If you have been arrested and convicted of a DUI, the conviction will have an impact on various areas of your life, including your right to own firearms and obtain a Concealed Pistol License (CPL). The reason a DUI can affect your right to own firearms is related to the fact that many crimes are the result of someone making poor decisions or choices. As firearms can be dangerous if not handled, used, and stored properly, the legal system of the United States has established that it may be unwise to allow someone to own firearms when that person has an established track record of making poor choices in other areas of their life as demonstrated by having committed other crimes.
A DUI conviction may be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of your case. The circumstances that affect the classification can include how many previous DUI convictions you have had, damage caused as a result of driving under the influence, injury to others or death related to driving under the influence, and the laws of the state where the conviction occurred.
There is often confusion among people about how long a DUI stays on your record because the length of time is different depending on if you are referring to your driving record or your criminal record. In the case of your driving record, most states have laws stating a specific number of years that a DUI conviction will stay on your driving record. After that time period has passed, the conviction will be removed from your driving record.
In the case of your criminal record, whether the DUI conviction was a misdemeanor or a felony, the conviction will stay on your record permanently. The permanent nature of a DUI conviction is established because in many states the seriousness of a DUI conviction escalates when there are multiple convictions. Therefore, the court is interested in seeing previous convictions when evaluated the severity of the sentence you should receive for additional DUI convictions.
As it relates to gun ownership, in general, someone who has a misdemeanor DUI conviction on their record will be able to purchase a gun and obtain a CPL. How soon after the misdemeanor conviction you can purchase a gun and obtain a CPL varies by state. If the conviction is a felony, gun ownership and obtaining a CPL will not be options.
Keep in mind that the information above is general in nature. To know for certain how your DUI conviction affects your ability to purchase a gun and obtain your CPL, you should consult an attorney who is familiar with the DUI laws in your state and can evaluate your DUI conviction and other information against those laws.
In addition, if a DUI conviction is affecting your ability to purchase a gun, obtain a CPL, or get a job, you should work with an attorney to evaluate if your conviction can be expunged. Additional information about expungement of criminal records is available at Criminal law allows for expungement of criminal record.
The article above was written by Mark J.
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