Many people in California don’t worry much about the effect that misdemeanor convictions will have on their lives. However, at a time when many want to purchase a firearm for personal protection, some may find that they are unable to because of a state law that puts a lifetime ban on individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors.
Offenses that carry lifetime firearm bans
The list of misdemeanor offenses that carry lifetime firearm bans is small. Nevertheless, many of these offenses are considered violent crimes that require proper criminal defense if you find yourself faced with a charge. These misdemeanors include:
- Domestic violence charges where the defendant inflicts bodily injury on a spouse or a significant other
- Committing assault with a firearm
- Shooting at an occupied building, house, aircraft, vehicle or camper
- Brandishing a firearm in front of a peace officer with statutory law enforcement powers
- Two or more convictions for brandishing a firearm or violent use of a firearm
In addition, anyone who owns a firearm and ammunition and does so even though they have a gun violence restraining order against them will receive a five-year ban.
The importance of proper criminal defense
Sometimes circumstantial evidence or contaminated DNA samples can put you at the scene of a crime that you did not commit. Violent crimes are especially problematic as they can lead to charges that go beyond misdemeanors. At the same time, though, you shouldn’t neglect unfair misdemeanor charges as they can have a significant impact on your life that you may not be able to change if convicted.
Getting appropriate legal advice for misdemeanor crimes is a step that all defendants should consider. Just because a charge won’t affect your right to vote or have the same consequences as a felony doesn’t mean it won’t affect your life.