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When does an expungement not count?

My opinion of the law is that an expungement wipes away any issues that your criminal record could have created; at least as far as gun permits are concerned.  However, I have a  prospective client that applied without an attorney and he thought he was OK with his expungement.  Well the problem is that the police still knew about the crime so they denied him anyway.  Well if I get hired on the case, I’d really like to see how that holds up in court.

I repeat: talking to the police by yourself may be a very bad idea

I cannot tell you to never speak to the police without an attorney, but you clearly do so at your own risk.  At least two clients called me this week that spoke to the police without an attorney and both were denied.  This may have happened to two other people but I didn’t get a chance to get the whole story yet.  One guy was actually told that the police needed to see him about paperwork but when he got there, it was about his criminal history as a juvenile.  Not only is this a problem with regard to the application but his statement can also impact his appeal as he has now boxed himself into a story.

Denial Reversed Without Appeal!

This was a first for me.  Client hired me after waiting several months of getting nowhere with his permit.  Within two weeks of hiring me, he received a denial letter.  He was upset as was I.  No one even called me to explain what the problem was. 

I faxed a letter over to the Chief right away.  A few minutes later, one of the nicest detectives in the world (who is also a part-time) lawyer called me back.  He explained that his hands are tied and that the State Police are denying people left and right.  He also said that, thanks to Obama, he is swamped.  He also apologized for not calling me before sending out the denial letter but it just slipped his mind. 

While he was really nice, there was nothing he could do for me since he is just taking orders.  So, I called the Assistant Prosecutor and discussed it with him.  Again, another really cool person to deal with but then again, I have a good relationship with everyone at his office that I know.  We worked it out and the denial was reversed within a matter of minutes.  No appeal needed.

Permit denied because of marijuana conviction


Guy called me yesterday because his gun permit application was denied. He has no convictions and his only criminal issue was a marijuana charge which was resolved by way of a conditional discharge. In addition, he successfully completed the conditional discharge program. Nevertheless, he was denied. His first question was, how is this legal? It is because they can use anything in your past regardless of a conviction or whether it was even reported to police to deny your permit. His second question was, why didn’t I use you in the first place?