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  1. #1
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Chance For Getting Full Rights Back After A Felony Conviction Tennessee

    Tennessee. 1979 felony for selling a controlled substance.Sentence was 9 months workhouse.They gave me probation instead. Record is spotless after almost 30 years. Got my full rights of citizenship restored t.c.a 40-29-101 et seq.
    Now I have learned I may not purchase a firearm to hunt when I retire ? Was told I need a pardon from the Governor? Any legal minds have any idea on how to proceed short of the pardon? I am sure that that would never happen in todays world of politics Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Felony Conviction Tennessee 1979 Chance For Full Rights Back?

    http://www.hwylaw.com/CM/Articles/Articles88.asp

    read this article- its from a Nashville lawyer.

    Comes down to this- are you in any way restricted by Tennesee law from firearms ownership? If yes, you may apply for relief from this restriction from the local court.

    If, however, you end up restricted in any way at all, (for example "no pistols"), the federal law prohibits all firearms possession- but this is only re: "interstate commerce" (whatever that is) and excludes "antique firearms" So you could get a good hunting weapon that dated from before 1898 (the legal standard), or for more modern weapons maybe no one would bother you over any "interstate" business- dont cross state lines with it! (not something I care to risk, especially since there are many excellent "antique firearms", including modern replicas)

    But...and this is really important, because it may be your out: if any process has rendered your conviction null ("nugatory") then it doesn't count anyway. You indicated that you actually got probation. Which means that after the probation was completed, the underlying charge would have been dismissed by "operation of law"- leaving you w/ no further penalty, and effectively no conviction. This is why probation is a sought after sentence.

    See, probation is "in place of a sentence". It's NOT an actual penalty, its something "intermediate". So when it expires, so does the opportunity to sentence to the underlying conviction- which is the same as a 'no penalty order'- so it gets dismissed.

    But the sentence had to be strictly probation. If even a fine was sentenced that counts as a full conviction. But (again , a lot of if's and's or's & but's) sometimes, maybe often, a fine is assessed as part of the probation, along w/ any other conditions, not as an actual penalty for the original charge.

    The court, on its own motion, administering its proper business, should have already dismissed this charge (if it was only probation and no other sentence was ever imposed). They are lazy and might not have, so you could ask for this as a matter of right.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    8

    Default Re: Felony Conviction Tennessee 1979 Chance For Full Rights Back?

    Tennesse law seems to state that a Felony drug conviction prohibts the ownership of a firearm. I had hired a lawyer to do my citizen rights restoration. It took them forever to find the file it was so old.. Had my rights restored as stated above. On a whim I had Tennesse bureau of investigation run a back ground check on myself before I tried to buy a rifle.
    It came backsaying....Charge Literal Selling a Controlled substance.Severity Felony. Court Disposition cycle 002.
    Disposition(Guilty by Judge 9 months workhouse)
    end of record.
    I received probation though and completed it almost 29 years ago. I am unaware of any special stipulations at the time.The crazy thing is I was a gun safety instructor and taught gun safety to kids.Ironic. I did loose a vechicle as they asked me to drive.I was 21 and a friend had gotten in trouble so I was targeted to get too another up the chain. I bought it and gave it to them. Little did I know I was being set up. They had called me for weeks trying to get me to do this.I was young and dumb.I was not a drug dealer and it was not like sure I have the coke. I did not have anything of my own,,,,,,
    They offered to drop charges if I would do the same against whom I had bought it.He was a mountain climbing friend.Those were days of honor and I declined. I do know it was less than a gram of Cocaine though I was charged with a whole gram to make it a felony as it was $100.00.
    I have always felt had I pleaded not guilty and known what I know now it would not have flown in court. I guess it is to late to try to take it back to court?
    As stated I met all their requirements and have not done anything illegal in 29 years, but seem this will always be on my record. I may try to meet with some judges and seek their advice as well.
    The advice here has been a great inspiration to move forward and I appreciate anymore ideas on these subjects.
    Thank you

  4. #4
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    Feb 2008
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    18

    Default Re: Felony Conviction Tennessee 1979 Chance For Full Rights Back?

    imho- what you need is to ask the court to formally dismiss the charge, to correct the record, since the info is wrong. You were given (apparently) a suspended sentence of 9 mos workhouse, which should have been dismissed after completion of the probation time. Thats why it's called "probation"- because this time is to 'prove' or test the convict to see if he/she will be released without further penalty.

    And you can also ask to expunge the record altogether, on the same grounds.

    And you may want verify that this offense carries a lifetime firearms prohibition- sometimes any restriction has a 10 year automatic expiration limit.

    And you should confirm what the Tennesee definition of a firearm is- some states say its any explosive projectile weapon, other say this excludes long guns.

    And of course, remember you can simply ask for relief anyway, for the disability. Even partial relief- hunt with a good old-fashioned modern replica of pre 1898 shotgun, deer rifle, etc

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
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    Default Re: Felony Conviction Tennessee 1979 Chance For Full Rights Back?

    There was no claim that this was a suspended sentence.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2008
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    8

    Default Re: Chance For Getting Full Rights Back After A Felony Conviction Tennessee

    That is correct. I do not recall it being a suspended sentence. Just probation. Would it be crazy to try to petition the courts for my rights back on gun ownership or would it just fall under Federal law and always be a stigma that wont go away. Or could I maybe petition the Federal courts?
    I am so lost on this and from what I have read this seems helpless. The background check I got said guilty by Judge. Thank you Aaron for pointing this out to me. You would think after 30 years you might receive some kind of break.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: Chance For Getting Full Rights Back After A Felony Conviction Tennessee

    Here's a rather scholarly review of restoration of firearms rights in Tennessee.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2008
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    8

    Default Re: Chance For Getting Full Rights Back After A Felony Conviction Tennessee

    Aaron or fellow readers
    It looks as if I might need to get my file or all records from the courts. May I go to the federal courts system and request all information in this file? Will they let me copy it? My attorney said that their was not much left after so long a time pertaining to actuall trial proceedings or evidence. Maybe something in the file will be of help. Does this sound like a good plan? Thank you all for all your help.
    Mike

  9. #9
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    Feb 2008
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    8

    Thumbs up Re: Chance For Getting Full Rights Back After A Felony Conviction Tennessee

    Does anyone have any advice on my last post above? Having an intimate knowledge of firearms I do not look forward to hunting with antique firearms. I wish to be as humane as possible and antiques and reproductions (if allowed?) are not as reliable or accurate due to the nature of the propellant(fouling,weather and only one shot). I am getting past the age of drawing my compound and now with bi-focals struggle with pen placement. I wish to be accurate and humane. Can not bear the thought of wounding or losing an animal due to equiptment malfunction. I enjoy venison and it is part of my healthy diet. I am reduced to a cortosone shot in my shoulder each bow season just to draw the bow and hold it.
    Thanks everyone for the good advice. I will one way or another legally work this out.
    Mike

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