Can I buy a gun if I have a deferred adjudication in another state from over 11 years ago?

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Can I buy a gun if I have a deferred adjudication in another state from over 11 years ago?

I was charged with auto theft when I was young and dumb at 18 years old. The judge placed me on deferred adjudication where the crime was commited; it was for 4 years. I successfully completed my deferred adjudication and now 11 years later I would like to buy a handgun where I now live. Will my background pass to purchase a handgun?

Asked on June 19, 2012 under Criminal Law, Colorado

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The answer really depends on the laws of the state where you got the deferred.  Under Colorado you would be okay to purchase the gun because it's been over 10 years since you were off probation.  Your real concern is the federal statute.  Many fed prosecutors will say that you are not a prohibited person in possession because you are no longer subject to an indictment.  However, the feds will sometimes consider a conviction final if the original state considers it final.  For example, in Oklahoma and Washington, conviction is defined as a finding of guilty or a plea of guilty-- so even a deferred in those states would be considered a "conviction," and could potentially bar a defendant from possessing a firearm.  Before you purchase a gun, get a copy of your judgment and get a consultation with an attorney that practices federal criminal law and let them research the effect of your out of state conviction.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you were placed on deferred adjudication with respect to the auto theft charge against you years ago (a felony) and you were successful in completing such, then for all intents and purposes there should be no felony conviction against you that would preclude you from purchasing a fire arm.

In all likelihood, the background search will allow you to obtain a fire arm.


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