Please Note: Under the current Governor, we are unable to help someone with a felony conviction in Texas. Also, we cannot help those with Federal convictions or out of state felony convictions.

There are a lot of points of confusion surrounding Texas deferred adjudication and gun ownership. Is deferred adjudication a conviction? Do state and federal laws view deferred adjudication differently? Can you get a CHL with a deferred adjudication? 

And most importantly: Can you own a gun if you are or were deferred adjudication?

Before you can adequately answer these questions, you first need to understand the basics of deferred adjudication and how it affects your criminal record. Let’s review these facts and then delve into the larger questions surrounding Texas deferred adjudication and gun ownership. 

First things first, what is deferred adjudication?

An important thing to keep in mind about Texas deferred adjudication and gun ownership is this: Deferred adjudication is not a conviction. 

If you received deferred adjudication, the judge has found enough evidence for a conviction but has “deferred” a finding of guilt. The court has not sentenced you but placed you on a period of community supervision. Most of the conditions of deferred adjudication are similar to those of a conviction and may include community service hours, some type of rehabilitative course, a fine, and more.

Once you complete the deferred adjudication, your charges will be dropped. However, even though the case is dismissed, it isn’t wiped from your record. The charge and the disposition remains on your record. It’s incredibly important to understand this fact.

Does deferred adjudication show up on a background check in Texas? 

Yes. But if you’re just beginning to investigate the particulars of Texas deferred adjudication and gun ownership, don’t be discouraged. Your charge and deferred adjudication can be sealed from public view.

However, this procedure is not automatic You must petition for a non-disclosure after you have completed the requirements of your deferred adjudication (and sat out any required waiting periods). 

If you do not have a non-disclosure, then both the charge and the fact you completed deferred adjudication will show up on a background check. In other words, your deferred adjudication can impact your job search, your ability to own a gun, as well as many different situations and opportunities in which a complete background check is required.

Note certain offenses are not eligible for non-disclosure.

Can you own a gun if the court gave you deferred adjudication? 

According to Texas law, since there is not yet a conviction, you can own a gun while on deferred adjudication unless there is a specific order in the judgment deferring guilt. (This assumes you are otherwise eligible to own a firearm.)

But what about federal law? Is deferred adjudication a conviction under federal law? Meaning, would it bar you from legal gun ownership?

Unlike state law, when it comes to federal law, you cannot own a gun until you have completed the requirements of your deferred adjudication. However, once you have completed your deferred adjudication, you may own a firearm or carry a handgun with an LTC (after the required waiting periods).

Learn more about buying a gun with a deferred felony.

Can you get a CHL with a deferred adjudication? 

The waiting period to get an LTC after completing a deferred adjudication for a misdemeanor is five years, and the waiting period to apply for an LTC after deferred adjudication for a felony is ten years. This waiting period also pertains to sealed cases; even if you’ve waited five years and you’ve sealed your record from public view, the licensing board will still be able to pull up your record and deny your LTC request. 

Learn more with our go-to guide on Texas gun rights

Have more questions about Texas deferred adjudication and gun ownership?

If you’re charged with a crime and want to own a gun, it’s important to understand how the laws surrounding Texas deferred adjudication and gun ownership can affect your life and your gun rights. That’s why we’re here. We are an aggressive and experienced local law firm that will help you understand the ins and outs of your case. 

To learn more about your rights with regard to Texas deferred adjudication and gun ownership, request a consultation online or call Thiessen Law Firm today at 713-864-9000 to speak with gun rights attorney Ronnie Yeates.

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