and sorry for the delay. Yes, the application for expungement
is a very good idea. So long as you did not receive ANY prison time, you would be eligible for expungement
So, here is the dilemma (assuming you have not yet received expungement) is that both the federal and state law (California) prohibit gun
ownership by a convicted felon.
Federal law contains an explicit statutory exception which provides that the federal criminal
offense of firearms possession is inapplicable to persons who have had their civil rights restored on the predicate state felony conviction.
Whether a person has had his or her civil rights restored for a state conviction is determined by state and NOT federal law.
However, federal law requires that for federal law to recognize the state restoration of rights, the state restoration must include the right to vote, the right to seek and hold public office, and the right to serve on a jury.
So, how to "restore your state rights"
Well, you can apply to the state for either a pardon or a "restoration of rights"
More info here
To start the process, you would need to do one of two things. Ideally, the best option is to retain a local criminal defense attorney to represent you. Many lawyers will handle these cases pursuant to a flat fee arrangement, which can offer a substantial savings in legal fees over the traditional hourly billing method. The second option would be to represent yourself (pro per) by filing and serving the appropriate forms. Application packet for public use, which includes the required forms, eligibility requirements, and filing and service instructions, has been prepared by the Investigations
Division of the Board of Parole Hearings.
If the Superior Court grants you a Certificate of Rehabilitation, that is a victory and serves as an automatic Application for Clemency
for the Governor to grant a pardon. The form to complete and file to initiate the process is Petition for Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon. Note that it also includes a request for the appointment of legal counsel.
SO, this is one way to proceed. But really, you should also apply for expungement at the same time...if you are going to hire an attorney they can "kill two birds with one stone".
Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the accept button, its the only way I get credit for my work.
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