How a DWI Affects Your CHL in Texas
As a criminal defense attorney, I take all of our constitutional rights seriously. This commitment, of course, includes the Second Amendment, which says that every American citizen is granted the right to bear arms — even if the state and federal governments often place limits on who can own a gun and ways to obtain one. While some of these policies make sense, others can be outrageous. For example, true that there should be measures to prevent the unlawful carrying of a firearm for someone with multiple violent convictions on their record, but what of people who were simply charged with a DWI?
The Law on Concealed Carry Licenses and DWI in Texas
One question I hear frequently from my clients is, “Will my DWI affect my ability to carry a concealed firearm?” Unfortunately, the answer is yes. A DWI conviction counts as a second-degree misdemeanor, and in the state of Texas, that means you can’t have a concealed hand license AKA “CHL” and carry a concealed weapon for the next five years. That said, owning one in your home is permissible during those five years. This also applies to cases that were dismissed as the result of probation or deferred adjudication.
On your second DWI conviction? I’m afraid the situation only gets worse. If you have been convicted of DWI twice within a single ten-year period, you are completely ineligible to receive a concealed carry permit.
The Options If You’ve Had a DWI
The most important thing to keep in mind about Texas’ laws on DWIs and CHLs is that you have to have been convicted in order to have your concealed carry license revoked. If you beat your charges or have the charges dismissed, you’re in the clear.
DWI charges can be fought and they can be beaten. Just keep in mind these two things that make it difficult to fight your case: A) confessing to drinking and driving by telling the officer that you’ve been drinking and how much B) taking and failing a roadside sobriety test. Your best bet is always to refuse roadside testing and to agree to a breath test back at the station. Follow these two simple rules and your chances of receiving a “not guilty” verdict along with keeping your CHL increases.
Use Common Sense and Be Safe
Always remember that guns and alcohol DO NOT mix, especially if you’re going out. Recklessly carrying a concealed weapon in public would put you in direct violation of Texas Penal Code 46.02. Bad things happen to good people so best to leave the gun if you’re at a bar. Be responsible with your CHL and do not drink and drive.
Get Texas’ Most Aggressive DWI Defense On Your Side
Mark Thiessen isn’t just one of the top DWI lawyers in Texas, he’s also a strong advocate of the second amendment. Mark has beaten both blood and breath tests in court, and his passion for his clients’ rights is second to none. Read over some of Mark’s many success stories, and contact our office today for a free consultation if you or a loved one have recently been charged with a DWI or any other criminal offense.