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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 99465
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I am 62yrs old this March. Had juvenile record for Marijuana,

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I am 62yrs old this March. Had juvenile record for Marijuana, age 17. This occurred in 1968. This happened in California. I live in California. No adult convictions. Can I buy a handgun?
Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you wish to hear. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I reply.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:

1) were you tried as a minor, or an adult?
2) do you remember what the charge was (misdemeanor, felony, etc), exactly, or, how much marijuana you had on you when charged?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Tried in Juvenile Court. Origonal Charge was Possession and Sale. I do not know what we what the Judge found. We made a deal. I went to probation camp for the Summer. Then back to my regular High School on probation. Very light punishment for 1968. When probation ended, I was told that if no convictions for 5 yrs; record would be sealed. Also, I could answer no to any questions on applications.

Thank you, friend.

For this, we look both to state and federal law.

This is governed by the Gun Control Act of 1968. Under 18 U.S.C 922 of the act: "(1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year (2) is a fugitive from justice; (3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)); (4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution; (5) who, being an alien - (A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26))); (6) who (!2) has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; (7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship; (8) is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child, except that this paragraph shall only apply to a court order that - (A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had the opportunity to participate; and (B)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or (9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence."

The issue here is (1) - been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year. Does this apply to you? Now, this gets complicated, so follow me.

First of all, the sentence you received would have been for a year or more in jail had you been imprisoned. So the length fits, but what about the fact that you were a juvenile and it was sealed? The good news is that under CA law, your record was likely now destroyed since it has been so long and you were convicted as a minor, but the record was sealed. California Welfare and Institutions Code 781 et seq. Most of the time, the record is destroyed unless the court determines that your juvenile court record should be retained (which is under very extraordinary as circumstances).

This is why likely your criminal record comes back as nothing.

We are going with the presumption that the record has been sealed and destroyed. If so, then, the state law mirrors that of federal law.

If it was indeed sealed and destroyed, then for all intents and purposes, you never had a conviction. Now, we are assuming it was indeed sealed. You may wish to have a local attorney check if it was. If it was, then the above applies and you can get a license. If it was not, then the attorney has to file in court to have the matter sealed/expunged (even if this was back in 1968) before you can file for a license.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. According to the state Handgun Safety Certificate booklet, my gun rights would have returned in 1981(30th birthday.) According to SD Juvenile Court, my records were destroyed in 1989(38th birthday.) I have already bought a gun and wanted to double check.



Oh well then you already know! Excellent, this means your juvie records were destroyed some time sealing and it is as though the matter never existed.

Congrats, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you.

And... Happy New Year!
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