We all make mistakes. It's something we often say on our blog because we understand that no one is perfect and, try as we all might, sometimes our best efforts can end in mistakes we wish we could take back.
Take for instance a drunk-driving charge. Many people who are convicted of a first-time DUI wish they could take it back. Unfortunately, first-time DUI offenses stay on a person's criminal record for a long time, oftentimes looming over them for years and years. This can create problems for an individual if they are not extremely careful. Even another DUI several years later can turn into a felony charge, which can have far worse consequences than the first conviction had.
It's because of this fact that we're presenting this question:
Will I lose my right to own a gun if I get a felony DUI?
While this question may not be one all of our Leesburg readers ask, if may be on the minds of some, which is why we'd like to address it in today's post.
Most people are familiar with the federal law that basically states "no guns for felons." Appearing in 1), this section of federal law makes it illegal for someone who "has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" to purchase, own or possess a gun.
As we explained in an April post, a third DUI conviction within 10 years is considered a Class 6 felony, which is punishable with a mandatory minimum sentence of 1-5 years. Under the guidelines of federal law, a driver in Virginia convicted of a third offense within 10 years would not be allowed to purchase, own or possess a firearm.
But what about Virginia law? Would a felony DUI trigger our state gun ban?
The answer is: possibly. According to the Virginia State Police, if you have been convicted as an adult for a felony offense in our state, then you may be denied the right to purchase, own or possess a firearm under state law. It's because of this fact that hiring an attorney to defend your rights becomes a necessity in criminal cases.