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Thread: Concealed Carry Arrest

  1. #1
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    I know this is not a "open carry" story, but it does involve carrying a handgun in Texas with a CHL (concealed handgun license).

    As I am sure many of you fellow Texans probably have CHL's, I thought you might find this interesting.

    I was arrested for "carrying a prohibited weapon, in a prohibited place" which is a 3rd degree felony in Texas.

    I was riding in a crew cab truck with some friends, and they pulled over into a large parking lot off the road to try to find a lighter he had dropped on the floor board of his truck. Well once he stopped we all got out to try to find his lighter since two of the passengers were smokers (cigs not the other stuff) and were having nicotine fits.

    While standing here in this dark parking lot around this truck, a Pct. 4 Harris County Constable drove by and took notice of us. He decided to pull into the parking lot and see what we were up to.

    He asked what we were doing and we explained and he asked to see ID's from all of us. Well since I was carrying my Glock 23 on me, I gave him my D.L. and my C.H.L. as required by law.

    He went to his car to run our ID's and I am sure check for warrants. Well after about 8 to 10 minutes, 2 other police vehicles showed up. He returned to me and asked me to turn around a place my hands on the truck. He then removed my handgun off me, and told me "do you realize this is a school parking lot?". In which I replied "no I did not, but I do not see how that is relevant". He then replied "your carrying a handgun on school grounds". I replied "I understand that, but school premises does not apply to a parking lot for a conceal handgun license holder".

    He then laughed at me and told me "I think I know the law better then you". In which I said "well in all respect sir, I am T.C.L.E.O.S.E. (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education) certified just like you, as I graduated from H.C.C. Police Academy and past my TCLEOSE test. I am also a Criminal Justice major and I am very much aware of my rights and what the law says. Maybe you are mistaken, and we can look it up in your Texas Penal Code book."

    He laughed at me again, and hand cuffed me, then placed me in the back of his cruiser. I was taken to Cypresswood Pct. 4 holding cell, and then later transferred by bus to downtown Harris County Jail. I had to post a $5,000 bail and then immediately headed for home where I grabbed my Texas Penal Code book from when I was in the police academy.

    After a little research I found Texas Penal Code 46.035, "carrying a prohibited weapon in a prohibited place by a CHL holder". See they were trying to charge me with a separate crime, that did not and COULD NOT be charged to me, because I am in fact a "CHL holder".

    Now low and behold at the end of the statue it says in big print and I quote:

    Code:
    3)  "Premises" means a building or a portion of a 
    building.  The term does not include any public or private driveway, 
    street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other 
    parking area.
    So armed with this new found knowledge I went into court my first day (with no attorney) and asked to speak to the district attorney who was in charge of prosecuting me in my case. I tried to show her my penal code book and ask her about the statue, in which she replied very much like the officer with "I went to law school. I am quite aware of what the law says", and blew me off.

    When the session started she even told the judge "the prosecution is ready to proceed" which in my book means she had read over the case, and felt she had a firm case here.

    Well the judge asked me where my attorney was, and when I told him I did not have one, he quickly advised me to be quite and said we would reset the court date until I could find counsel. I tried to explain to him I did not need a attorney and he again warned me of how serious of a matter this is. I ended up having to say "well I know I have a right to represent myself, so if that is what needs to be done for me to be able to speak, then I will take that right". At that point I am assuming he took me more serious and asked me what it was I wanted to show him.

    He looked at my penal code book and read the high lighted section I quoted above. Then closed the book and looked at the front cover. It was a 2 yr old edition, so he asked the district attorney to see her copy of the penal code (a newer copy). He checked in her copy to make sure the law had not been revised in the last two years, then asked the D.A., "can you explain this" in which time she was happy to look at the statue for him.

    Well after reading it, she kind of stood there dumb founded and quite. The judge called a five minute recess and told the D.A. he wanted to speak to her in his chambers. Five minutes later they returned and he said "having looked at this new found situation, the case is dismissed".

    Now since this is already running long, I will skip quite a few steps and say it was not over there. My Glock was taken as "evidence" for my case. I was told I couldn't have it back by Pct. 4 Constables (where it was locked up in their evidence room) because the D.A. had to sign off on something, even though I had paperwork showing the case was dismissed.

    Later a friend's wife, who works downtown in that same criminal court building spoke with the officer for that court room, who spoke with that D.A., who told him to relay the message back down to me that and I quote "hell will freeze over before he gets that handgun back".

