Posted by on May 5, 2022

New Texas Law allows the Expungement of Unlawful Weapons Carry Charge

For decades, you have not been able to expunge unlawful carrying of a weapon cases related to the carrying of a firearm if you received a conviction for the offense.  But a new Texas law now allows citizens with certain criminal convictions to have those charges expunged and erased from their criminal record.  The state of Texas recently passed the “Permitless Carry Bill” (HB 1927), which allows Texans to expunge their records of unlawful carry as long as they were convicted before September 1st, 2021.

According to the TDCAA (Texas District & County Attorneys Association), more than 130,000 people since the year 1974 have been convicted of unlawfully carrying a weapon in Texas. That means thousands and thousands of people will finally have a second chance to have a clean record. If you’ve been arrested, charged, and/or convicted of unlawful carry, then we highly encourage you to hire an experienced expungement attorney such as the Hopping Law Group, PC.

What is Expungement?

When a record is expunged, the court destroys all records of the case.

There will no longer be a record for anyone such as a prospective employer, colleges and universities, licensing agencies, or any other organization to locate your UCW arrest, charges, or conviction. As a result, when your record is expunged, you can legally say that you haven’t been arrested or convicted in a job interview or on an application.

What are the Details of the Permitless Carry Bill?

The legislation is HB 1927, also known as “the Permitless Carry Bill.” This bill grants anyone who’s been convicted of an offense under Texas Penal Code §46.02(a)—the unlawful carrying of weapons as that section existed prior to the new law going into effect—the right to have all records and files relating to that arrest and conviction expunged.

Section 46.02(a) criminalized only the intentional, knowing, or reckless carrying of a handgun at a place other than the person’s home, motor vehicle, or boat.  Furthermore, convictions under past versions of §46.02(a) could have involved old conduct that fits the elements of numerous other crimes still on the books but which will now be eligible for expunctions including:

  • Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon cases by minors or those with certain prior convictions who still cannot carry a handgun under the new §46.02(a);
  • Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon in a vehicle prior to September 1, 2007, which were prosecuted under §46.02(a) until §46.02(a-1) was enacted for that subset of cases;
  • Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon at a licensed premises, which may still be a crime under the new §46.03(7); and
  • Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon involving clubs or illegal knives, which were crimes until a few years ago and for which it may again be a crime to carry at certain locations under the amended §46.03

The effective date of the Permitless Carry Bill, which adds a new subsection was September 1, 2021.

That bill also amends Article 55.02, §2(a), Procedures for Expunction, to recognize this new category of expunction. Observers say this is the first time that the state legislature has granted convicted offenders a right to have records of a conviction erased. That’s even though these defendants were found guilty and may have even served a jail sentence but weren’t pardoned or exonerated.

It’s believed that this may impact more than 130,000 DPS records of convictions under §46.02(a) since that crime was originally enacted in 1974. Each of those records is now eligible for expunction on a case-by-case basis—despite the fact that the conduct that led to the conviction would still be a crime.

Does My Case Qualify?

With the new legislation, your case may qualify for an expunction if any of the following apply:

  • You have been convicted of an Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon (firearm) Offense prior to September 1, 2021 under section 46.02(a).

Additionally, the following may be eligible for an expunction as well.

  • Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon cases by minors or those with certain prior convictions who still cannot carry a handgun under the new §46.02(a);
  • Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon in a vehicle prior to September 1, 2007, which were prosecuted under §46.02(a) until §46.02(a-1) was enacted for that subset of cases;
  • Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon at a licensed premises, which may still be a crime under the new §46.03(7); and
  • Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon involving clubs or illegal knives, which were crimes until a few years ago and for which it may again be a crime to carry at certain locations under the amended §46.03.

If one of these applies to your case, you may qualify for an expunction.  Call The Hopping Law Group, PC at (855) 773-4669 to set up your FREE consultation.  We serve ALL 254 counties in Texas.

Posted in: Expungement
Index