Yes. If you plead to the misdemeanor and they dismissed the felony charge, you have the option to expunge the felony charge, only if it was dismissed, but the misdemeanor will stay on your record because you plead guilty. The only way to get rid of that is through a pardon.
What Are The Consequences Associated With Pleading Guilty To This Misdemeanor Charge?
The misdemeanor obviously depends on your field of work and whether they are going to do a background check on you for your employment. A lot of times, at that point, if you are able to get to the interview stage, you can explain, “I checked the wrong box.” Most of the time, it is not necessarily a huge problem because you are already on probation. Your probation officer is going to know what occurred. Obviously, if it is a felony offense, that changes everything. As far as possessing and owning a firearm, you explain you no longer may purchase them anymore.
The ones you currently possess, you may or may not be able to possess those anymore either. It depends on the underlying reason why you were denied. If it is the warrant situation, you could still possibly possess those. If it is because it was a high level misdemeanor or felony, no, you cannot possess those weapons anymore. It all depends on the reason why you were denied in the first place.
Are There Any Alternate Or Diversion Programs Associated With Felony Offenses?
The only program that Pennsylvania offers is the first offenders program which is known as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition. That could be an option for some people, but it depends on the reason why they were denied. If they have a felony offense and they are not a first offender, they may not qualify for that program. If it was some other reason why they were denied, they may qualify for that program. Typically, it would not be under the felony level. They would end up going under the program at the misdemeanor level. That particular program does allow for dismissal of the charges and expungement of your criminal record, removing the charges from your criminal record.
What Sets your Firm Apart In Handling Firearm Related Cases?
We deal with these offenses constantly. We always have one of these cases that we are dealing with all the time. As far as the law itself, it is pretty clear that the law is convoluted. We are very much up to the date on the law and how it is changing, because not only are you dealing with the Pennsylvania law, you are dealing with federal firearm laws, and the Pennsylvania form too. They change all the time, you must stay up to date, and staying up to date and training is what we do. One thing that Brian and I both do is, we are statewide speakers on gun rights and possession of firearms. I lecture about once a month.
Sometimes, more, depending on how many speaking engagements are set up, but we are statewide speakers on Pennsylvania gun rights and gun laws for the citizens of Pennsylvania. What I tell everyone at my speaking engagements is this, when the police contact you, you have the right to the Fifth Amendment to be quiet and you have the right to the Sixth Amendment to get a lawyer. Use them. Tell the police nicely that you want to cooperate, but you are invoking your right to remain silent and you are invoking your right to have an attorney present so that you guarantee that all your rights are going to be upheld. Most people think it was an honest mistake.
“I’ll just tell the police that and they’ll understand,” but, that is not how it quite works. You can honestly tell the police, “Yeah, I made a mistake. I did that,” and in a runabout way, you just confessed to the crime. You have to remain silent, but still be nice to the officer to say, “Listen, I understand you’re just doing your job but I have these rights and I will ask them to be activated at this point, but I am going to remain silent and I am going to have an attorney present.”
How Long Does It Typically Take For Someone To Find Out If They Have Been Charged?
Several months. For example, I had a gentleman contacted me in December. He attempted to purchase a weapon in late August. He was just now getting charged with the offenses. Now, the officer had contacted him in November. It takes a couple of months until the officer makes contact. Then, if they do decide to charge you, it takes about a month or so until you get the charging paperwork, and then you get about a month until your first court date and thus it is several months from the denial until you may be in court.
Can People End Up With Multiple Charges If They Purchase A Gun From Elsewhere?
Yes, that happens. Most people say, “Okay, I just won’t get a gun today,” but there is a percentage of people that do say, “There must be something wrong with your system. I’ll go to the gun store down the street,” and they try the same thing there. Then, they end up with two separate charges. The gun store owner does not have to advise them of anything. All they have to tell them is, “Sorry, you were denied.” They do not have to tell them why. They do not even have to tell them, “You probably should wait until you figure that out before you go and try again.”
Additional Information About Firearm Related Charges
The only way in Pennsylvania to get your rights back after you have been charged with an offense that prohibits you from having a firearm is to get a pardon from the state of Pennsylvania, but even with that, it does not restore your federal rights to have a weapon. You may be allowed under Pennsylvania law, even after a pardon, but you are still not allowed under Federal law, and you can be charged with federal crime for possessing a weapon when you are a prohibited offender. People seeking expungement which you cannot get an expungement for an offense that you either plead guilty to or you are found guilty to unless you are over the age of seventy, or dead for three years. The only way to do it is through a pardon, but even a pardon in Pennsylvania is not going to work, and currently, the backlog of pardons is roughly five years from the date you submit your application.
For more information on Expungement Of Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.