Can a felon get in trouble traveling in car with person who has a clean record and has a handgun?

Asked over 1 year ago - Fort Worth, TX

Example: person has a felony DWI, spouse has clean record. Spouse owns a handgun and they will be traveling together. If they get stopped, can the person with felony get in trouble for having gun in car, if it belongs to the spouse?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Cynthia Russell Henley

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . It is a question of possession, and who they authorities think are in possession.

    Cynthia Henley
    713-222-1220

  2. Eric Richard Little

    Contributor Level 11

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    Answered . I would advise against this. Under Texas law, it is an offense for a convicted felon to be in possession of a firearm at any time outside his residence (after five years pass following the release from incarceration, parole or probation, some may be allowed to have a firearm solely in their residence). If husband and wife are in the same car, and wife has her handgun with her, it could be deemed to be in husband's possession. Under the Texas Penal Code, "possession" means actual care, custody, control, or management. Because of the husband-wife relationship, and the husband's close proximity and potential access to the gun, I think a law enforcement officer would likely deem this a violation, and a prosecutor very well would too. Traveling in this fashion is definitely not a good idea.

    The information provided by this attorney is for general guidance only, and is not to be considered as advice... more
  3. Evan Edward Pierce-Jones

    Contributor Level 18

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    Answered . I agree with Ms. Henley.

    It is not unheard of for a person to get charged with possession of gun, drugs, whatever, and end up telling the defense lawyer, "It wasn't mine". I do believe that is often the case. But, when it comes to getting charged, arrested, jailed, etc., it's what the law enforcement officers and prosecutors believe that determines what happens.

    Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No... more
  4. Carmine John Giardino

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . If the gun is registered to the spouse (one with clean record) and the spouse (one with clean record) is in possession, the other spouse (with felony) is not breaking the law. That doesn't mean he/she won't get arrested and charged with it, because innocent people get arrested and charged all the time. It just means that it can be defended easily. It's no different than the spouse (with felony) getting arrested for running a stop sign and because he was transported to the police department by officer who has a gun on him, he is also charged with possession of gun. That's ridiculous and doesn't happen. Just because one spouse cannot be in possession of a gun doesn't take the other spouse's right to carry one away. If the gun is registered to the spouse with the felony, that's a different case.

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