Can You Own a Gun If You Have a DUI

Can You Own a Gun If You Have a DUI?

DUIs can leave a big stain on your public record and are detrimental to other things you might want to do in the future such as buying firearms and other weapons. Laws and regulations vary from state to state so it might be good to consult with those who are knowledgeable of the rules. A DUI can be charged under the category of a misdemeanor or a felony.

Therefore it is very difficult to determine whether the person convicted is able to make the purchase or not. It all depends on whether the person was convicted before, if there were others present in the car at the time, or if anyone was hurt or killed during the time you were driving. Typically, those charged with a DUI are not allowed to purchase or even own firearms. In other states there’s a certain amount of time that must pass before the offender is allowed to buy guns. Most states, however are very strict and offer little wiggle room.

There are a few instances however, that allow a person to buy weapons:

  1. If this is your first offense and no one was hurt during your drunken rampage, then you would be allowed to purchase a gun.
  2. If the allotted time has passed for you to abstain from purchasing firearms if you were forbidden to
  3. If the crime was charged as only a misdemeanor


These are the few exceptions a person has if any of the above applies to them. In the states of New York or Wyoming, if you get a DUI twice within ten years it is a charged as a felony. In other states like Texas and Georgia, you have two more chances before the crime reaches felony status. Texas also tends to use DUI for underage citizens, while DWI is for adults. For them, the first charge is a class B misdemeanor, the second is a class A, and the third constitutes a felony. Killing someone while driving or having a child present in the car also count as felonies. You cannot buy a gun before five years have passed if you were convicted at the beginning of this time frame. Buying weapons is risky business even without the convictions ruining your record and reputation. If you are looking to buy a gun or some other firearm, then perhaps you may want to rethink your choices the next time you are out drinking and partying with your friends.

Selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney

Selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney

One of the hardest challenges we possibly have to deal with in any criminal case is selecting a criminal defense attorney. For starters, many people often underestimate the gravity of their cases and would only give some thought to choosing a criminal defense attorney only when it is clear the ruling may be against their favor.

However, experts advise that regardless of how trivial your case may appear to be, choosing a criminal defense attorney is always a wise decision so in this article, we shall discuss some of the factors to consider when choosing such an attorney.

Are They Specialized in Civil or Criminal Cases?

It is important to begin by understanding the nature of charges preferred against you as defense attorneys are often specialized in that regard. Your case could either be a civil or a criminal one. A civil case refers to one brought against you by an individual or a company while a criminal case refers to one that is brought against you by a local, state or a federal government.

Understanding the expertise of a defense attorney with regards to either of these two cases will already give you a head start when approaching the case.

Are They Specialized in State or Federal Law?

Another major area of specialization is with regards to state or federal law and understudying the nature of your case with regards to either of these will help you select the best defense attorney for your case. As a general rule, state law refers to cases such as broken contracts, robberies, family feuds, traffic violations etc while federal law refers to cases such as constitutional violations for which your country is party, copyright infringement and intellectual property cases, patent cases etc.

Evidently federal cases require a more experienced attorney as they are considered more serious and in the event of a conviction, could have you spending many years behind bars.

Are They Specialized In Your Specific Case?

As a general rule, you should always look for a criminal defense attorney who concentrates his practice in a given area of defense that you require. Naturally, you will find many criminal lawyers who handle routine criminal defense cases but a specialized defense attorney is always a cut above the rest.

Do you need defense in a rape case? Is it a violence or burglary case? Are you a protagonist in a family feud or are you the main suspect in a homicide? These and many more are the kinds of questions you will need to settle with before selecting a lawyer specialized in the specific area.

What Is Your Financial Position?

Litigations are capital-intensive and as such, you need to be adequately prepared in terms of finances. In case you cannot afford the often high fees charged by defense attorneys, you may be entitled to a public defender. This is a defense attorney specialized in helping people with meager resources.

However, you need to be aware that as they also have limited time and resources to allocate to your case, they may not always be the best. This means that at all cost, you should try to consolidate some resources and ensure you hire a professional defense attorney if you are serious about increasing your chances of having the ruling made in your favor.

When Can Police Search Your Car?

When Can Police Search Your Car?

In the event that you are stopped by an officer you will want to be educated on your rights aso a citizen. That includes safeguarding your privacy, possessions, and dignity. If you happened to be stopped on the highway, then the officer may ask to search your vehicle. Police require a search warrant to be able to enter and investigate your home, but with a car they only need evidence that point to you as a criminal. So what if you’re not a criminal? Can they still force their way into your vehicle? Is there any way you can prevent this? Fortunately, yes.  Here is what to do if you get stopped.

You can explicitly say that the police officers do not have consent to search your car. The Fourth Amendment gives you the right to refuse searches. If officers decide to search your vehicle anyway without your say so or just for kicks, then it is considered illegal. However despite this, citizens shouldn’t expect the same amount of privacy that they would if they were in their house. The only time a policeman is allowed to go through your car is under the following circumstances:

  1. You gave him or her the okay to go through with it.
  2. The police officer has a suspicion that you are involved in criminal activity or that you are hiding drugs. For instance if they suspect you are smoking weed because your eyes are bloodshot and you seem high, or they smell alcohol emanating from your car and find your behavior to be strange (because you’re drunk).
  3. The police officer is wary of his own safety; i.e. you have a gun or other weapon hidden in your car.
  4. The officer already has a search warrant to interrogate you.
  5. You are under arrest or already arrested and the search is related to that arrest. For example if you are suspected of kidnapping someone, are in possession of drugs, or have any other illegal objects then they have the right to go through the vehicle.

Remember, if you are in the clear of everything except the first reason, then the only thing the officer needs to go through your automobile is your permission. Officers may try to get past this, by using loopholes such as making an “order” in the form of a request, “Hey, you don’t mind if we have a look inside do you?”, or they may use your naivety of the law or your rights as a way to get you to let them in. Even so, you have every right to refuse and if you give the okay you end up handing over your fourth amendment rights.