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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27037
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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OK, I was arrested for DV in Colorado Springs. I mentioned

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OK, I was arrested for DV in Colorado Springs. I mentioned to the officers that I was struck first and hit back in self defense, but normally the male is the one arrested. I went to trial and took a deferred sentence, pending completion of 12 months anger management and no repeat offense. Once the course was completed, this would be taken off my record.
I completed the course and there has been no repeat offenses.
How will this affect my ability to purchase and any job inquiries and how do I answer this question if it arises?
Hello Jacustomer,

Thank you for requesting me. Although your matter has been deferred, it doesn't drop off your record. Rather the arrest and the dismissal can be found. In order to get this off of your record you have to be proactive. That is, you need to get your record expunged. That way, you can say with confidence that you have never been convicted of a crime on an employment or housing application.

I should say to you that if you are looking for work in the government sector you have to disclose the fact that you were arrested on this case and that it was dismissed. That's because nothing is really closed to the government, and they would be able to see below the expungement. But if you're seeking employment in the private sector, you can just deny.

Here is the law of your state as to an expungement and you appear to be eligible. You don't need a lawyer to file an expungement, but you would have to petition the court, and the process can get technical. While there are forms you can purchase on the web and the court clerk may have some for free if you ask, there are lawyers who specialize in expungements and you can contact your state bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service or a commercial service like to find one. If you want to do it yourself, this will offer you some guidance. (See link)

As for your ability to purchase, I am assuming that you're talking about a weapon. As you may already know 18 USC 1922 causes you to lose your Federal gun rights if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Although your offense has been dismissed, for some purposes an adjudicated dismissal like this counts as a conviction. You'd need to get your gun rights restored by the state if they were taken away from you. From there, an expungement or pardon should allow you to clear the NICS test.

Hope this helps.

Zoey_ JD and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Would this apply even though it was 20 years ago.....


It's possible that this could drop off the radar screen. Some jurisdictions put everything on the computer later than others. But you can't count on that. Your record is always your record, unless you take steps to remove it.

If you want to see what your record will show as it is, the best thing to do is to order it yourself. Since you're concerned about gun rights, you can order it from the FBI which would give you an idea of whether you'd clear a Federal check without taking further action.. There are two ways of doing it. You can do it inexpensively by mail if you are not in a rush -- which after 20 years you're not -- or pay a great deal more to go to one of their fingerprint facilities. This link to the FBI will explain more.

As for employment, many employers don't go back that far. It's all going to depend upon the depth of the background check. You can honestly say you have no criminal convictions without getting this expunged, but you can't say you have no criminal record until the records are expunged.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Your help in this was great. It applies to both references (Employment and Gun Right). I am trying to get a job as a corrections officer and this was one of the questions. I just want to ensure I can answer it honestly and since as I mentioned, the Public defender I had informed me of what the deferment entailed, as as mentioned, there has been no further incidents of this. I also go through background checks due to being a wrestling and bowling coach for youth and has to be done every year and my check always comes back clear.....


If the wrestling and bowling positions rely upon a print check and come back clear that's great. If you weren't printed but its a less formal check, I would still get hold of the Federal record. You're going for a state position, so if this record still exists, the state can likely find it. And if it was twenty years go, they'd be less concerned with a 20 year old dismissal than with the fact that you covered it up. So it pays you to be sure.

Good luck with your job search!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

TY for checking in about my question I had. It appears it may have dropped off the radar screen since last Thursday, I was able to purchase a a firearm at a local Walmart. Originally it was delayed, but after 2 days, they received the paperwork to proceed with the sale.So I believe the arrest may show, but it is showing as a dismissal, no conviction. At least I hope that is is what it is saying.

Again, TY for your knowledge on the issue and for checking up.

Thanks for the update! I appreciate it and am pleased to know that it worked out. The Federal government would never have approved the purchase had it shown as anything other than a dismissal.

Best of luck to you!

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