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Thread: Juvenile conviction and possession of a firearm

  1. #1
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    My friend recently referred me to this board. I was wondering if any of you kind folks would be able to provide me with some insight to my following question.

    As a juvenile, at the age of 13, I took a plea bargain and plead guilty to 4th Degree assault (NON DV). Part of the conditions of that plea bargain said that I gave up my rights to possess a firearm and a concealed pistol license. They informed me that the only way to have my rights restored were to go back to court as an adult, and request a restoration of my firearm rights.

    Well, at the age of 19, I ended up getting my recorded expunged through the court. My juvenile record was taken out of the courts database.

    I went to purchase my first pistol two years ago, when I was 23. I explained my situation the the gun shop employees, and they said that if I was ineligible, that the law enforcement agency wouldn't approve me.

    Well four days later, I received a call from the gun shop, telling me that the department cleared me for the gun, and told me to come on down and pick it up. I was still a little hesitant, because I didn't want to get in any sort of trouble for owning the gun, but they said I was clear.

    A week later, I went to my department to apply for the CPL. I specifically told them about my juvenile conviction, and said I had given up my rights to possess a firearm and a CPL when I plead guilty. They said if there were any prohibiting factors, that it would show up in their database.

    I did the fingerprint check, and absolutely nothing came up at all. They said they had no record of a conviction in their system, so I'm good to go. I contracted the State Patrol as well, and mentioned my situation to them, and again, they said if I was cleared by my local law enforcement agency, that I am now a legal owner of a CPL and a firearm.

    My question is, did the expunging of my juvenile record automatically restore my rights?

    Is my record anywhere on file? Could someone in the future be able to pull up my record and legally take my firearm and CPL away from me, despite already having them legally issued to me?

    Thanks fellas!

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    Looks like you are clean. The State Patrol and local PD cleared you when they did the background checks and fingerprinting, and they did so knowing what you told them.

    I am not a lawyer, but I would say having a gun transferred to you and a CPL issued is a good indicator.

    Find a lawyer and pay them for their time. Probably won't take too long.

  3. #3
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    Free consultation.

    http://www.washrecord.com


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    back in the 80's they screwed up alot of records. so if they give you a cpl then you should be fine

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    You obtained your firearm legally. You're good there.

    You obtained your license legally. You're good there. It sounds like you've gone out of your way to ensure that you aren't violating any laws.

    By the way, an expunged record is a non-existent record. It's like it never happened. It doesn't necessarily "restore" your rights, but it acts as if your rights were never taken away.

    Like the police department said, if there were any prohibiting factors, it would have showed up in their database and you wouldn't have been granted your license, or had permission to obtain your pistol.



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    Congrats on cleaning up your act and getting it legally!

    Welcome to the gun owners community! Just be smart & be safe. Remember the four rules.

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    Just received an email back fromthe attorney that was referenced:

    "Tony,


    A non DV conviction for assault fourth degree in Washington state does not result in a firearm disability, as it is a gross misdemeanor. Assault 1,2 and 3 are felonies and would result in a loss of firearm rights. It is possible that the court misinformed you, or that you one of the conditions of your probation/sentence is that you not possess firearms. If your recollection of your actual conviction is correct, you never lost your right to possess firearms. On the other hand, if you were convicted of felony assault, the sealing of your record is a temporary fix. The sealing statute has an automatic nullification clause - filing of a felony charge or conviction for any crime will instantaneously make you ineligible to possess firearms. If the sealing order is nullified by a criminal conviction, you would have to wait 5 years to restore the right to possess firearms. Again, this concerns a prohibitive felony predicate offense. Sincerely, Paul T. Ferris
    Attorney at Law
    105 W 5th Ave., Suite 108
    Ellensburg, WA 98926
    Phn 509.925.4744
    Fax 509.925.7822
    ptferris@washrecord.com
    www.washrecord.com"

    So apparently the court wrongfully prohibited me from possessing a firearm? I remember it as clear as day. When I signed the plea bargain, part of the condition said that I was giving up my rights to possess a firearm. Oh well, at least it's obviously not a factor now.

