A criminal conviction of any kind can take its toll. Dealing with jail time and fines is never easy, but in most cases, they represent temporary setbacks. In some cases, criminal convictions can have permanent consequences. A common example would be the loss of gun ownership rights.
While the loss of these rights is a major penalty, it can occur in cases of relatively minor misdemeanor convictions. In some cases, the loss of these gun rights can be permanent. Often, both state and federal law will act to prevent a person from owning, possessing, purchasing, or using a firearm.
The good news is that avoiding these consequences could be possible through the pardon or expungement process. If you have been convicted of a crime and are dealing with the loss of your gun rights, a dedicated Pennsylvania expungement lawyer could help you restore those rights.
Convictions That Can Impact Gun Rights
There is a long list of convictions that could disqualify you from owning a firearm. The full list of these offenses is found at 18 Pa. Code Section 6105(b). Some of these offenses include crimes of domestic violence, stalking, escaping from official detention, burglary, robbery, or any violent crime. The statute sets out a lengthy list of offenses which include not only felonies but misdemeanors as well.
How an Expungement or Pardon Effects Gun Rights Limitations
Although a state conviction could result in both state and federal law eliminating your right to own a firearm, an expungement or pardon will generally be enough to restore those rights in both cases. This is true even for federal law, as long as the loss of firearm rights originally resulted from a state conviction.
There are many different offenses that can lead to the loss of your gun rights under state law. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them do not qualify for expungement in Pennsylvania. While this limits your options for restoring your right to own a firearm, you are not without options.
While expungements are often not an option, a pardon can lead to the return of your gun rights with every type of criminal conviction. At the state level, the issuance of a pardon will allow you the opportunity to file a petition for the return of your rights. Once that petition is granted, federal law will typically follow suit. A successful pardon is your best chance of getting your firearms rights back after a criminal conviction.
Let Joseph D. Lento Assist You With Restoring Your Rights
Pardons may not be commonplace with certain convictions, but that does not mean that a favorable outcome is impossible. The best way to improve your options is by working closely with an attorney experienced in the pardon process.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience with the expungement and pardon process in Pennsylvania. He is prepared to work tirelessly to assist you in restoring your rights following a criminal conviction. If you are ready to begin the process of restoring your rights, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento online or call (888) 535-5336 to schedule a consultation.