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HOW DOES A DWI AFFECT GUN OWNERSHIP

Most people do not realize how a drug conviction like Marijuana Possession and a DWI affect gun ownership, your driver’s license, and your professional licenses.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will suspend your driver’s license for 180 days if you are convicted of possessing marijuana. Also, you will be required to complete a Drug Education Program (DEP) through the Texas Department of State Health services.

Learning more about DWI charges, regardless of which substance was involved in the charge, and how they can impact your daily life is important. Convictions can carry serious penalties, and in some cases, these penalties can stack up or overlap depending on what kind of charge you’re facing. 

For example, DWI can refer to a range of intoxicated driving, whether it’s alcohol, marijuana, or any other controlled or intoxicating substance. Possession of Marijuana (or another controlled substance) is a separate charge that you may face if you are charged with a DWI and still have the substance in question on your person.

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DWI and Gun Ownership

Convictions related to marijuana use can also affect your ability to legally purchase a new firearm from a gun dealer. One of the questions on the security questionnaire mandated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) for all firearms dealer sales asks:

“Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substances?”

If you are convicted of a DWI because of marijuana or another drug, then you are required to answer “Yes” on this form. Lying on this form can result in being prosecuted federally and at the state level for committing a felony. You could also face the risk of going to prison for this offense.

Programs and Potential Consequences

The DPS notes that failure to complete the DEP will result in the revocation of your driver’s license. This license suspension applies to any drug conviction, even if a car was never used during the commission of the offense. Further, the Department of Public Safety will also require you to pay a $125 reinstatement fee for the return of your driver’s license alongside proof of SR-22 insurance for a two year period after the conviction. 

If you are convicted of Driving While Intoxicated due to marijuana in your body, the DPS can suspend your driver’s license for 90 to 180 days. In some situations, these consequences can even influence your day-to-day life in a more drastic way than a criminal conviction.

Further Consequences and Possible Responses

In addition to losing your driver’s license, DWI and Possession convictions can also affect your ability to work in certain professions. For example, it can be difficult to write prescriptions and obtain or handle medications, negatively impacting people interested in pursuing medical school or pharmaceutical professions.

Fortunately, there are options for those facing a range of DWI or possession charges that may help you retain your rights to purchase guns, work in higher education or other fields. 

For some criminal offenses in Texas, they can be resolved through Deferred Adjudication Probation. This results in the court not finding you guilty of an offense, but instead placing you on a short supervision period. This probation period is typically 6 to 24 months, but is not an option for DWI cases.

For DWI cases, or any other form of intoxication arrest, you would need your records to be destroyed through expunction, which is a process that relies on preconditions such as “dismissal” or “not guilty”. 

Working With a DWI Lawyer

Navigating the complex process of fighting a DWI or possession charge can be difficult on your own. If you want to retain your rights and have the best shot at a favorable outcome against these kinds of charges, relying on experienced legal counsel from a professional DWI lawyer in Houston can help your chances when it comes to fighting these charges.

Get a free consultation with our professional DWI lawyers, and discuss the details of your case to see how we might be able to help you better defend your rights and understand your charges.

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