    Fast forward a year later, and many, many calls later, and leaving about 50 voice mails on the Corporal who was in charge of the evidence room, he called me back and told me I could have my pistol back if I promised to stop calling him. I went up there, signed some piece of paper saying I got the pistol back, and he brought it out to me. I don't know if he just figured the D.A. would surely have forgot about it since it was a year later, or what, but on that day, hell must have froze over.

    Also I thought that was the end of that whole ordeal (this happened in March of 2006), and now that I have finished my degree in Criminal Justice, and am trying to go into law enforcement, I have now found out that most departments won't look at me because I was CHARGED with a felony. Yup, that is correct. I have been told that I will probably have to go spend $1,000 to a attorney to go to court and try to get that event expunged of my record.

    So all in all, this "know it all" officer who was obviously not very knowledgeable of the law, cost me thousands of dollars, a couple days in jail, and possibly my future career in law enforcement.


  2. #2
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    ...I'm really sorry that that happened to you...I think the best way to proceed at this point is to sit down with an attorney and find out what chance you might have in a civil suit...I think there may be a two year filing limit...they should have been sued immediately....for several things...if the attorney doesn't think chances are reasonably good...get after the clearing of your name...perhaps with the same judge...he would be sympathetic....this is a good example of why we just can't "let things go" when we are treated in an illegal fashion...it isn't over.....till it's over......hope you get good news when you sit with the lawyer....

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    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum65/21837.html <--ETA

    SouthernBoy wrote:
    Blinn79 wrote:
    This occurred in March of 2006 in Houston, Texas.
    Sorry to hear of this terrible ordeal you were forced to suffer. This begs a question. Can you sue the officer in question and his superiorsfor malfeasance, false arrest, or what have you, and the county as well? Seems to me that you have lost a lot due to an unconscionable action on their part.
    Statute of limitations?

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    You need to sue for false arrest and to expunge the arrest record. As part of the settlement they will make a monetary payment to you for the damage they have done to your career and reputation. On these facts, you should not have difficulty finding a lawyer to represent you. Find one with firearms law experience, however.

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    I just saw the date. You need to act quickly you may have a statute of limitations problem.

  6. #6
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    Meh, I can't say I've ever had a good experience with a Precinct 4 Constable. They seem to be quite full of themselves.

    You know, if you're not cop, you're little people...

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    I'm not from Texas so perhaps I don't understand, but in Tennessee constables are little more than a joke. In some counties they don't even have police powers.

    As to this guy's treatment by the estalishment -- well sometimes "pig" fits.

  8. #8
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    old dog wrote:
    I'm not from Texas so perhaps I don't understand, but in Tennessee constables are little more than a joke. In some counties they don't even have police powers.
    In Texas, all peace officers are TCLEOSE certified, and "a cop is a cop": they all have the same powers of arrest, whether they are constables working for a justice of the peace, deputies working for a sheriff, patrolman working for a municipality, or agents working for a statewide agency.


  9. #9
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    Sorry to hear about your bad-luck story. All I can say is, "Welcome to law-enforcement." I could tell you some horror stories about it from both the inside and outside perspective. Maybe this is one way of God closing a door of opportunity (that really isn't an opportunity) to direct you elsewhere.

    TCLEOSE since 1994. Don't work in LE right now, probably won't, but I keep my license active "Just in Case."

    You definitely DO need to persue the civil action and possibly see about some criminal charges against the arresting officer and DA. Just my $0.02.

    Good luck with everything and with your current career path. Either way you go with this, DO follow-through with the expungement process. You can read about it in the CCP.

  10. #10
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    I'm sorry to hear that happened to you. You should be able to get a lawyer to expunge everything for you. Although the police departments will still know about it, it should be easier for you to defend yourself if it was expunged.

  11. #11
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    In Texas, Constable is a publically elected post. Your ordeal does not mean that you have no career in law enforcement. It only means you need to get it expunged and sue the police department for false arrest. You should have hired a lawyer from the beginning. Hurry up or you will run out of time per the statute of limitations. Run for Constable at the next election. Often, it is an uncontested elected post as there are many constables in a district sometimes. Find others like you who were falsely arrested and have the help you campaign and donate money to your campaign. Good luck.

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    Yes, do this--run for constable; you are a licensed peace officer already. Make sure you have a treasurer and good advice/staff to adhere to all elections laws. Do this!!!

