Purchase question. (background checks)
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
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A friend of mine came to me with a question concerning the purchase of a rifle. He figured since I have a small collection, I'd be the person to ask. But since i have no criminal background, I never had to worry about the answer this question and do not know.

When my friend was 17, he was arrested for a stolen car. He did not steal the car. He was in the back seat when they were stopped by a LEO. He did not know the car was stolen. The driver and other passenger ran, and he stayed in the car because he didn't know what was going on.

He was charged with "conspiracy to commit auto theft". Did not serve any jail time or probation, just sentenced to pay restitution. This was considered a felony but with no time served and it was a first offense.

Now from my understanding, it was not a violent crime and did not require any jail sentence. Will he be able to clear a background check? I know the form asks "Have you been convicted of a felony that is punishable by a jail sentence?". Does this exclude him?

The state is Pennsylvania.

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Old 05-07-2012, 03:46 PM   #2
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Urban, my suggestion for him would be to contact an attorney and seeing what the legalities are. if i remember correctly even if he didn't serve any time, it would still be classified as a conviction, and that would mean that no, he can't legally purchase a firearm. he should check it out with an attorney and possibly if enough time has passed even though he was convicted of a non-violent crime, he could have his record expunged and then be legally able to purchase firearms.

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Old 05-07-2012, 03:47 PM   #3
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The answer to the question would be yes. He was convicted of a felony punishable by jail time. He would have to answer yes and explain and leave it to the discretion of those in power.
Whether this would bar him or not is a tough question.
The real question is what does he lose in trying?

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Old 05-07-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axxe55 View Post
Urban, my suggestion for him would be to contact an attorney and seeing what the legalities are. if i remember correctly even if he didn't serve any time, it would still be classified as a conviction, and that would mean that no, he can't legally purchase a firearm. he should check it out with an attorney and possibly if enough time has passed even though he was convicted of a non-violent crime, he could have his record expunged and then be legally able to purchase firearms.
+1
He needs a lawyer that is well versed in firearms law in his state. Another option would be to contact the agency that does the checks there and see if they have any resources for him to access. Don't ask them outright, they will probably just say"denied" out of reflex.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:01 PM   #5
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Actually, if you were in the car while it was being stolen, that's

"conspiracy to commit a crime" and "aiding and abetting"

if they decided to "throw the book" at you.

So you might as well have been the driver, because the

conspiracy charge is more serious than the vehicle theft,

IIRC.

IANAL, but, IMO, this would be a good time to contact one...

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Old 05-07-2012, 06:31 PM   #6
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Thank you for the responses. The "punishable by jail" is the part I was unsure about. I do know that any sort of sentencing, wether it being served time or simply paying a fine is considered "conviction". But when it mentioned "punishable by jail sentence", I didn't know if that meant that it COULD have an outcome of time served or, he HAD to serve time.

I forgot to mention he is now 31 years of and has had no "run ins" with the law since then.

As for contacting a lawyer or not having anything to lose by just trying to make a purchase, I just wanted to see if anyone here had any personal insight in dealing with a similar situation before spending money on a lawyer or "pass or fail" fee of a background screening.

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Old 05-07-2012, 06:35 PM   #7
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From what I've seen. It's usually better to make the attempt before paying the exorbitant amount for a lawyer. If he is refused he will be informed why (by law) then he can contact a lawyer about his options on how to deal with it/appeal.
He could get a lawyer and attempt to have his record expunged and it could have not really been an issue to start with.

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Old 05-07-2012, 06:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therewolf
Actually, if you were in the car while it was being stolen, that's

"conspiracy to commit a crime" and "aiding and abetting"

if they decided to "throw the book" at you.

So you might as well have been the driver, because the

conspiracy charge is more serious than the vehicle theft,

IIRC.

IANAL, but, IMO, this would be a good time to contact one...
He was not in the car while it was being stolen. He got in unknowingly almost an hour after it happened.

I'm assuming this is the reason he only got the conspiracy charge. Still trying to find out the full details of what happened.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:13 PM   #9
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http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f97/ftf-heads-up-warning-45429/

This is the best answer I can give you or your friend, along with a few others on this board who should read it
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:18 PM   #10
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Good post.
BTW I am not a lawyer.

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