allow them to pursue more job, housing, and educational opportunities in the long run. If you’ve arrested, charged, and/or convicted of unlawfully carrying a weapon, then we highly recommend hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney with a background in expunctions.
San Antonio Attorney for Expungement of Unlawful Carry, TX
If you’ve been convicted of unlawful carry, then you understand the struggles and long-lasting consequences many offenders face after they’ve finished their sentence. It can be difficult to find adequate employment and housing because of your criminal record. Not only that, but you may be denied future home or business loan opportunities due to your criminal history.
Thankfully, unlawful carry offenders like yourself can move on from their past and finally expunge their record thanks to HB 1927. If you’re interested in filing for expungement, call Goldstein & Orr. Our Texas expungement lawyers have assisted many clients throughout the expunction process with success. We can apply our past knowledge and skills; our attorneys may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Call Goldstein & Orr today at (210) 226-1463 to schedule your first consultation free with a firearms and weapons offense attorney. Goldstein & Orr accepts clients throughout the greater San Antonio and Bexar County area including Atascosa County, Wilson County, Comal County, Guadalupe County, Hays County, Blanco County, Bastrop County, Kimble County, Crockett County, and Sutton County.
- You Can Now Expunge Unlawfully Carrying a Firearm in TX
- How Do I Expunge My Unlawful Carry Conviction?
- Sealing Your Record vs. Expunging Your Record
- Sealing Unlawful Carry in Texas
- Additional Resources
You Can Now Expunge Unlawfully Carrying a Firearm in Texas
Almost fifty years ago, Texas legislators made the decision to prohibit expunctions for unlawfully carrying a firearm. Legislators then believed that barring expungement for unlawful carry convictions would deter offenders from using firearms in the future and therefore decrease gun violence. Unfortunately, this did not happen at all. All the legislation did was cause thousands and thousands of productive citizens to sustain a permanent criminal record.
Thankfully, this has all changed with the passing of House Bill 1927, also known as the “Permitless Carry Bill.” More than 130,000 people in the state of Texas will qualify for expungement after September 1st, 2021 according to the TDCAA. All of these people have been suffering with the collateral consequences of conviction for a nonviolent crime. Now, they can finally move on with a clean record thanks to HB 1927.
The Permitless Carry Bill allows Texans to expunge an offense under the Texas Penal Code 46.035 or 46.02 if you were convicted of the crime before September 1st, 2021 as it existed before that specific date.
The bill also allows Texas residents to exercise their right to constitutional carry. Essentially, this means Texas residents can carry a handgun openly or concealed without a license or permit. The only requirement is that you haven’t been convicted of certain crimes and you’re over the age of 21.
How Do I Expunge My Unlawful Carry Conviction?
On September 1st, 2021 you will finally be permitted to expunge your unlawful carry conviction in the state of Texas. You’ll have to file a petition for expunction with the district court your charges were resolved in. Texas expungements must be handled in the jurisdiction where the offense happened.
For instance, if you live in Bexar County, but were charged and convicted for unlawfully carrying a firearm in Comal County, then you’ll have to file for expunction at the Comal County district court. After you send your petition the courts will schedule a time/date for the review hearing.
Expungements are handled in civil court, so you’ll be referred to as the petitioner. The other party (either the prosecutor who handled your case or local law enforcement agency that arrested you) will be the respondent. The respondent does have a chance to appeal your expungement and will be given 30-day notice of the hearing beforehand.
If the judge determines you meet the criteria, they will expunge your criminal record. All files and records related to the arrest, charges, and conviction will be destroyed. No one will be able to access your record, even government agencies.
What’s the Difference Between Expungement and Sealing Your Record?
Although they are similar, the terms “expungement” and “sealing your record” are actually two different processes with distinct outcomes. The decision to either seal or expunge your record will depend on your eligibility and the facts of the case.
When you expunge your record, no one can access it. Employers, higher education institutions, financial institutions, licensing agencies, and even government agencies can no longer access records related to your unlawful carry conviction. You’ll also be legally allowed to deny an arrest, charges, or conviction in a job interview without any fear if you expunge your record.
Sealing your record, on the other hand, is a different story. You can only seal your record by filing an order of non-disclosure with the court who had jurisdiction over your case. The requirements for sealing your record are considered to be laxer and more attainable for offenders. However, you cannot start the process unless you qualify.
The court will seal your criminal record of unlawful carry if:
- You were placed on deferred adjudication
- You successfully completed the program
- Waited the appropriate time period to file an order of non-disclosure
- Wasn’t convicted of any criminal offense between the time of your deferred adjudication and filing for non-disclosure
HB 1927 or Permitless Carry Bill– Visit the official website for the Texas Legislature Online to learn about House Bill 1927, which legalized constitutional carry rights. Access the site to see the authors of the bill, co-authors, how the bill has been amended in the House and Senate, as well as the signature by Governor Greg Abbott.
Firearm Laws in Texas – Visit the official website for the Texas Statutes and Penal Code to read up on their laws regarding firearms. Access the site to read more other related weapon and firearms crimes including felon in possession of a firearm and discharging a firearm in public.
Bexar County Unlawful Carry Defense Lawyer | Expungement & Record Seal Attorney
If you or someone you know has been convicted for unlawfully carrying a firearm, then we highly encourage you to secure legal representation as soon as possible with Goldstein & Orr. Our attorneys have decades of collective experience helping clients seal or expunge their records. They can do the same for you if you simply call Goldstein & Orr at (210) 226-1463 today.
Call Goldstein & Orr at (210) 226-1463 to set up your first consultation. Goldstein & Orr has offices set up in Bexar County, but accepts clients throughout the state of Texas including Comal County, Atascosa County, Kendall County, Travis County, Blanco County, Burnet County, Kimble County, Sutton County, Crockett County, Pecos County, Frio County, La Salle County, Hudspeth County, and Live Oak County.