Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon: Texas Penal Code §46.041

Texas Criminal Law

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating badge featuring AV logo on left and the Martindale logo on top

The Texas Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon law gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you are a felon and have metal or body armor in your possession.

The Texas legislature codified this criminal offense in Texas Penal Code Section 46.041. The legislature did not update this law in 2023. In fact, this law has not been amended since 2001.

The Penal Code codifies the Texas Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon law under Title 10 “Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, and Morals,” Chapter 46 “Weapons.” Learn more about the Texas offense of Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon below.

What is the current Texas law about Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon?

The current Texas law defines the offense of Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon in Penal Code Section §46.041 as follows:[1]

(a) In this section, “metal or body armor” means any body covering manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of protecting a person against gunfire.

(b) A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if after the conviction the person possesses metal or body armor.

The key part of this statute is what exactly is considered “metal or body armor.” The statute defines metal or body armor as:

any body covering manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of protecting a person against gunfire.[2]

This statute was added in 2001, and it has not been modified since the legislature initially adopted it.

How can I be charged with an Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon offense in Texas?

You can be charged with Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 46.041(b) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the statute of limitation for Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon in Texas?

Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon offenses have a three-year limitations period.[3]

What is the penalty for a Texas Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon offense?

A conviction for Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon in Texas is punished as a felony of the third degree,[4] with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors here.

In addition, prosecutors may seek a one classification-level enhancement for Chapter 46 offenses under the Weapon-Free School Zone Law by proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense in a place that you knew was within 300 feet of the premises of a school or at an official school function or game.[5]

Can you get probation for Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon in Texas?

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon, and judges are also allowed to accept deferred adjudication plea deals.[6]

Note, however, that no matter the offense, neither judges nor juries may recommend community supervision for any suspended sentence of over 10 years.[7] Also, judges may not grant community supervision after a conviction if (1) the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the felony or immediate flight thereafter and (2) the defendant used or exhibited the deadly weapon himself or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon would be used or exhibited.[8]

What level of crime is Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon in Texas?

The Penal Code classifies Unlawful Possession of Metal or Body Armor by Felon as a third degree felony.

Learn more about the penalty range for this offense in the section above.


^1. Texas Penal Code §46.041. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. Texas Penal Code §46.041(a)^3. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9)^4. Texas Penal Code §46.041(c)^5. §46.11, Texas Penal Code^6. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^7. Art. 42A.053(c), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure^8. Art. 42A.054(b), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure


Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating badge featuring AV logo on left and the Martindale logo on top

Arrested or Charged With a Crime?