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What To Do When… You Are Convicted for Possession When Trying to Purchase a Firearm.

What To Do When Legal Chat Podcast... As Seen on the News from Critzer Cardani PC

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The objective of the What To Do When… podcast is to discuss common legal scenarios faced by everyday citizens in Virginia. Critzer and Cardani practice law throughout Virginia and focus their practice around the state’s capital of Richmond, in the Piedmont region. Tune in and subscribe to learn about legal topics such as reckless driving by speeding, bad lawyers, Will Knows Weed, juvenile defense, juvenile sex crimes, reckless driving, the legalization of marijuana in Virginia, divorce 101, Child Support, There is Still Hope, and others.

WTDW Podcast | Episode 67: What To Do When… You Are Convicted for Possession When Trying to Purchase a Firearm.

On this legal video podcast chat with a Gun Purchasing and Criminal Law Legal subject matter in our What To Do When… podcast series, please join our hosts Scott Cardani and Will Smith as they share about What To Do When… You Are Convicted for Possession When Trying to Purchase a Firearm. This video and audio podcast episode focuses on legal insights concerning purchasing or possessing a gun legally in Virginia.

Tune in today for not only our top 3 take-aways, but also some chat about the following subject matters and other helpful action items from a ‘legal chat slant’ from Critzer Cardani’s legal partners.

* Firearm possession charges and criminal background checks.
* Gun laws and background checks, with emphasis on mental health and past criminal records. 3:44
* How to handle involuntary commitment and its impact on gun rights. 7:13

Watch the Video, Listen to the Audio version and / or Follow, Like, and Share… “What To Do When…” Legal Chat Podcast from Critzer Cardani PC.

The objective of the What To Do When… podcast is to discuss common legal scenarios faced by everyday citizens in Virginia. Critzer and Cardani practice law throughout Virginia and focus their practice around the state’s capital of Richmond, in the Piedmont region. Tune in and subscribe to learn about legal topics such as reckless driving by speeding, bad lawyers, Will Knows Weed, juvenile defense, juvenile sex crimes, reckless driving, the legalization of marijuana in Virginia, divorce 101, Child Support, There is Still Hope and others.

Thank you for sending us your feedback, questions, or topic suggestions for future #WTDW | What To Do When… episodes by emailing [email protected].

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What To Do When… Intro 00:01
Welcome to What To Do When… A podcast from real lawyers with real perspective, where we explore a variety of legal issues and scenarios. Each week we focus on a new topic and discuss what to do when and if any of these legal scenarios ever happened to you or a loved one. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our hosts offer their unique perspectives and insights on a range of real life legal situations.

Scott Cardani 0:26
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of what to do when, with Critzer Cardani in Richmond, Virginia. I’m Scott.

Will Smith III 0:35
And I’m Will. Scott, what do we have on the docket for today?

Scott Cardani 0:39
Today we’re going to talk about What To Do When… You Are Convicted for Possession When Trying to Purchase a Firearm.

Will Smith III 0:45
Sounds good.

Scott Cardani 0:47
But Will, we have clients all the time come in with this charge. And why don’t you set us up with what this charge is about. How do people get this charge?

Will Smith III 0:53
So typically, when you go and try to purchase a firearm, you have a questionnaire to fill out. It’s a number of questions, yes, or no questions that…

Scott Cardani 1:01
Always makes me nervous. Ha Ha.

Will Smith III 1:02
Ha Ha… And based on the questions that you answer on that, on that, that form you fill out, you know, it will determine whether or not you qualify to purchase or possess a firearm.

Scott Cardani 1:16
This is a big deal, folks, it seems I’m honest, when I say it makes me nervous. I’ve purchased several firearms over my lifetime. And every time I fill out that form, I’m always worried I’m going to answer one of the questions wrong. They’re not as straightforward as you think they are. They really are. But it almost feels like sometimes they’re trying to trick you.

Will Smith III 1:33

Scott Cardani 1:34
And what happens if you answer one of those questions wrong, or you lie on one of those questions. Or you inadvertently think you’re telling the truth and you’re not, then all of a sudden State Police is gonna show up, you’re gonna get locked up, put in jail. And it’s going to be a myriad of trying to get out of that, and you’re going to have to hire us. So Well, would you give people advice for if they’re going to purchase a firearm?

Will Smith III 1:57
Well, I think the number one thing I tell people to do is try to get a copy of their criminal background check. They can do that by going to the Virginia State Police paying a small fee. And I think about a week after they process it, gets you your your criminal record. If you have anything on your record, right, if you have any felonies on your record, you’re automatically gonna be disqualified from be able to purchase a firearm. So that’s one of the big that’s the number one thing that I think people don’t realize that, you know, it was it was 20 years ago, and so maybe apply. But I mean, if you still have a conviction somewhere on your record, it will disqualify you without some type of exemption.

