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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 35018
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
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I plead guilty to a felony in 2002 for violating sec. 1097

Resolved Question:

I plead guilty to a felony in 2002 for violating sec. 1090 of the CA penal code. Sec. 1090 is the political reform act. Am I eligible to petition the court for relief to enable me to purchase a firearm. I have no previous or other convictions of any kind?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to assist

I want to make sure I have the right "crime"

Was this the The Political Reform Act of 1974

Were you a public official?

I assume you still have the conviction on your record?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes I was a city council member and it was the Politcal Reform Act of 1974. I failed to "correctly and completely identify a source of income"... on my Economic Interest Statement. The violation was having a "remote and indirect financial interest in a contract". The conviction remains on my record. I have not filed a 1203.4 but am planning on doing so.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 8 years ago.

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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