I received an expungment but it was not dropped to a misdemeanor. The paralegal told me that I can legally answer no to the question have I been convicted of a felony?
The paralegal isn't supposed to give legal advice... and your question shows why.
Your so-called expungement is actually a dismissal under Penal Code §1203.4, which really doesn't expunge anything. It just adds a note to the court records showing the case was dismissed after you completed probation.
I would strongly recommend reading that section. It specifically DOES NOT restore your gun rights. If you filled out an application to buy a gun and failed to disclose your felony conviction, you could be looking at a new felony for perjury.
Most private employers aren't supposed to ask about convictions dismissed under 1203.4, but many lawyers advise clients to disclose them because the conviction still shows up on court records. The conviction MUST be disclosed when you apply for government jobs or licenses.
Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this site, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.
Mr. Marshall is 100% correct. 1203.4 does nothing to restore firearm rights, and you still must answer "yes" to the question of whether you have been convicted of a felony.
In order to restore your firearm rights from a felony conviction (assuming it is even possible, because straight felonies are not reduceable), you must have your conviction reduced via PC section 17(b). To qualify for that (1) your conviction must have been for a "wobbler" -- meaning it could have been charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor; and (2) your sentence must not have included jail time. If that is the case, you may have your conviction reduced and restore your firearm rights.
You should have an attorney evaluate your case and determine whether your firearm rights can be restored. Most will offer a free consultation to make that determination. Make sure the attorney is experienced with firearm rights, I have seen attorneys not familiar with this process tell people they could have their rights restored when they cannot, or that they could not when they could. Also, in certain cases there are Second Amendment arguments that can be made, but these are very complicated and nuanced. Good luck.
Michel & Associates, PC
All my comments here are intended for general legal purposes. None of my comments here establish an attorney-client relationship with anyone. None of my comments should be relied on in taking legal action without first consulting an attorney.
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