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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27770
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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I was charge with a felony pot. (2 oz) in 1973. I'd like to

Customer Question

I was charge with a felony for selling pot. (2 oz) in 1973. I'd like to purchase a gun for recreation purposes. What are my chances and what is the approx. cost?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I am a New York State criminal defense lawyer.

Were you convicted of the charge or just charged? If this was only a felony arrest and the case was never prosecuted or did not end in a felony conviction, then there's no reason that this case would keep you from being able to buy a gun.

If you were convicted, on the other hand, that's a problem. Even though the charge is non-violent and even though you were convicted in 1973, the felony would remain on your record and you would have lost your state and Federal gun rights.

Gun rights once lost in NYS are not easy to get back. The state does not expunge criminal convictions, and the governor doesn't generally grant pardons. But there are a couple of things you can try.

The easiest would be for you to apply for a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities to get your civil rights restored. The State of New York makes it clear that if you have a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities, the Federal government will accept it for purpose of restoring your Federal gun rights. You can see that information right on the application form from the state for the certificate.

So, if you don't have a Certificate of Relief, yet you can apply for one. It's free to apply and the Department of Parole will process it for you. Make sure when you fill it out that you specifically make it clear that you are asking for your firearm rights to be restored. When the certificate is granted, that will restore your civil rights in NYS (except the right to run for office) and unless the certificate specifically states that you are not to get your firearms rights back, the FBI should accept it and grant you your gun rights back.

You can read more about the Certificate of Relief and the Certificate of Good Conduct here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

I have sent you the information for the phone call. If you're not interested in it, you can just reply on to this question thread at no additional charge.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I lived in New Jersey when charged does this matter?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

What matters is whether you were convicted. If you were convicted, you would have to get your gun rights restored in New Jersey and not in New York. Only the state that took your rights away can give them back. Was it a state or Federal conviction?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no idea the public defender did not talk to me. I never went to jail I was put on probation for a couple years. When I moved to Rochester NY the probation dept closed my case.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.

If you were on probation, you served a sentence, which would mean you were convicted. To get the particulars, you'd need to order your criminal record.

It doesn't matter which state you lived in at the time you were charged with a crime. What matters is the state in which you committed the crime. If that was New York, you already got your answer.

If you were charged and convicted in New Jersey, the law is different there. New Jersey will only restore your gun rights by a pardon from the governor. Pardons are difficult to get but again, if you've been out of trouble since 1973, you'd be a better candidate than most of the applicants. You can see how to get a New Jersey pardon here. That would restore both your state and Federal firearms rights and New York should accept that. I'm attaching the application.