Is Domestic Assault More Serious If You Own a Weapon?

Blogs from January, 2021


If you are charged with domestic assault – or with any other crime of family violence – in or near San Marcos or New Braunfels, you will need a good defense lawyer’s help at once. Reach out to San Marcos domestic violence defense attorney David C. Hardaway.

If you’ve been accused of domestic assault, attorney David C. Hardaway will investigate what happened and fight aggressively for the justice you need. If you are the victim of a fabricated allegation, he will get to the truth. But if the evidence against you is overwhelming, and you are going to be convicted, he will negotiate for reduced or alternative sentencing.

What Happens If You Are Convicted of Domestic Violence?

However, if you are convicted of a domestic violence crime, no attorney will be able to help you keep your firearm rights. Any conviction for a crime of domestic violence, even a misdemeanor conviction, means that you may never again purchase or possess a firearm. This includes being placed on deferred adjudication if there is an affirmative finding of family violence. The violation of this prohibition is a federal offense punishable upon conviction with up to ten years in federal prison.

Offenders convicted of domestic violence charges have been prohibited from possessing or purchasing firearms and ammunition since the passage of the federal Gun Control Act of 1968. In 1996, the Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968 extended the prohibition to offenders convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors.

Isn’t Owning a Firearm Your Right?

You should also know, however, that owning a firearm is your right, established and protected by the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. As long as you own your firearm within the bounds of the law, you cannot be penalized for firearm ownership.

Unless you use, or threaten to use, a firearm during the commission of an act of domestic violence, the mere ownership of the firearm has no impact – whatsoever – on your prosecution if you are charged with a domestic violence crime.

The charge for a crime of domestic violence cannot be increased (domestic assault, for example, cannot be increased to aggravated domestic assault) simply because you own a firearm, and if you are convicted, the penalty cannot be enhanced (that is, longer) simply because you own a firearm.

What Else Happens If You Are Convicted of Domestic Violence?

However, if you are convicted for any crime of domestic violence, you will have to surrender any firearms that you own. After that conviction, your continued firearm ownership will be a violation of federal law.

If You Are Charged With a Crime of Domestic Violence

Domestic assault cases are treated seriously by the authorities in this state. The penalties for a conviction can be harsh, and the long-term consequences – including the loss of your right to own a firearm – are substantial.

If there is any way that you can avoid a domestic violence conviction, Criminal Defense Attorney in San Marcos, TX David C. Hardaway will find it. To learn more about your rights, or to retain legal counsel if you have been charged with domestic abuse, call the Law Offices of David C. Hardaway now at (512) 846-9966.

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