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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27705
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I have a drug related felony from 1998 in CA which was

Customer Question

I have a drug related felony from 1998 in CA which was reduced to a misdemeanor and then dismissed in 2012. No other trouble. My application for a Concealed Carry Weapon License in Paulding Co, GA is pending because that felony still shows as a conviction. Violation was a 11352. This conviction is 19 years old. I now have a good job, own a house, and I have no involvement with drugs whatsoever. What can I do? Don't I have any rights here? I made a mistake a long time ago but changed my life. I live alone in the country, and feel that I should be able to defend myself, and my home should the need arise. Please tell me what I can do. Thank you very much, Geraldine Williams
JA: What state is this in? And can you tell me a little more about the charge?
Customer: Conviction was in CA in 1998. I reside in Paulding CO, GA now. The felony was a possession with intent to distribute. The quantity was not large and I did not know enough to fight to have the charge reduced. The code violation was 11352
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, I petitioned the court in 2012 to expunge it since I had no other trouble since then and that conviction was holding me back from jobs I was applying to. They granted a reduction of the felony to a misdemeanor, then changed my plea to NOT GUILTY, then they dismissed it. After that, I could pass a background check for employment. It has just come to my attention that Paulding Co told me that it still shows on my record. And they gave me 90 days to get it straightened out.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes, I have the court documents from CA.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I'm reviewing your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and I may also have to respond to other customers.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 months ago.

A California expungement is not a true expungement. It is merely a set-aside (dismissal). So while it allows you to say that you have no criminal convictions, a record search will turn up your arrest and the dismissal. The only way you can get the arrest information off of your record is if you are eligible to get a certificate of actual innocence for which, unfortunately, you would not be qualified to receive.

The Federal government does not recognize a California expungement for purposes of restoring Federal gun rights, which is why you are not able to get your permit at this time. You would need to get a pardon from the governor for the Federal government to lift its bar.