In Kentucky, if you are a felon on a diversion (flagrant nonsupport, clean record otherwise), can you buy and register a gun?

Asked about 2 years ago - Ashland, KY

No other record, plead guilty to flagrant nonsupport but on diversion, no probation officer. Once completed can be expunged from my record - do I have to wait until then or am I able to purchase a gun now?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Frank Mascagni III

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Under case law in Kentucky, if you have entered a plea of guilty to a felony, and were admitted into the felony pre trial diversion program, you are not a convicted felon. However, based on your admission to a felony you can be arrested and convicted as a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

    Depending on the terms of your agreement, you may or may not be eligible to have the record expunged after you have completed the pre trial diversion program.

    I would not be around a firearm and certainly not attempt to purchase a firearm until such time that you completed the program and the record was expunged.

    I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this... more
  2. Mark S. Solomon

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . Technically, probably. Here's why I think so: a deferred judgment is where a defendant pleads guilty and waives speedy trial until the end of the diversionary period. The judge does not enter judgement in a case until a defendant is sentenced. In such a diversion, senting is diverted for years (up to five). As such, the final judgment is not entered because the judge doesn't sentence the defendant unless the defendant violates the terms of the diversion. So, the defendant is not convicted of a felony unless he violates the terms of diversion.

    So, since he is not a convicted felon, he would probably not violate federal firearms law by possession of a firearm under Kentucky or federal law.

    BUT, and this is IMPORTANT: a good prosecutor can make an argument that you are a felon as you've already admitted guilt in a felony case. I don't believe this is a settled area of federal law, either. So, while I wouldn't mind defending someone on a charge of possession of a firearm while a felon, your risk in facing such a charge IS NOT WORTH IT!

    If you get a new violation of felony law from illegal possession, your diversion will be revoked and you will be sentenced. Two new convictions if a judge disagrees with me.

    My advice would be, and is always my advice under these facts, just stay away from guns until you no longer risk two felony convictions from it.

    This is general informational response is based only on the information given. It should not be relied upon... more

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