Scott Cardani 2:36
Yeah. And folks, you got to realize that a lot of us, when was 20 years ago, and maybe the case was somehow there was some kind of deal cut, I was get that with people, we made a deal. I didn’t think it was still a felony. It’s worth checking if you had any run in obviously, you’ve never had a run in a law never been in a courthouse, you really don’t have to worry about that. But, you know, that’s the issue is whether, you know, you may think that you walked away with a misdemeanor, you may think, and as a juvenile we know this phrase, it’s a felony if committed by an adult. But felonies still are felonies when you’re a juvenile, which is kind of crazy and gets people in trouble all the time. So wills right, I would go ahead. And if you’re not sure, if you even have any question in your mind that there could be possibly something, anything that makes sure you do the test, I think it’s $10. Now it used to be $5. But it’s five or $10. To get your criminal background check.

Will Smith III 3:22
Definitely worth it.

Scott Cardani 3:23
Definitely worth it saves you from getting a charge that you didn’t know about what’s the second big hurdle?

Will Smith III 3:29
The second one that I see a lot of people run into is people who have been involuntarily committed for some type of mental issue, they’ve been admitted to a hospital or had some type of inpatient commitment for mental health needs. Those people as well. Without further explanation, can’t just check the box that they haven’t because that’ll come back and bite them.

Scott Cardani 3:51
And again, that’s when when you get into mental health issues can really be tricky. Maybe you got you and and I had one guy who went in on his own, put himself into an alcohol treatment facility because he was just felt like he needed help in his alcohol addiction, he put himself into a facility. It happened to be a hospital because it was a hospital, they checked him in as a mental health issue, instead of as a substance abuse issue. And, you know, his record, he went in to purchase a gun all sudden, he’s charged. And it’s a crazy thing. It seems like it’s really easy. I’ve always said there should be a kiosk that you’re able to put your information in prior to purchasing and see if you’re okay to I mean, if we’re really trying to help people, and we really want more more people who are not eligible to get firearms, why can’t they just put it in themselves and check and get something back and say, Hey, we can’t let you purchase and if that’s the case, fine. Why does it have to be a crime?

Will Smith III 4:45

Scott Cardani 4:45
Well, guess what happens folks get this straight. Say, we’ll and I go to Cabela’s and we’re standing there and Will’s with me and he has a felony. When he forgot about it, it was when he was 12. He can’t get a felony winch well, but you know, my point is because Really, he was really young, he only has a few felonies. Not many. But anyways, and I say, Hey, man, I want to see that Glock 35. We’ll see if anybody knows what they’re talking about with guns. Anyways. So they hand me the Glock, and I’m looking at it. I’m pointing, checking the slide and I hand it to will. Are you in possession of that firearm Will?

Will Smith III 5:20

Scott Cardani 5:21
Yes. And that’s how they get you. Every time. You pick up the gun to look at it. You’re in possession. In that moment. You pick up Will’s gun when you’re in his house at Sunday dinner, I realize nobody’s gonna turn you on at Will’s Sunday dinner. But if you have somebody estranged in your life, who doesn’t like you, they may very much do that to you. So really remember possession is touching, you know, or it’s in your car, it’s under your bed, would that be possession Will?

Will Smith III 5:50
If it’s in within arm’s reach, you know, it’s there. Yeah, constructive possession, right.

Scott Cardani 5:55
I had a guy years ago had a felony 30 years before that. And he had had anything on his record for years. He had a shotgun under his bed that actually his wife had. And he got pinched with that. And it was a big doodle to do. We had to go to court and work all through that. So if this happens to you it number one, it shouldn’t happen to you if you’re careful. And you really check it out. I think the hard one to check is the mental health and how that’s going to pinch you. But normally state police record will show that but not always. So that’s a real tricky wicket. But obviously, if the state police aren’t flagged, then they’re not coming.

Will Smith III 6:35

Scott Cardani 6:35
So they’re the ones who kind of control that information, which is pretty good. And so that’s but remember, when you fill out that form, what happens next, the guy takes it over, and he inputs that form into the database. Sometimes he can input that information incorrectly. There’s all kinds of things that can happen. So I don’t want to divert you from or keep you from purchasing a firearm, obviously, I just want you to be careful and be smart about it.

Will Smith III 6:53
Absolutley, I think one of those things that you said that it’s true, it’s very hard to pinpoint is when you have been involuntarily committed or voluntarily admitted yourself into a hospital for some type of treatment. And you Mark that box, we’ve got to make sure you mark that box accurately. Because if not, you know you have somebody knock on the door waiting on you with a felony warrant.

Scott Cardani 7:18
Alright, and remember this, if you do get that pinch, and somebody comes up in the state, please come and pick you up. And you know, and that’s not your time to fight, walk through that process, you’ll most likely get a bond pretty quickly.