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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    Bader wrote:
    By the way, an expunged record is a non-existent record. It's like it never happened.
    Completely incorrect.

    An expunged record means one not readily viewable to the public.

    The FBI still keeps a record, as does local/state authorities. Police reports are still kept regarding the incident, etc.

    Records still exist, they're just 'hidden' from a casual observer.
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    I had similar problems, but my convictions were juvenile felony (non-violent, non-property, victimless.)
    I had a number of problems getting my CPL, but I did, thanks to encouragement and advice from the folks here and too much time spent reading case law.
    NonDV assault 4 is not prohibiting, so even if it was yesterday, it wouldn't be a problem.
    By what was did you expunge it?

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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    It depends actually..

    If the punishment for the crime MAY have been more than 1 year (regardless of actual sentence), you may have a federal disability, DV or not...
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    Tony Santiago wrote:

    So apparently the court wrongfully prohibited me from possessing a firearm? I remember it as clear as day. When I signed the plea bargain, part of the condition said that I was giving up my rights to possess a firearm. Oh well, at least it's obviously not a factor now.
    Were you on probation for a while after pleading guilty? When you plead guilty the court can set any terms they want for the probation period and you agree to those terms when you plead guilty.


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    TechnoWeenie wrote:
    Bader wrote:
    By the way, an expunged record is a non-existent record. It's like it never happened.
    Completely incorrect.

    An expunged record means one not readily viewable to the public.

    The FBI still keeps a record, as does local/state authorities. Police reports are still kept regarding the incident, etc.

    Records still exist, they're just 'hidden' from a casual observer.
    No, actually my information is correct. Like I said, I have applied and obtained a CPL trough my police department. They did the fingerprint check, and even while I informed them of my past record, they said nothing showed up in their system. I've done ride alongs through Black Diamond and Tukwila Police, which both departments conducted a criminal history check through their database, and again, nothing showed up in their system.

    On top of that, here is an email I received from the King County Records and Information Manager




    "Good morning Mr. Santiago and thank you for your inquiry. The expungement/vacate/seal process can be confusing – at least I know it is to me! J I hope this explanation will help clarify the process for you. Juvenile Seals and Vacates are two separate processes.

    For a Vacated record, once the conviction is vacated, it is not disseminated to the public, but the arrest is available to criminal justice agencies. For convictions after 7/1/84, if the charge is a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor and is a possible state or federal prohibitor (such as domestic violence), then the CPL could still be denied.

    In the case of Juvenile Sealed Records, proceedings in the case are treated as if they never occurred, which means the event is NOT a Washington State prohibitor and therefore the CPL would not be denied. The only way it would be denied is if there are other prohibitors on the applicants record.

    I hope this helps. If you have additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

    Have a nice day.



    Kimberly S. Petty
    Records & Information Systems Manager
    King County Sheriff’s Office
    Desk: 206.205.7931 ~ Cellular: 206.240.7013
    New Email Address: Kimberly.Petty@kingcounty.gov

    As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence Automatically liberates others.
    -Nelson Mandela



    This email is a public record and may be subject to public disclosure (RCW 42.56)"


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    It's obviously either just a general misconception that Law Enforcement Agencies still have access to the sealed/expunged record, or I'm the exception to the rule. One or the other.

    From what I have gathered, by law, only a court order can open up a sealed record.

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    Tony Santiago wrote:
    It's obviously either just a general misconception that Law Enforcement Agencies still have access to the sealed/expunged record, or I'm the exception to the rule. One or the other.

    From what I have gathered, by law, only a court order can open up a sealed record.
    The record still exists... trust me on this one.
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    TechnoWeenie wrote:
    Tony Santiago wrote:
    It's obviously either just a general misconception that Law Enforcement Agencies still have access to the sealed/expunged record, or I'm the exception to the rule. One or the other.

    From what I have gathered, by law, only a court order can open up a sealed record.
    The record still exists... trust me on this one.
    Of course it exists, otherwise a court order wouldn't be abnle to open it back up. All I am saying is it is not currently in law enforcement or court databases, but it's also not completely destroyed either.



