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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 31891
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was convicted of a non violent felony back in

Customer Question

I was convicted of a non violent felony back in 2007...everything I'm reading regarding to gun rights and possessing or owning a firearm are confusing...1 article says there is an automatic 15 yr rule...others state no felon may possess a firearm...also seen an article where it said as long as I'm not a violent felon my civil rights and gun rights were restored upon release from jail or probation....any help is greatly appreciated
JA: What were you convicted of exactly? Have all your appeals been exhausted?
Customer: 3rd degree burglary....I had a public defender and was supposed to use my suspended imposition but it was never used....I've never went to the trouble of appealing or contacting a lawyer or court to see whether I can own a gun again
JA: In what state did the burglary occur?
Customer: south dakota
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: all I want is serious proof and knowledge how I can own a gun again without worrying about prison time
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
conviction date was 10/24/07....probation release date was around 03/11
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.


I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. What was your felony?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
3rd degree burglary
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
in the state of south dakota
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Hello. Please keep in mind that I have more than one customer and that you are not the only followup I have to get to. I take them in turn and I'm up to yours now. The answer also requires research and doesn't write itself. You don't need to sit there and watch the screen. JustAnswer will email you when I'm finished and have posted.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I apologize I've never done it this way
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

No problem. Just be patient. I'm really here and working on it. Interruptions, however, won't make it happen quicker. :)

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

If you have a non-violent felony, with the exception of certain drug felonies, you do not lose your gun rights in South Dakota. For the violent ones, you do, but the state of South Dakota will automatically restore your gun rights after 15 years, so long as you have no other felony convictions.

HOWEVER, you do lose your Federal gun rights by having a felony conviction. The Federal government requires a restoration of all your civil rights, which you do have, AND an expungement, a dismissal or a Pardon from your governor, in order to restore your Federal second amendment rights.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
because mine was a non violent felony my rights were restored upon release from probation in south dakota meaning I'm accepted federally as well?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

No. Only the first half is true. You have your state rights. The Federal government will likely require a pardon, expungement or a set-aside before you can pass a NICs check.

You can apply and if you are denied on Federal grounds, you can appeal it by a showing that all your state rights were restored. But these days the Feds are stricter than ever, and you may be required to get a pardon to secure your Federal rights.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
governors pardon or presidential order to get a pardon do I just meet with a lawyer that specializes in pardons or a normal criminal defense attorney
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
last question...regarding the federal govt. who do I contact to find out what I will need
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Governor's pardon. You would only need a presidential pardon if this were a Federal offense.

A regular criminal lawyer would know how to apply for a pardon. You could even do it yourself, as no lawyer is necessary. The lawyer you contact about a pardon will know what is necessary to clear the NICs check.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.