Federal Gun Possession Restrictions and DUI Charges

According to the federal government, there are particular restrictions established for those convicted of felony DUI in any state. Specifically, these laws extend to cover gun ownership and possession. Although the 2nd Amendment provides citizens with the right to own firearms, this legal protection does not extend to convicted criminals in many circumstances. Even though the government does not allow felons to possess a firearm, there are exceptions to this law.

Felons may be permitted to possess a firearm depending on the length of their sentencing. In particular, a felon continues to retain his or her firearm ownership rights according to federal law if he or she is not sentenced to at least a one-year prison term. However, for many felony DUI charges, the minimum prison sentence easily extends to a one-year period, even if reduced with the addition of probationary sentencing.

To lose gun ownership rights, an individual must be charged under American law. For those working or vacationing outside of the country, DUI charges may not count towards repeat DUI felony charges if they occur in another country’s jurisdiction. For instance, a felony DUI charge in Canada will not change an offender’s right to possess a firearm according to federal law. State laws vary according to the local legal code.

There are two primary ways for a DUI charge to be sentenced as a felony instead of a misdemeanor. The first is through repeated convictions, which will eventually change a misdemeanor DUI charge to a felony charge. The second is if a person injures or kills another person while driving under the influence. Although they can vary according to state laws, these charges are often equivalent to aggravated battery or manslaughter.

To learn more about your legal options if you have been charged with a felony DUI, contact a DUI defense attorney today.

Criminal Law