Can People Charged With DWIs Obtain Pistol Permits?

In this blog post, we address a question regarding gun ownership for individuals charged with or convicted of DWI in New York state. With strict gun laws in place, it is critical to understand the implications and limitations surrounding pistol permits in such cases.
We will explore a relevant case and provide comprehensive information on the link between DWI charges and gun ownership, along with expert insights from Thomas A. Corletta, Attorney at Law. We encourage you to learn more about our firm’s level of expertise in DWI cases.

Case Study: People v. Anonymous

In recent years, courts have become extremely sensitive when dealing with alcohol-related arrests by holders of Pistol Permits. A recent case, People v. Anonymous, illustrates the complexities of obtaining or keeping a pistol permit after having been charged with a DWI offense. Attorney Thomas A. Corletta represented a client with a prior Pistol Permit suspension and restoral from a Driving While Ability Impaired conviction.
The client was later charged with a second Driving While Intoxicated offense while carrying a gun in the car. The client’s Pistol Permit was suspended despite their immediately disclosing the firearm and valid permit. Attorney Corletta successfully secured a reduction of the DWI charge and effectively represented his client during the Pistol Permit Hearing, restoring the permit without further punishment or suspension.

The Link Between DWI Charges and Pistol Permit Eligibility

Q: Are individuals convicted of DWI offenses allowed to obtain pistol permits in New York state?

If it is a misdemeanor conviction, they are eligible, but highly unlikely it will be granted. If it is a felony DWI conviction, they are ineligible to own firearms.

What federal law applies to individuals with felony convictions and firearm possession?

Federal law, specifically 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), prohibits individuals with felony convictions from possessing firearms. There are mandatory incarceration penalties for violations of this statute.

Can DWI convictions be expunged in New York?

No, DWI convictions are not eligible for expungement under New York law, making it unlikely for individuals to qualify for gun ownership after a DWI conviction.

What are the consequences of illegally possessing a firearm after a DWI offense?

Illegally possessing a firearm after a DWI conviction, or in general, can result in various charges, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, based upon possession or the existence of a prior felony conviction. Punishments can include incarceration, which is likely on a felony conviction.

What should individuals facing Criminal Possession of a Weapon charges, after a DWI conviction do?

They are advised to consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney for proper legal representation.

Understanding Gun Laws & Regulations

New York State Laws

In New York, there are strict laws surrounding possession of weapons or ammunition. Specifically, individuals convicted of felony DWI offenses are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. It is critical to note that DWI convictions generally cannot be expunged under New York law. Misdemeanor DWI convictions do not automatically disqualify, but pistol permits are usually denied to such individuals. Possessing any firearm illegally is usually a felony.

Therefore, individuals who are caught illegally possessing a gun face serious consequences. Depending upon the circumstances, these consequences can range from misdemeanor to felony charges, potentially resulting in prison sentences of varying lengths on felony charges. Given the seriousness of these charges, it is crucial for individuals accused of Criminal Possession of a Weapon to seek legal representation from a competent criminal defense attorney.

Federal Laws

Under federal law, individuals who have been convicted of a felony are prohibited from possessing firearms. Violation of Federal statutes requires mandatory incarceration. To purchase a gun in New York, individuals must undergo an instant background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This check helps identify individuals who may be disqualified from firearm ownership due to various factors, including criminal records and other disqualifying criteria.

Recent Gun Control Legislation

Recent efforts to strengthen gun control laws include the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Act (SAFE) in New York. This act was designed to prevent individuals with felony convictions and those suffering from mental illness from obtaining firearms. By keeping guns out of the hands of such individuals, lawmakers sought to reduce the risk of gun-related violence. In addition to these provisions, the Act also requires handgun owners to recertify their licenses every five years.
This requirement is designed to ensure gun owners are regularly assessed to determine if they continue to meet the legal qualifications for gun ownership. As with other gun control measures, the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Act seeks to strike a balance between protecting public safety and preserving Second Amendment rights. However, it has been subject to Constitutional scrutiny, as recently as June 2023 in the Bruen case before the United States Supreme Court.

Thomas A. Corletta, Attorney at Law Protects Client’s Rights

Individuals charged with or convicted of DWI face challenges when it comes to obtaining pistol permits in New York, given the strict laws and potential consequences involved. It is critical to seek legal advice and understand the specific facts and circumstances surrounding each case.
Attorney Thomas A. Corletta’s success in the case of People v. Anonymous exemplifies the importance of experienced legal representation in navigating these complex and intertwined issues. Understanding New York laws, Federal regulations, and local requirements is essential when handling gun possession cases for individuals charged with or convicted of DWI offenses.