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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23169
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I took plea offer of DV harrassment-stalking in 2005 from a

Customer Question

I took plea offer of DV harrassment-stalking in 2005 from a ex-girlfriend. I am 42 years old and have NEVER had a single incident with anyone or any legal authourity nor have i since. This woman also requested and was awarded a permanent restraining order. In 05 i was shooting competitively in master class. Since then i felt forced to leave the area and start a new life with my wife and now 3year old daughter.I currently manage a high mountain ranch in Colorado with my wonderful wife(who was living with me at the time of these accusations). Gun rights are precious to me as i would love to teach my daughter how to hunt and defend herself. My wife is very active outdoors and would love to shoot together with our little girl as well.

Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

A person convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge loses his federal gun rights. However, if you can get your charge expunged, set aside or pardoned by the governor, unless it is specifically a condition that you still don't have gun rights, or have only partial gun rights, absent any other reason that would count against you (an outstanding protective order, for example) the Federal government would automatically restore your gun rights. You can find that in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33)(A), (B).

Unfortunately, Colorado's expungement options are very narrow, You can see the State Expungement laws here . Colorado does not expunge adult convictions. They only seal them which would not be good enough to remove your Federal disability.

So, the only thing that you can do to minimize the effects of your convictions would be to get a pardon from the governor. These are infrequently granted. However,even though the offense would still be on your record if you got one, the stamp on it that you were pardoned is official forgiveness that the state recognizes that you've turned his life around, and the Federal goverment will accept that. Here's more information on the pardon.

You don't need a lawyer for the pardon. The last way would be to go back into court and petion the judge to set aside your conviction. This is usually a very long, longshot. And you'd definitely need a lawyer to do the petition for you and to mount some kind of argument. It will likely be expensive and it may or may not work. No one of these ways is easy. States all have an interest in seeing that their convictions stick. But these three ways would be how you'd go about restoring your rights in Colorado.

If you're going to consider hiring a lawyer and dealing with the judge on your old DV case, there are lawyers who specialize in pardons, expungements and the restoration of gun rights. This is a specialty area and one might be best.

Good luck.