Will Smith III 7:24
I know you’re gonna say that. Yeah, that’s not that you’re not going to figure it out right then in there on site with the police. It’s I mean, I’ve, every day, it’s every day, every week, it seems like I have somebody that tried to straighten things out with the police and try to work it out. And all it did, all they did was use those statements that he made against him in court.

Scott Cardani 7:46
Yeah, so don’t do that. But here’s the deal. There are ways to help. If you this happens to you and say you had an involuntary commitment when you’re, you’re younger, and you just didn’t realize it. You know, if you come to us, and we start talking about you tell us about your charges you hire Will or me, what we’re first thing we’re going to do is say Hey, can we get your rights restored?

Will Smith III 7:46

Scott Cardani 7:46
Because if we can get your rights restored prior to trial, a lot of times the judge will look at that and say, well, he didn’t really know he got them restored, obviously had the right to get him restored. So I’m not gonna hold that charge against them the same way I would if he didn’t. So honestly, one of the biggest defenses in this case is to get your rights restored if you’re possibly eligible for it, if you’re not eligible. That’s a really big problem.

Will Smith III 8:24
Much harder. Yeah.

Normally, that’s the issue. And remember, your forgetting is not an excuse,

No ignorance of the law, also is not an excuse. So yeah, it doesn’t really matter.

Scott Cardani 8:34
They do not care that you forgot. So again, state police are going to come in, they’re going to arrest you just go cooperate. Because what that does is help the state police when you get taken to get booked, they’re gonna say oh, he’s very polite and cooperative. And then the magistrate is not gonna be looking at your cross side, you’re probably gonna get a bond and get out that night, and be on your way. And you can be on your way over here to hire us or somebody else to help you through this process. Because this is a very scary process. I’ve had many, many people over my time, charged with this crime. And most of the time, they weren’t doing it maliciously, or anyway, they had no idea they just made a mistake. You know, they were especially juveniles when they are juvenile and had a felony and they thought it was worked out to a misdemeanor or something like that. And I’m telling you, there’s a lot of misinformation in the court and a lot of times you walk into court you’re so nervous when you’re that young you don’t even remember when on y’all remember that you walked out the door, and a lot of people feel because they walked out the door. They must have not got charged thing too seriously, or too serious. So remember that again. Number one, if you’re going to purchase a firearm, what do we do Will?

Will Smith III 9:41
Criminal background check.

Scott Cardani 9:41
Criminal background check. Easy peasy. Go to the State Police. Number two?

Will Smith III 9:46
Check your records.

Scott Cardani 9:47
Check your records. Talk to your mom, if you don’t remember a lot about your childhood, your dad or your step parents whoever involved a mom was ever committed to anything going on like that because sometimes, quite frankly, if you had some serious mental health issues when you’re a kid That doesn’t bar you from completely ever having a gun, but it may if you don’t get that rectified.

Will Smith III 10:04

Scott Cardani 10:05
You want to get that rectified. And maybe you had a episode when you were 13. There’s some years of my Thirteen’s. I don’t really remember all that well.

Will Smith III 10:12
I mean, I have a current client right now who had a happened when she was 17 years old. And she was in foster care at the time, and she was involuntarily committed or she already either that or she committed herself voluntarily. But because of that, she has not been able to get her her gun rights. And she’s been trying to get in law enforcement. And you know, she’s done everything. She’s been to school. She’s been through all the training. And the one thing that’s holding her up now from being able to do become a law enforcement officer, is this this matter that happened when she was 17 years old? About 15 years ago?

Scott Cardani 10:44
Yeah, it’s just tragic. And finally, if you get a conviction, if you get arrested, remember, at the counter Cabela’s is not the time to fight and assert your rights. Just say I made a mistake, let the officer take you where he’s got to take you process, you go to the magistrate, if you don’t have a prior record, the most likely things is gonna happen to us, you’re gonna be released on your own or cognizant, or in a very light bond, you can come hire us, and we can help you walk through the process of getting this case resolved. These are very serious matters. Remember, it’s a felony and a misdemeanor, they can charge you with, and they normally charge you with both. And there’s a reason for that they charge you with both. So you try to plead to the misdemeanor and get rid of the felony. So just remember, there’s a whole process here, but we can help.

Will Smith III 11:25

Scott Cardani 11:26
Thank you, and we’ll see you again soon. Thanks.

What To Do When… Outro 11:29
We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of What To Do When… For more episodes, be sure to subscribe to our podcast and we encourage you to check archives to listen to previous topics. Tune in next week for a new episode and some fresh perspective from Critzer Cardani.

Need Legal Representation? Contact Critzer Cardani.

We look forward to helping you in this venture and Good Luck!