One of the long-term consequences of a felony conviction in Virginia is that you would lose your right to own a gun. This is true no matter how long ago your conviction was and what your sentence was. However, you may be able to get your firearms rights restored with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Are You Eligible for Restoration of Your Gun Rights?
If you are convicted of a felony in Virginia, your right to own or possess a firearm would automatically be lost. However, you may be able to get your gun rights restored after you successfully complete your sentence, even if you were convicted of a violent crime.
A conviction for certain crimes would make you ineligible to have your gun rights restored. They include the following:
- Misdemeanor domestic violence. If you were convicted of a domestic assault and battery offense, which is also referred to as assault and battery against a family or household member, you would lose your gun rights under federal law. You would not be able to get your gun rights restored in our state.
- Federal felony. You would also be ineligible to restore your gun rights if you were convicted of a federal felony crime.
How Does a Federal Conviction in Another State Affect Your Gun Rights in Virginia?
If you were convicted of a felony in another state, you would still lose your firearms rights in Virginia. You would need to have your gun rights restored in the state where you were convicted of a felony. Then you would also have your firearms rights restored in Virginia.
Do You Need to Get Your Civil Rights Restored Before You Can Get Back Your Gun Rights?
Yes. When you are convicted of a felony in our state, you also lose some of your civil rights. Other rights you would lose include the right to vote, serve on a jury, and hold public office.
The first step in attempting to get your firearms rights back is to get your civil rights restored. You would need to file an application for restoration of your civil rights with the Governor’s office. As of March 16, 2021, individuals convicted of a felony are eligible to have their civil rights restored after they complete their prison sentence.
What Is the Process for Getting Your Gun Rights Restored in Virginia?
Once your civil rights are restored, you would need to file a petition in the Circuit Court in the county where you live requesting that the judge restore your gun rights. The prosecutor would have the opportunity to object to the restoration of your gun rights.
You will most likely need to attend a court hearing before the judge makes a decision on your petition. It is up to the judge’s discretion whether to restore your firearms rights. Some factors they would consider include:
- Nature of the original felony charges you faced
- How old the felony charges are
- Your criminal history
- Your personal history, including your work and family history
- Your character and reputation
If your gun rights are restored, you will be able to purchase a gun and apply for a concealed gun permit.
How Long Will it Take to Get Your Gun Rights Restored?
The process of getting your firearms rights back used to be more complicated and took longer to complete. However, the Governor’s office has streamlined the process of getting your civil rights restored. You may be able to have these rights restored within a few weeks after you file your application.
After you file your petition requesting restoration of your gun rights in Circuit Court, a hearing would not be scheduled for at least 21 days. Depending on the judge’s schedule, obtaining a hearing date may take months or longer. The whole process usually takes approximately two to four months to complete.
Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to Protect Your Gun Rights
Do you have questions about your eligibility to restore your gun rights? Do you need to file a petition requesting the restoration of your firearm rights? Call our Manassas office at 888-DUI-LWYR or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn how our dedicated criminal defense lawyers can help you.