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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23577
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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In Florida I got charged with constructive drug possession

Customer Question

Hi my name is ***** ***** Florida I got charged with constructive drug possession and am currently on pti program after my case gets dismissed and expunged will I be able to purchase a gun
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Was your possessory offense a misdemeanor or a felony? If it's a misdemeanor, you did not lose your state and Federal gun rights and there would be no problem with your being able to purchase a gun.

If it is a felony conviction, did you take a plea, or simply cut a deal with the prosecutor? If you pled guilty or no contest, the Federal government usually sees this as a conviction for purposes of Federal gun rights. If they do not honor the Florida expungement and allow you to purchase a weapon, and if you lose an appeal of the denial, you'd have to get a pardon from your governor to restore your Federal rights. If you cut your deal directly with the DA, then that should not be considered a conviction and the Federal government should allow you to purchase a gun.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well I arranged an agreement with the court where if I plead I would be placed on a pre trial intervention upon completion of that the case will be dismissed and I should be able to get it expunged it was a constructive cocaine possession meaning I had other people in my car it wasn't mine but nobody admitted to it so it got placed on me after it gets expunged and dissmissed should I have to worry about being denied my right to a gun
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was a felony
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the reply.

I understand what constructive possession means. I also understand what a diversion disposition is. In some states it is handled differently than in others. If you had to take a plea in order to get the diversion disposition, for some purposes, the Federal government will consider your case as a conviction rather than a dismissal. That is generally true for restoration of firearms rights, even if Florida is willing to restore your gun rights.

If you fail a NCIC check, you could appeal this with the FBI on the basis that Florida dismissed and expunged your felony. If the Federal government refuses to accept that, you'd need to get a pardon from the governor in order to get your rights back.

In short, if you accomplish the successful completion of your PTI, Florida should be willing to restore your rights. But the Federal government does not have to go along with it and may require a pardon.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok so even though it would be expunged in Florida it would still be on a federal level when everything is over with on it how could I go about getting a pardon
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

The FEderal government should receive notification of your dismissal and expungement. But nothing is ever hidden from the government and they will be able to see what happened in the case. So it becomes a question of whether the Federal government will accept Florida's restoration of your rights. If they don't, this information will tell you about a pardon.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you much for your help with this what do you think the chances of it being pardoned are I have never been in trouble before I don't know if that matters with this case but do people get turned down for the pardon more often than not
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Every governor is free to decide for himself how often he wishes to use his pardon powers. The majority of applicants do get rejected. The state has a vested interest in wanting its criminal convictions to stick. The governor's office could probably give you a percentage, but each applicant is decided on its own merits so the statistics are deceiving. Some people do get pardoned.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Under this pre trial intervention will I be allowed into Canada I went to Guatemala to see my fiancé and they didn't even mention anything to me coming back or going do you think it will be the same for canada
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

That's going to be up to the Canadian authorities. You can post a new question in our Canada Law category and a Canadian lawyer will tell you what, if anything, you will have to do to ensure that you are not stopped and turned away at the border.