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View Full Version : Friend's background check? (Similar to another current thread)


sierratangofoxtrotunion
02-24-2006, 12:08 AM
A very good friend of mine got charged with some nasty felonies, several years back, things like:

Mayhem (this was dropped)
Manufacture of destructive device
Posession of destructive device

and a couple other related felonies, most dropped. I need to make sure with him what they all were.

From what he tells me, these are "wobbler" charges in CA. His POS court-appointed defense recommended he plead to the felonies, and after jailtime and good behavior and parole, they'd get reduced to misdemeanors. This has all happened, no more parole, everything that was a felony was reduced to a misdemeanor, he's also been a very good boy since then and hasn't touched any of that stuff since. However he technically was convicted of felonies, and he's worried whether or not he'll ever be able to buy a gun again.

Anybody have any insight?

blkA4alb
02-24-2006, 12:17 AM
hmm, try re-reading that other post because i think it talks about wobbler cases like this. if he was convicted of felonies then he cannot own a gun, but if on the record they are listed as misdemeanors and not felonies then i assume that he should be okay. other members here seem to be much more knowledgable about this than i am, id do more research but its 1:17 and im too tired:D.

grammaton76
02-24-2006, 12:26 AM
From what he tells me, these are "wobbler" charges in CA. His POS court-appointed defense recommended he plead to the felonies, and after jailtime and good behavior and parole, they'd get reduced to misdemeanors. This has all happened, no more parole, everything that was a felony was reduced to a misdemeanor, he's also been a very good boy since then and hasn't touched any of that stuff since. However he technically was convicted of felonies, and he's worried whether or not he'll ever be able to buy a gun again.

Anybody have any insight?

My friend had almost this same EXACT scenario, and he's still a little skittish, although he does own long guns now.

His thing was a felony, which was then reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged from his record. He's got a letter from the judge which basically states he's exempted from all felony restrictions, except he can't play with handguns.

I'm not sure if this pertains to your friend's case or not, but you might want to check and see if his misdemeanor was also expunged or not. I'm not sure if that makes a difference.

I have the impression that the "mayhem" thing may be considered a violent misdemeanor, which I think says you can't own guns for 10 years. I'm no expert here, and would really like one of the various Calguns attorneys to provide some clarification on the 10 year handgun restriction thing. I've heard that the 10 year thing is actually life and not 10 years (even if the law actually SAYS 10 years), but haven't heard anything explicit either way.

Rumpled
02-24-2006, 12:52 AM
For something like $20 he can fill out a form from the DOJ website to check for eligibility. Money well spent for such a situation as this.
If he's not eligible, no harm done. (As long as he's not currently wanted)

sierratangofoxtrotunion
02-24-2006, 1:12 AM
I have the impression that the "mayhem" thing may be considered a violent misdemeanor, which I think says you can't own guns for 10 years. I'm no expert here, and would really like one of the various Calguns attorneys to provide some clarification on the 10 year handgun restriction thing. I've heard that the 10 year thing is actually life and not 10 years (even if the law actually SAYS 10 years), but haven't heard anything explicit either way.

I should REALLY clarify the "mayhem" charge, I should also make sure from him exactly what the names of his crimes he was convicted of were. Here's what he was doing. Yes, he was real good at chemistry and physics and made some pretty wild stuff from household chemicals. Mix with this, distill in rubbing alcohol for so many hours at a certain temp, drain, filter off the crystals, handle the crystals really carefully... He wasn't quite careful enough and blew his hand apart while sitting at the kitchen table, working on his creations. They charged him with mayhem. Upon whom? Himself. "Mayhem upon yourself" is rediculous and was dropped, as were most of the other similarly rediculous charges. His bail was something like 1.5 mil. It still remains that's what he was arrested and charged with, tho it was not in his conviction. He plead to things like posession & manufacturing a destructive device felony, and after a few months of jail and a couple years of probation, got it wobbled to a misdemeanor.

accordingtoome
02-24-2006, 1:48 AM
I know someone that has a felony(GTA) and was still able to buy a gun. I thought he was BSing me then he showed up 10 days later with a new mossberg 500. He picked it up from big5 last year. I guess you can fall through the cracks in any system. :)

CALI-gula
02-24-2006, 1:57 AM
"Mayhem upon yourself" is rediculous and was dropped, as were most of the other similarly rediculous charges.

13 year old kid + a stack of Dad's Playboy magazines:

Now that's a volatile mixture for "Mayhem upon yourself" . :D

edwardm
02-24-2006, 7:19 AM
My friend had almost this same EXACT scenario, and he's still a little skittish, although he does own long guns now.

His thing was a felony, which was then reduced to a misdemeanor and then expunged from his record. He's got a letter from the judge which basically states he's exempted from all felony restrictions, except he can't play with handguns.

I'm not sure if this pertains to your friend's case or not, but you might want to check and see if his misdemeanor was also expunged or not. I'm not sure if that makes a difference.

