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Domestic assault convictions affect right to possess firearms

A conviction for domestic assault can be a serious and life-altering event in a person's life. With potentially harsh consequences, including fines and jail time, a conviction for a criminal charge such as domestic assault will likely affect a Louisianan's life on multiple levels.

There can be consequences for domestic assault convictions that extend beyond jail time and fines and that may be unexpected for many Louisianans. By statute, a person who has been convicted of domestic abuse battery under Louisiana law may not possess a firearm or carry a concealed weapon. A firearm includes a shotgun, rifle or assault rifle, revolver, machine or submachine gun, pistol or black powder weapon, for purposes of this law.

Possession of a firearm after a domestic assault conviction is a felony, and a person facing such a charge could be looking at a prison sentence of between one and five years, as well as a fine of between $500 and $1000 if convicted.

Significantly, the provision against possession of a firearm does not apply if a person with a prior conviction has not been convicted of a subsequent domestic abuse battery charge in the ten years after completion of his or her probation, parole or the end of his or her sentence.

If you are facing assault charges, or charges for possession of a firearm after conviction for domestic assault, it may be wise to seek prompt legal counsel. It may be possible with an aggressive criminal defense, or via plea negotiation, to achieve favorable results in what might appear to be a dire situation.

Source: Louisiana State Legislature, "RS 14:95.10", accessed Sept. 20, 2015

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