I was arrested for burglary of a building in Texas which is a state jail felony. They sentenced me to 3 years deferred adjudication and i was released after serving a year and a month. I am now 21 and i want to excercise my right to bear arms. Has my right to buy firearms or posses firearms been affected? I havent had trouble with voting or anything. Also the army said i was now ineligible to join becasue of the deferred, but i was completely eligible and about to sign up before the arrest happened. Is this true or can i still enlist since i wasnt actually convicted? Thanks a million for any help!
Well franklin while i appreciate your answer it isnt what im looking for. Even the paper i got from the court says felony deferred can posses firearms and ammo and go hunting and apply for a conceal permit after 5 or 10 years. It just says i cant purchase additional firearms. So it doesnt really make sense. Thats all im trying to figure out. Some say i can buy and some say i cant. I want a legitimate answer taking into consideration all TEXAS laws. Thanks
Criminal Defense Attorney
This area of law is complicated because you are dealing with several conflicting sources of law.
Under Texas law you can possess a firearm just like the judge said.
The Federal firearms law says a person "convicted" of a felony can never possess a firearm. "Convicted" for federal criminal purposes does not include a Texas deferred adjudication.
Army regulations will determine what the Army considers to be a conviction or not, and what is an acceptable conviction and what is not. You should talk to a recruiter about what exact reason they are denying your enlistment.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.
Criminal Defense Attorney
A deferred adjudication in Texas is considered a conviction under federal law. Federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), makes it illegal for a felon to ship, transport, possess or receive any firearm or ammunition.
The Army probably considers you to be convicted under the same principle, that your deferred here is a conviction for federal purposes.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
Here is another way to look at it.
All 50 states must follow the federal gun law possession ban. In Texas, when you are looking to possess a gun, you will run into it as well. Even the Army (Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), will follow federal law that considers your state jail felony "deferred" as a prohibition to your eligibilty.
Federal law prohibits gun possession by any of the following groupings of people. This is true no matter what Texas law says:
(1) Convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
(2) Fugitive from justice;
(3) Unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
(4) Adjudicated as mentally defective or has been committed to a mental institution;
(5) Alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa;
(6) Discharged from the US military by dishonorable conditions;
(7) A former citizen of the United States who has renounced US citizenship;
(8) Subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner; or
(9) Convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
.... cannot lawfully receive, possess, ship, or transport a firearm.
If your convictions fall into any of these groupings, as a practical matter under federal law, you can never legally own a gun again no matter what Texas law says. So what if the paper you have says something different? If you violate federal law you go back prison. You are a convicted felon. You can never lawfully receive, possess, ship, or transport a firearm.