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Lawmoe, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2415
Experience:  Lawyer with 19 years of litigation experience in state and federal court systems.
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Can I get my federal felony conviction for "Possession of Unregis

Resolved Question:

Can I get my federal felony conviction for "Possession of Unregistered N.F.A. Firearms" overturned and removed from my criminal record, after I have already pled guilty to the charge and served my prison sentence and probation has been completed successfully, when the entire case brought against me was based on a Confidential Informant's false tip to law enforcement about things that I never actually did or said? No appeals were filed during any of the legal proceedings. The arrest was on August 5th 2004, and full sentence of prison and probation was completed in 2009. This was my first and only felony charge ever, and it was handled in the Shreveport, Louisiana Federal Courthouse. The crime was non-violent and there was no "victim" -- it was only an issue of having 3 unregistered weapons. ATF got a tip from a local sheriff's office, who got their tip from a "registered and reliable Confidential Informant" who made up exaggerated claims about me that were lies, as to my intentions for having the weapons. ATF recovered the weapons after a search warrant was obtained. I pled guilty because I felt I was under a form of duress, hearing that if I were to take the case to trial and fight it (with a public defender), I would likely get sentenced to more time maintaining "not guilty", than if I just pled guilty (and would receive less time that way). I served about 21 months in jail/prison, and afterwards completed my 3 years of probation successfully. I didn't want to "rock the boat" anymore than it had already been rocked, for fear of getting a longer sentence. Now that the sentence has been completed, I want to know what is available to me for the purposes of making the conviction invalid and/or removing it from my record -- bearing in mind that the Confidential Informant's lies and exaggerations started all of this. I stipulate to the fact that a warrant was issued that produced incriminating evidence against me, and that I did knowingly possess the firearms, and my possession of them was illegal since they weren't registered to me in the National Firearms Registry and Transfer Record. What I do disagree with however, is that the warrant was obtained because of false testimony from the informant. Can this federal criminal conviction be erased from my record?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lawmoe replied 5 years ago.

It would be difficult. You would have to file a post conviction relief action. In such an action you cannot argue the same facts that existed at the time of the charge. You had a right to a trial at that time. You must have something new that is compelling such as new evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, juror misconduct or ineffective assistance of counsel.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I updated my posting, and was wondering if anything newly-revealing stood out. Also, I waived my right to a jury trial on the basis of saving myself more time to-be-served upon a conviction that was promising to be a "slam-dunk" by the Assistant US Attorney. My federal public defender advised me that with the evidence recovered I would most likely be found guilty anyway, whether by a judge or a jury. What I'm wondering is would the evidence and/or the warrant go to the "fruit of a poisionous tree" issue and thereby be deemed inadmissable "after the fact" even though the warrant produced convictable evidence, based on the warrant being issued because of "perjured testimony" or "false witness" from the informant.

Expert:  Lawmoe replied 5 years ago.

I am afraid I have unwelcome news.


All of the defenses you raise presently,including challenges to the warrant, were available at the time that the charges were filed. It is not "new" evidence that was previously unavailable. As a result, your challenge had to be made at that time. You cannot come back years later and seek post conviction relief by collaterally attacking the same evidence that was available previously.


Lawmoe, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2415
Experience: Lawyer with 19 years of litigation experience in state and federal court systems.
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