Can You Buy and Carry a Firearm After a DUI Conviction in Washington State?Leave a Comment
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious crime in Washington. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, a person charged with DUI could face either felony or misdemeanor charges.
If you are convicted of a felony DUI in Washington state, the court may take away your right to purchase and carry a firearm. In these situations, it is important to speak with a Washington criminal defense attorney who can represent your case.
Penalties for DUI Convictions in Washington
A DUI conviction can result in significant penalties, such as jail time, fines, and license suspensions. For example, a person convicted of a first-time DUI would need to spend a minimum of 24 hours in jail, pay a fine of up to $5,000, and face a license suspension for at least 90 days.
Most DUI convictions are gross misdemeanors rather than felony crimes. However, a person may face a felony DUI charge in Washington if his or her case meets the following criteria.
- The person has four or more DUI-related offenses on his or her record within the past 10 years.
- The person has a previous conviction for vehicular assault or vehicular homicide while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The person has a previous felony DUI conviction on his or her record.
How a Felony DUI Conviction Could Impact Your Firearm Rights
In Washington, people who are convicted of certain DUI crimes could lose their rights to purchase or carry guns. According to the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9.41.040, the state will revoke firearm rights if a person is found guilty of any felony crime, including felony DUI.
If you are convicted of a DUI and your case meets felony criteria, you will be unable to participate in the following activities.
- Own a firearm
- Obtain or hold a concealed carry permit
- Have a firearm in your possession or under your control
The illegal purchase and possession of a firearm is also a serious crime. If you are convicted of this crime, you could be charged with a class B felony and face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000. If your firearm rights are revoked by the state, it is important to comply with these rules to avoid additional penalties.
Restoring Your Firearm Rights in Washington
While a felony DUI conviction prevents you from purchasing or carrying a firearm, Washington state does provide avenues to restore your gun rights. You are eligible if your record is free of any criminal offenses for five years after your conviction and you do not have any current arrest warrants or charges.
If you meet these criteria, you could submit a petition to the court and request that it reinstate your firearm rights. You may purchase and own a gun if the court accepts your petition, and you may also reapply for a concealed carry permit.
Fight Felony DUI Charges with an Attorney on Your Side
Facing felony charges can be an overwhelming experience. In these situations, you need an attorney on your side who can fight for your rights and help you navigate the criminal justice process. As soon as possible following your arrest, contact our Washington DUI defense lawyer to get the support that you need.