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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33919
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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I'm trying to get information on getting my gun rights

Customer Question

I'm trying to get information on getting my gun rights restored
JA: The Criminal Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: ok, felony was in colonial heights Va...Larceny. That was in 2002. My wife is active duty military and we move around a lot. My drivers license is in Georgia, but we are currently living in milwuakee. So where so i start.
JA: You're dealing with a tough issue. But don't worry -- you're in good hands. Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: the felony??
JA: Is there anything else the Criminal Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: fall;hig'vawr
JA: Huh?
Customer: no that everything
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Criminal Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Was the felony a conviction, a deferred adjudication, etc?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

I saw that as soon as I sent the question. The top part of the screen wasn't showing originally.

In order to get gun rights you have to get the conviction overturned, and it's too late for that, or pardoned.

I'll explain a little more below.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do i get it pardoned?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
it was a conviction
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

A pardon is granted by the Governor of the state and is as much political as it is legal. TO have any real chance of getting a pardon you would need to hire alawyer that does pardons in Virginia, and you can find one by going to and enterng Pardon under the Area of Practice section.

A pardon must be granted in the state in which the conviction occurred. If it was a federal crime, and larceny would not be, then it must be done through the federal process but in your case it goes to the Governor of VA, at least at some point.

You cannot get your gun rights back so long as the conviction remains on your record.

You would apply for the pardon and, if granted, then you go through an expungement process through the court which removes all record of the conviction.

The process is explained in a little more detail at However, as I said, to stand any real chance of getting to granted you need a lawyer that does these.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

You would have to get an Absolute Pardon, even though it is supposedly based on innocence. That is the only one that will allow a complete removal of the conviction from the record.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok, so how much will this run me after everything is done?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what are my chances of getting my gun rights restored
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

That varies tremendously from lawyer to lawyer. On the very low end, I've seen the pardon alone cost $3500 but I'd be hesitant to hire someone who was that cheap.

Pardons are hard to get. Your chances are probably no better than 25%, unfortunately, at this time. However, I have seen some legislation that is making its way through Congress that will make it easier to get gun rights restored with non-violent crimes and crimes that don't involve drugs.

If that ever passes then it may get substantially easier.

Also, there is some info out there on the internet that is wrong. There are some provisions already in the law that allow the Justice Department to grant a "waiver" that would allow a felons to get their gun rights back. Some non-lawyers are on the web telling people that it will work but it doesn't.

The legislation was passed back with George W was in the White House, I believe, but the legislature has never funded it and so while the DOJ has thousands of applications that have been sent in, none of them have ever been approved. Not one.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wow...ok i guess ill wait then. Thanks
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

That would be my recommendation. Wait a couple of years and see what the legislature does with that legislation. It has not passed yet, it is just sitting there in committee right now (I think). It hasn't been voted on yet and if it passes you will hear about it on the news and can proceed then.