Facing an arrest and prosecution for a misdemeanor drug charge can cause havoc in your life. If you’re asking can you buy a gun with a misdemeanor drug charge in Minnesota, it is still your right to purchase a firearm under state law. A conviction is a different story. In most cases, a conviction for a drug offense of any kind can impact your right to buy, possess, or use a firearm.
The good news is that firearms prohibitions related to drug convictions are not permanent in most cases. Depending on the severity of the offense, you could recover your gun rights in the years following a conviction. Of course, the best way to avoid these consequences is to beat a drug charge altogether. Talk to the attorneys at Gerald Miller to learn more.
Firearm Prohibitions for Misdemeanor Drug Convictions
Most criminal convictions in Minnesota will not result in the permanent loss of your firearm rights. However, certain misdemeanor convictions can limit your rights in the short-term. One of those criminal convictions involves misdemeanor drug possession.
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor drug violation, you could lose your right to own a firearm. Specifically, any conviction for a misdemeanor drug crime in the previous three years will prevent an individual from possessing a firearm. Drug offenses are not the only misdemeanor that can lead to the loss of your right to own or possess a firearm. Other examples include crimes committed for the benefit of a gang, false imprisonment, and burglary in the 4th degree.
When you avoid a conviction for a misdemeanor drug charge, you also avoid all of the consequences that come with it. In addition to avoiding an jail time or fines, you will also protect your right to purchase, own, and use firearms.
Consequences for Felony Convictions
The loss of your firearm rights is likely to last longer with a felony conviction compared to a misdemeanor. In most cases, a felon will lose their gun rights until they have completed their entire sentence. This prohibition can last longer than it might initially appear, however. State law considers the sentence completed once all prison sentences, parole, probation, and supervised release are completed. Many people could face years of supervised release after their prison sentence is over.
Exceptions to Consider
While the law generally does not provide for the loss of gun rights without a criminal conviction of some kind, it is important to note a few exceptions that could see the loss of these rights after an arrest. One of the most common exceptions to this rule involves the use of a pretrial diversion program. With a pretrial diversion, the court allows you to plead guilty but does not enter that plea. You then have an opportunity to meet a set of conditions made by the court. If you meet those conditions, the court will ultimately dismiss the charge against you instead of entering your guilty plea. In Minnesota, you may not own a firearm while you are taking part in a diversionary program. The prohibition ends once the charges against you are dismiss by the state.
There are other exceptions that relate specifically to drug use. While an arrest for a drug charge will not lead to the loss of your gun rights, you will lose those rights if you have been committed or confined due to chemical dependency. Until your treatment is completed, you are banned from purchasing a firearm.
Discuss Your Rights with Gerald Miller Right Away
If you’re asking can you buy a gun with a misdemeanor drug charge in Minnesota, the short answer is yes. The protection of your gun rights is only one way that a skilled criminal defense attorney can benefit you after a misdemeanor drug arrest. There are other consequences that come with a conviction outside of jail time and fines, like difficulty finding housing or maintaining employment.
Thankfully, you have the right to fight back against the drug charges against you. If you succeed, you will be able to hold on to your gun rights and avoid any other consequences that come with a criminal conviction. The attorneys at Gerald Miller understand what is at stake and will aggressively advocate for you during the course of your case. To discuss your options, schedule a free consultation right away.