One of the collateral consequences that come with a felony conviction in Minnesota is the loss of the right to own or carry a firearm. However, there are also certain misdemeanor charges that could curtail your right to own a gun after a misdemeanor conviction.
The good news is that these restrictions apply following a conviction, not an arrest. Facing misdemeanor assault charges in and of itself will not prevent you from buying a gun in most cases. However, there are some limited exceptions you should be aware of before attempting to purchase a gun.
The best way to protect your right to bear arms is to avoid a conviction entirely. By obtaining an acquittal or dismissal of your criminal charge, you are certain to avoid the consequences that come with a conviction. To learn more, contact Gerald Miller today for a free consultation.
Prohibition on Purchasing a Firearm After a Misdemeanor Assault Conviction
While it is true that an arrest alone will typically not curtail your right to buy a firearm, there are a number of misdemeanor convictions that could cost you the ability to purchase a gun.
Any person that is convicted or adjudicated delinquent of committing a crime of violence is barred from possessing or owning a firearm. However, state law only considers felony offenses as crimes of violence.
While not assault charges, there are certain misdemeanor convictions that will result in the loss of gun rights. These include standard and gross misdemeanors. These offenses include:
- Crimes committed for the benefit of a gang
- Assaults motivated by bias
- False imprisonment
- Neglect or endangerment of a child
- Burglary in the 4th degree
- Setting a spring gun
- Harassment or stalking
While the general rule is that you will not lose your right to buy a firearm before a conviction, there are some important exceptions to consider. The most important involves participation in a pretrial diversion program. A diversion program allows you to meet certain conditions over time before ultimately seeing the charges against you dismissed. While it involves a plea, the court holds that plea agreement in abeyance in anticipation of dismissing the charges against you if you meet the requirements. From the moment you enter the diversion program or a crime of violence, you may not buy a firearm in Minnesota. This prohibition ends when the person completes the diversion program and the charge is dismissed.
There are also exceptions that apply to individuals whether or not they are facing a misdemeanor assault charge. For example, any person who has been committed or confined for chemical dependency cannot buy a firearm until treatment is completed. If that person is charged with assault during the course of their treatment, they may not purchase a firearm. The same is true for individuals that were committed or confined for a mental illness.
Discuss Your Options with Gerald Miller Today
The protection of your right to own, carry, or purchase a gun is only one of the important benefits of hiring skilled legal counsel. When you are facing assault charges, you might not be fully aware of the potential consequences that await you if you are convicted. A criminal conviction for assault can cost you not only your rights but also your freedom.
Thankfully, it is possible to defeat a charge of assault under many circumstances. Prosecutors routinely bring these charges when they are not warranted, and your attorney can help show the state that they lack the evidence needed for a conviction. By aggressively fighting back against the prosecution, your lawyer could put you in a position to obtain a favorable outcome.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller have extensive experience protecting their clients from the consequences of an assault conviction. We can assist you with understanding the charges against you and fighting back starting the day you hire us. This process begins with a careful review of your arrest. By evaluating every aspect of your charge, we can identify valuable witnesses and develop the strongest defense strategy possible. If you are ready to explore your defense options, do not hesitate to call the lawyers of Gerald Miller right away at (612) 440-4608 for a free consultation.