Can a California DUI Affect Your Gun Rights?

July 1, 2020

If you are convicted of a felony DUI, your right to bear arms may be affected.

Can a California DUI Affect Your Gun Rights?

Like many states, California takes the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (DUI) seriously. California is also home to some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. This often brings up an important question: will getting a DUI affect my right to bear arms in California?

According to a DUI defense lawyer in Orange County, CA, the answer depends on the charge. Generally, Californians are prohibited from possessing a gun if they (1) have been convicted of a felony; (2) are addicted to narcotics; (3) have 2 or more convictions for brandishing a weapon; (4) have been convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses, such as domestic violence; (5) suffer from mental illness to the extent that they have been placed on two involuntary psychiatric holds in one year; and (6) are under the age of 18. Under these laws regarding gun possession, a DUI conviction could result in the loss of gun rights — if it is a felony offense.

In most cases, a DUI is a misdemeanor offense. However, there are certain circumstances in which DUI may be charged as a felony. This includes:

  1. A DUI causing injury or death to another person;
  2. 3 or more prior DUI or “wet reckless” convictions within a 10 year period; and
  3. 1 or more prior felony DUI convictions.

In these situations, a DUI will likely be charged as a felony. If you are convicted of felony DUI, then you will be considered a felon — and will be prohibited from possessing firearms in California as a result. Importantly, it doesn’t matter whether the felony DUI conviction happened in California or in another state. If you have a felony conviction, then you are barred from possessing a gun.

Felony DUI convictions in California carry the possibility of severe penalties, including a sentence to California state prison, steep fines, and the loss of driving privileges for several years. Given the serious nature of these consequences, it is vital to work with a DUI defense lawyer in Orange County, CA who has experience handling all levels of DUIs — including felony DUIs.

While the facts of each case are different, your attorney may be able to develop a defense that leads to a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you. For example, your lawyer may be able to argue that the police lacked probable cause to stop your vehicle, or that they failed to follow proper procedure in obtaining a chemical breath or blood sample. In some cases, there may be an argument that you were not intoxicated at all — but other factors caused your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to be higher than normal, such as being diabetic or following a keto diet.

At the Chambers Law Firm, we represent individuals throughout Southern California who have been charged with DUI and related offenses. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a DUI defense lawyer in Orange County, CA, reach out to our law firm today at 855-397-0210 or info@orangecountyduifirm.com.

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