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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27419
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was accused of domestic violence in 1997, I plead guilty

Customer Question

I was accused of domestic violence in 1997, I plead guilty to battery, since then I have received a governors pardon and those records have been expunged and sealed. How can I get my FOID. Card restored in illinois
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


A conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence will cost a person his state and Federal gun rights. Under the Violence Against Women's Act and the Lautenberg Amendment, the bar against your Federal rights is for life.

If you've been denied an FOID because the Federal government is still holding your domestic violence conviction against you, you could appeal their decision with the FBI's gun unit and provide proof that your incident was pardoned, expunged and sealed and that your state rights have been completely restored. If that fails to move the Federal government, however, there is nothing that you can do, unfortunately, until Federal law changes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was told by the states attorney and the person who was representing me that I would not loose my rights if I plead guilty to battery. The charges were amended. I was not convicted of domestic violence
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

You're talking apples and oranges though. Your state rights were protected. Your Federal rights are another matter. It doesn't matter whether your state calls it a domestic violence case or not for purposes of the Federal government and VAWA and Lautenberg. The definition of a domestic violence offense under Federal law is found in 18 USC 921 in subsection 33 which says:

"the term “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” means an offense that—

(i) is a misdemeanor under Federal, State, or Tribal [3] law; and

(ii) has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim."

So to be clear, it doesn't matter what your state labels the offense. If it conforms to a domestic violence offense under the Federal definition, it can cost you your gun rights. You can appeal, as indicated on the basis that your offense has been both pardoned, expunged and sealed and is now a nullity.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Who do i appeal to?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

You appeal to the FBI. If you go back over my earlier answers, you'll see a link to their site which I embedded for you. It will explain the process and tell you what you need to do.