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    So from my understanding that since I sealed my juvenile record I am eligable for my CPL.:celebrate

    Also a sealed record only comes back when you are charged with a felony.

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    Normally it's still viewable by Law Enforcement agencies, but if they claim nothing showed up, then I'd relax and not worry about it.

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    No, actually my information is correct. Like I said, I have applied and obtained a CPL trough my police department. They did the fingerprint check, and even while I informed them of my past record, they said nothing showed up in their system. I've done ride alongs through Black Diamond and Tukwila Police, which both departments conducted a criminal history check through their database, and again, nothing showed up in their system.
    It could have been a "deferred disposition," where you go through the court, and if you stay clean for your probation time it get's essentially dismissed.
    Completely incorrect. An expunged record means one not readily viewable to the public. The FBI still keeps a record, as does local/state authorities. Police reports are still kept regarding the incident, etc. Records still exist, they're just 'hidden' from a casual observer.
    Slightly incorrect. The FBI keeps the record, state/local can see the NCIC part of it that mentions arrest (with or without conviction) but WSP and county and cities are sent an order telling them that the records are inaccessible. They records are physically still there, but according to the court order they are "to be treated as if it had never occurred."
    The State Patrol database removes the conviction record after expungement. I am 100% sure of this. Local and county go through the WSP database, so the only thing left that normal LEO can see s the NCIC, which does not mention conviction. I have a stack of my own paperwork on this, so I am certain of this.

    I had a record expunged, but the NCIC file mentioning some juvenile arrests w/o conviction was used to attempt to deny me the CPL.


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    If NCIC approved you and you also received your CPL, you're definitely good to go.

    As far as the court "illegally" including a loss of firearms rights to an Assault 4 charge, the court/judge can order things according to the sentencing guidelines that aren't necessarily normal conditions for an Assault 4.

    Here's an example:
    After a DUI conviction, part of your probationary requirements set YOUR legal BAC level at 0.03% instead of 0.08% like every other driver. You're held, by court order, to a tighter legal standard than other drivers until your probation is ended.

    In other words, the court has quite a bit of power when they attach court orders to convictions. Since the ORIGINAL charge was obviously higher than Assault 4 and you took a plea DOWN to Assault 4, part of the plea bargain was a portion of an Assault 3 (or 2 or 1) charge sentencing guidelines still sticking; in this case the inclusion in the lesser plea was a loss of firearms rights/CPL.

    The expungement apparently cleared you up for that as far as both the state and the BATFE are concerned since both NCIC and the CPL cleared for your purchase.

    Congratulations!

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    cynicist wrote:
    Slightly incorrect. The FBI keeps the record, state/local can see the NCIC part of it that mentions arrest (with or without conviction) but WSP and county and cities are sent an order telling them that the records are inaccessible. They records are physically still there, but according to the court order they are "to be treated as if it had never occurred."
    The State Patrol database removes the conviction record after expungement. I am 100% sure of this. Local and county go through the WSP database, so the only thing left that normal LEO can see s the NCIC, which does not mention conviction. I have a stack of my own paperwork on this, so I am certain of this.

    I had a record expunged, but the NCIC file mentioning some juvenile arrests w/o conviction was used to attempt to deny me the CPL.
    That's interesting. Except I was never arrested, despite being charged. There was no arrest involved in my case, so what does that mean?

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    Not everyone charged with a crime is arrested. They are charged and receive a summons or some other docuement that orders them to court to answer the charges. Not uncommon at all.

    Usually this happens when an investigation is needed first. After the investigation the Prosecutir determines if charges are appropriate and issues the summons. No arrest required.
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    As far as the court "illegally" including a loss of firearms rights to an Assault 4 charge
    Could also have been a condition in a plea.


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    My mom clipped a similar article out of the paper for me a number of years ago. There's a group called the Mockingbird Society that's a sort of youth advocate group, and they have all the motions and other paperwork for it on their website.


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