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Can an active Miscellaneous Docket be construed as being under indictment?

New Holland, PA |

I had a Criminal case transferred from one county to another. Original charges included two F3s. The F3s were dropped in favor of M2s in court. All fines were paid and time served. The original case is closed. The MD is still active and lists all original charges. It makes no mention of the F3s being withdrawn and being convicted of the M2s. Could this be grounds for prohibition under Title 18 USC §922(n)?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. This active MD docket could potentially cause you difficulty with regard to firearm possession because it gives the appearance of pending charges that are sufficient to trigger the Federal prohibition to anyone who has reason to check your record for firearms. It is not unheard of for errors to show in the magisterial dockets, and it can be corrected. I would suggest contacting the attorney who represented you in this matter as he/she can handle addressing this error. If lawful firearm possession is your primary concern, I would also suggest that you discuss with your attorney the effects of the M2 conviction in light of Federal firearm statute section 922(g), and whether the specific charges you pled to would disqualify you from firearm possession under Pa law, or the law of whatever state you presently reside in, as state restrictions can be different and potentially more restrictive than federal law.

  2. It is unclear from your post as to why there is a Miscellaneous Docket having anything to do with your case. Criminal charges are not docketed to an MD #. A variety of things get assigned MD numbers. If an attorney for you files something pertaining to the case while it is still pending before the magistrate, it will be assigned an MD #. Search warrants under seal are similarly so assigned. I would very much doubt that the Miscellaneous Docket entries would have any impact on your firearms rights; those will flow from any convictions that you have. You would need to consult privately with counsel to make a definitive determination. Good luck.

  3. The short answer is, YES. 18 USC 922(n) prohibits anyone under indictment for an offense punishable by imprisonment for a term more than 1 year from RECEIVING a firearm shipped in interstate commerce. Since a M-2 charge in PA has a maximum penalty of 2 years, and since all modern firearms are manufactured outside of PA, if you have pending charges, federal law prohibits you from purchasing a firearm. This is similar to the prohibition of 922(g)(1) which prohibits persons convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year from POSSESSING a firearm. Notice well that the fact that PA calls the offense a misdemeanor has no bearing. Similarly, the sentence actually received upon conviction has no bearing. It is the statutory maximum period of imprisonment that controls.

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