This is the first post in a series of articles discussing the ability to expunge certain unlawful carry convictions. New legislation, made effective on September 1, 2021, significantly changed Texas state law regarding previously existing licensing requirements applicable to handguns. Prior to the enactment of HB 1927, otherwise known as the “Constitutional Carry” statute, residents were required to have a license to carry a handgun, either openly or concealed, in a public place. The new law removes this requirement for individuals 21 and older who are otherwise not prohibited from carrying or possessing a firearm under state or federal law. In addition, the legislation allows residents who were previously convicted of unlawful carry under Texas Penal Code 46.02(a) to expunge all files and records related to the conviction from their criminal records. For thousands of residents who have been convicted of firearm-related offenses under 46.02(a), expunction means that the information will no longer be accessible by governmental agencies or through background checks. This means that the conviction will stop acting as a barrier to employment, licensing, housing, or credit. My office understands the difference a clean slate can make to Austin residents with a gun conviction and we are ready to assist you. If you have been convicted of a gun-related offense and are interested in expunging your record, contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
This series will focus on the following topics:
- Understanding the new expunction provision in the “Constitutional Carry” statute
- Who is eligible to expunge their previous unlawful carry conviction
- The process of expunging a gun-charge under HB 1927
- The benefits of expunging one’s criminal record
- The importance of retaining an attorney to assist with the expunction process
Given the potentially widespread impact of HB 1927, I felt it was important to address the expungement provisions for a variety of reasons. First, much has been written about the Constitutional Carry statute and its impact on gun rights throughout the state. My focus in this series will be explaining the modifications related to expungement. Second, some estimate that up to 130,000 Texas residents have been convicted of unlawful carry under Section 46.02(a) of the Texas Penal Code since its inception. Many, but not all, of these individuals will now be eligible to have those convictions expunged. Third, it is important to understand the process of seeking to expunge one’s record in Texas. Next, the benefits of clearing one’s name cannot be overstated. I will discuss the impacts and consequences of removing such information from one’s criminal record. Finally, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney can help ensure that your case is handled properly, avoiding delays and costly mistakes.
Whether or not one is eligible for this procedure will depend upon the specifics of an individual’s criminal history. I am a criminal defense lawyer with experience successfully seeking expungement on my clients’ behalf. If you need assistance, contact my Austin office to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. I also serve the cities of Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, and San Marcos, Texas.