Can a DUI Affect My Right to Own a Gun?
Sept. 29, 2021
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, many people are arrested for a DUI for their 1st, 2nd, or subsequent offense. While some of the repercussions of a DUI may not come as much of a shock to most people (license suspension, fines, potential jail time etc.), what many don’t realize is that having a DUI conviction may prevent someone from having the right to own a firearm. If you are concerned about losing your second amendment right as a result of your pending DUI charge, it is essential that you contact a Pennsylvania DUI attorney immediately to know your rights.
What Does the Law Say?
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, if an individual is charged with a DUI on their first offense, there is no danger of losing the right to own/carry a firearm. However, if an individual is charged with their second or third DUI offense in the past ten years, the threat of losing their gun rights becomes much greater.
A person who has been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance as provided in 75 Pa.C.S. § 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) or the former 75 Pa.C.S. § 3731, on three or more separate occasions within a five-year period. For the purposes of this paragraph only, the prohibition of subsection (a) shall only apply to transfers or purchases of firearms after the third conviction.
Moreover, under Federal Law the bar to possessing a firearm because of DUIs is much lower. 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(1) states that is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm if the person has been convicted, pleaded guilty, or pleaded nolo contendre or no contest to a crime “punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.”
What this means that if a person is facing their second DUI offense and it is the highest tier or drug-related, they can lose their right to possess a firearm if they are found guilty because a second offense DUI highest tier/drug-related carries a maximum penalty of 5 years. With all this in mind, if someone who cares deeply about their right to bare arms, they need to seek a skilled dui defense attorney in Pennsylvania to prevent them for losing their second amendment rights.
I Got Arrested for A DUI.. Who Can I Call?
At The Town Law, we understand just how stressful facing criminal charges can be. With our vast experience handling criminal cases throughout Bucks County, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, we are well-equipped to ensure you get the best result possible with seasoned DUI attorneys by your side throughout the process. Contact our firm today for a free consultation. Our staff of experienced DUI attorneys is dedicated to the best outcomes for all of our clients.