  13. #13
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    i cant believe that the same state that had the battle at the alamo is the same state that banned open carry. texas was created by men who were ocing.

  14. #14
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    I was amazed to move here from La. in the 80s to find out I could no longer OC and no longer carry a loaded handgun in the car...in La. you could do that on the dashboard or under the seat...no matter....I was shocked to find wild and wooley Texas so oppressed....and was glad to see CCW passed...making me and many others legal....

  15. #15
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    My brother is a LEO and he and I went round and round on this issue for months to the point it was the topic every other weekend we saw each other. Finally i was able to show him the statute and made him read the entire thing and not just stop at the word school.

    I have since spoken to many other officers and what they are given when a new law comes down the pike is a 3,000 foot view of the law.

    It's kind of like cliff notes for Mobby Dick and the test being on the Grapes of Wrath.

    The officers can not appear to be in the wrong while in the field, yet they can not know all of the laws at the same time. For one they don't get paid enough for that and second their heads would explode do to information overload.

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    Out of curiosity, do you remember the constable's name?

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    Yes please let us know what the Dep. Const. name is/was. I know a few of them in Precinct 4 as well as a very good bud of mine is a Dep. Sheriff in Pct. 4

    Sorry to hear about this. Gross happening.



  18. #18
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    Sorry to hear about this.

    When a department refuses to give your gun back, file a theft report.

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    Blinn79 wrote:

    So all in all, this "know it all" officer who was obviously not very knowledgeable of the law, cost me thousands of dollars, a couple days in jail, and possibly my future career in law enforcement.
    I've said it many times, police are a standing army whose enemy is the people.

    If any sort of societal upheaval would result in the government being out of cash and the cops with no paychecks, I look forward to such a liberating moment.

  20. #20
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    This is why you need an attorney. You should have demanded to go into chambers
    with them. It is called exparte communication, and to exclude you as the defense
    council was inappropriate. You might need those DA statements in your civil suite.
    For all you know she told the judge she was an anti gun nut so pushed to get you.
    Or was just trying to cover the constables *ss with the charges.
    But the judge pulled one over on you and now it is to late.

    Even an open and shut case has repercussions that need to be considered,
    you never know when proof of innocence will come back to hurt you.
    The good news is this works both ways, and can be used against them as well.

    But most 'minor' infractions have a two year time limit. But that is to file,
    if you are up against the wall then file the complaint to stop the clock
    Put everything you can think of in it. False arrest, theft, defemation of characture...
    How long did they keep your bail, also go for interest on your money.

    The judge was threatening me just because I demanded my cash bail back
    immediately. Said they mail me a check, I told him, no cash was demanded up
    front for my release. I am here, and cash will be returned now. I left two hours
    later with my money.

    They can always win on the more outrgregous claims, but you can't go back
    and get them once the time runs out.


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    Here in Virginia, I found out the hard way that it's a court of lawyers, not of law.

    I tried to get a change in custody of my daughter and tried to represent myself. The judge would not let me ask my daughter's mother any questions whatsoever and would not allow me to view the child study report. He said that if I had an attorney then he could see it but I could not. In a matter of minutes I withdrew my motion and went home.

    I decided not to pursue the matter any further for fear of blacklisting myself for any future attempts.

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    Blinn,

    get the best aggressive attorney you can find. Sue the Sh$# out of them. If (sorry, have to say that) your story is true it's a solid case. Go after the D.A., the arresting officer (only protected when he follows the law and policy) and department.
    sue for the year without the gun, sue for unlawful arrest, sue for them squashing your hopes of even becoming LEO. Sue sue sue.

    you have a solid case. Best of luck to you!

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    That's why there is an appeals process...

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    This may not help now, and may just make you a bit angry, but I'm pretty sure you didn't have to give the officer your CHL when he asked for your ID's. It's my understanding that you only have to present it when an officer pulls you over for speeding and you have to inform him that you have a gun on you (and other similar situations where you've supposedly broken some kind of law). But when a cop just asks for your ID just cuz he's curious about who you are and what you're doing, you do not even have to mention a gun or a CHL. If you hadn't given him it, he never would have known squat. If someone is to correct me on this, please reference the specific part of the penal code, cuz I've read it several times and that's how I understand it.

  25. #25
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    The cop DOES know, doesn't he/she? I mean, doesn't a CHL come up when the cop runs a person'sdriver's license number?

    -- John D.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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