I have the impression that the "mayhem" thing may be considered a violent misdemeanor, which I think says you can't own guns for 10 years. I'm no expert here, and would really like one of the various Calguns attorneys to provide some clarification on the 10 year handgun restriction thing. I've heard that the 10 year thing is actually life and not 10 years (even if the law actually SAYS 10 years), but haven't heard anything explicit either way.


If a state restricts your rights to some firearms (i.e. can't have handguns, can have long rifles), then you are still considered a prohibited class under 18 USC 922 et seq. There have been several court cases about this, especially revolving around previous versions of Cal Penal Code 1203.4 (the expungement statute) which used to restrict only pistol ownership, and was seen as conflicting with Cal Penal Code 12021. The 9th Circuit (And the 5th, in a similar case, if memory serves) resolved it such that if you have *Any* prohibition, you are liable as a felon-in-possession, Federally.

If a person used 1203.4 before it was changed (I think it was changed in 1989 or 1990, but I don't have the legislative history on hand), the new version of 1203.4 is effective retroactively. It is not considered ex post facto because it does not alter the punishment or substantially impair rights of the affected party (this issue also went to court).

If, however, he obtained a 17(b)(3) reduction, then the felony is adjudged a misdemeanor, for all purposes, including Cal Penal Code 12021 and 18 USC 922 (by way of the misdemeanor/2 year exception in 18 USC 921, presuming as a misdemeanor is it not punishable by more than 2 years in county jail).

And if he's out of state, the same prohibition is going to apply, Federally.

edwardm
02-24-2006, 7:26 AM
A very good friend of mine got charged with some nasty felonies, several years back, things like:

Mayhem (this was dropped)
Manufacture of destructive device
Posession of destructive device

and a couple other related felonies, most dropped. I need to make sure with him what they all were.

From what he tells me, these are "wobbler" charges in CA. His POS court-appointed defense recommended he plead to the felonies, and after jailtime and good behavior and parole, they'd get reduced to misdemeanors. This has all happened, no more parole, everything that was a felony was reduced to a misdemeanor, he's also been a very good boy since then and hasn't touched any of that stuff since. However he technically was convicted of felonies, and he's worried whether or not he'll ever be able to buy a gun again.

Anybody have any insight?


You need to clarify some facts, because you sent up red flags. First, you said "parole". Parole is what you are placed on upon release from state prison. If you spend time in a state prison, and your offense is a wobbler, it cannot legally be reduced to a misdemeanor (some judges have done this by mistake, but it is not a binding reduction). If you mean he was put in a *county* jail and then placed on *probation*, then it makes more sense.

If he went back to court and had *all* the wobblers reduced to misdemeanors under Cal Penal Code 17(b)(3), and he has NO OTHER disqualifying convictions in California, in any other state, or in any Federal court, then yes, he may now own and buy any firearm otherwise legal in the state of Cailfornia.

Here's the kicker - getting Cal DOJ to update your record. If the court transmits the Ruling and Order on the PC 17 Reduction electronically, it should hit Cal DOJ's records division more or less instantly. If they transmit by mail (my case), Cal DOJ claims there is a 6 to 8 month wait for the record to hit the system. What this means is that a DROS will fail. And yet he could go out and buy as many legal C&R guns in CA (long rifles) as his heart desires and go legally use them and enjoy life.

Go figure.

sierratangofoxtrotunion
02-24-2006, 8:02 AM
Sorry, I always mix up "parole" and "probation." It was county jail, not prison, where he cooled his heels for like 4 months, then they let him out, probably "probation" as you say.

edwardm
02-24-2006, 8:09 AM
Sorry, I always mix up "parole" and "probation." It was county jail, not prison, where he cooled his heels for like 4 months, then they let him out, probably "probation" as you say.

OK, then if it is indeed a wobbler, he could be eligible for the reduction.

If he's in northern CA, I'd have him call Don Kilmer and arrange an appointment. If SoCal, Chuck Michel or Colodny would be good choices (though from a personal preference standpoint, I like Kilmer more - he's more my style).

PistolKidd
02-24-2006, 8:10 AM
Dont get me wrong, I dont want to discount anyone's credibility here, but at the same time, I really wouldnt want to risk breaking anymore laws.

If i were in this spot, I would ask for advice here and on other forums.. but that would be it..just to get a feeler for what was ahead and allow me to do more research, but ultimately I would contact a REAL ATTORNY.. someone that went to years and years of law school and more importantly had experience with this type of thing... sure they cost money, but in all honesty, firearms arent exactly that cheap either..

Honestly, whats the point of asking someone here who may or may not be correct? Thats almost like asking someone here for a cure for an illness.. sure the advice is free, but what if you hear something that you think is right but ends up being completely wrong??

i would much rather have it handled by a professional.. In the case of your friend, i would think it's pretty damn serious enough to seek the guidance of a law professional in order to avoid anymore trouble