Appellate Docket No.: A-2464-20

Decided May 5, 2022

Submitted by New Jersey New Jersey Criminal Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark

In a recent unpublished opinion, the Appellate Division of New Jersey reviewed a denial of petitioner’s Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FID) and Permit to Purchase a Handgun after petitioner plead guilty to a New York misdemeanor that was later expunged.

In the Matter of Peter Goldring, in April 2015, in Nassau County, New York, petitioner pleaded guilty to petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor with maximum possible incarceration of 364 days under New York Penal Law 155.25, for charges brought in August 2012.  He was sentenced to non-custodial probation for three years, community service, and to pay restitution. New York City’s Department of Probation granted petitioner a discharge after eighteen months. On March 1, 2017, New York granted his Certificate of Relief, which removed “all legal bars and disabilities to employment, license and privilege except . . . enumerated sections related to weapons imposed under . . . [the] Penal Law.”

On May 6, 2020, when petitioner applied to the Howell Township Police Department for the above-referenced FPIC and permit, he disclosed the larceny conviction. In the June 8 letter denying his application, the Chief of Police based the denial on that conviction but informed petitioner that he had thirty days to appeal. On June 18, petitioner submitted a letter requesting a hearing before the Law Division. The court heard testimony.

Petitioner testified about his job as a chief executive officer of a security and firearm business for high-risk institutions and high net worth families and his similar consulting practice, his related licenses, and how he would use the FPIC and permit for his business. As to his New York conviction, petitioner testified that the plea made sense given the legal costs and risk of going to a jury. Petitioner applied for and was granted the Certificate of Relief in March 2017, believing it was essentially akin to an expungement under New York law. He testified he specifically asked about a firearm license and was told by the New York court and Nassau County police that he could get his pistol license back in Nassau County.

Contrary to Petitioner’s belief, although New York gave him permission to return his firearm license, the charge was still not expunged for petitioner to receive his firearm from New Jersey. What’s more, because the charge carried a maximum term of incarceration that exceeded six months, Petitioner was still barred from owning or possessing a firearm. Petitioner appealed and the Appellate Division affirmed on the same basis.

This case is important to understand that a New Jersey or out of state conviction of a charge that carries a maximum incarceration term of more than six months disqualifies someone from owning or possessing a gun in New Jersey. A New Jersey expungement may fix this, however, as seen in the case, an out of state expungement to an out of state charge may not have the same result.

If you or someone you know is involved with a firearms issue or expungement questions, or has questions with regard to TERPO, FERPO, or criminal and domestic violence activity that prohibits the ownership and possession of firearms, contact the experienced gun lawyers at Hark & Hark today. We ensure gun ownership rights are protected and preserved.

We offer payment plan options to clients financially incapable of providing full payment upfront. If you are facing criminal charges similar to this circumstance, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic County, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County and any town including Audubon, Gloucester City, Oaklyn, Audubon Park, Gloucester Township, Pennsauken, Barrington ,Haddon Heights ,Pine Hill ,Bellmawr ,Haddon Township , Pine Valley, Berlin Borough, Haddonfield, Runnemede, Berlin Township, Hi-Nella, Somerdale, Brooklawn, Laurel Springs, Stratford, Camden, Lawnside, Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Lindenwold, Waterford, Chesilhurst, Magnolia, Winslow, Clementon, Merchantville, Woodlynne, Collingswood, Mt. Ephraim, and Gibbsboro.

Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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