By Bryan Boender, Attorney at Law
Domestic Violence and Your Gun Rights
A domestic violence criminal misdemeanor conviction will result in the loss of your right to possess firearms or ammunition. A felony conviction of any kind will also result in a loss of your right to possess firearms or ammunition. These gun bans provide criminal penalties under both federal and Oregon state law for possession of firearms or ammunition by those with domestic violence criminal convictions.
If you have been charged with a domestic violence offense, your lawyer must advise you on the collateral consequences of a conviction, including the loss of your right to possess firearms.
The Federal Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban
The federal criminal code at 18 U.S.C. § 922 provides that it is a federal felony offense for a convicted felon or a person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to possess any firearm or ammunition. Section 922 also bans felons from possessing firearms or ammunition. Also known as the “Lautenberg Amendment,” this prohibition on gun ownership for misdemeanor domestic violence convictions applies to any “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” under Federal, State, or Tribal law. See 18 U.S.C. 921.
Your lawyer should advise you on whether your potential or prior convictions fall under the gun ban for individuals convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence.
The Oregon Domestic Violence Firearms Surrender Law
The Oregon criminal code at ORS 166.255 establishes a permanent ban on possessing firearms or ammunition by those convicted of a “qualifying misdemeanor.” The law defines a qualifying misdemeanor as “a misdemeanor that has, as an element of the offense, the use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon.”
In addition to Oregon’s domestic violence gun ban, ORS 166.256 provides that the courts shall order a person to relinquish their firearms or ammunition. The law also requires newly convicted persons to surrender their firearms within 24 hours pursuant to the court’s order. A person must file a declaration under penalty of perjury that states whether they possessed any firearms at the time the order was entered, transferred their firearms or ammunition, or asserts their constitutional right against self-incrimination.
Your lawyer must advise you on whether your conviction falls under ORS 166.255. You should seek legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer on completing the Declaration of Firearms Surrender because you could face additional criminal penalties.
Domestic violence charges are serious offenses that have far reaching consequences. In some circumstances, you could face a Measure 11 prison sentence in addition to the loss of your rights own or possess firearms.
No one ventures into marriage anticipating that it will end at some point. However, the truth is that various challenges can cause even the best marriages to end in separation or divorce. Other times, a partner dies while married. One of the issues that arise in divorce is disagreements over who keeps which assets. Prenuptial agreements help to avoid such problems.
After deciding to get married, people often seek advice from their family, friends, or even workmates. Rarely do people think of consulting a professional first. Unfortunately, seeking advice on legal matters from your friends or family members, and failing to consult a qualified attorney has its disadvantages. Some of the information your friends, workmates, or family members share with you about prenups may be fallacies. Misconceptions about prenup agreements can prevent you from signing one, only for you to regret in the future.
Below are some common misconceptions about prenup agreements and it is time to debunk them.
Signing a Prenup Means You Do Not Believe That Your Marriage Will Last
Whether or not you and your spouse have a prenup, you can never tell how long your marriage will last. Different marriages deal with challenges in their own way, but a prenup doesn’t have to signify that the marriage is doomed from the start. For example, if either you or your partner cheats and commits adultery, you may end up separated or divorced. On the contrary, you may also end up dealing with the situation through counseling and end up reconciling. Events like this are usually unable to predict and having a prenup to establish what happens to your assets after the marriage is a good way to protect yourself and your family from the unexpected.
Signing a Prenup Shows Lack of Trust Between Spouses
When signing a prenup, you and your spouse engage in one of the most open conversations you will ever have in your marriage. Sharing details about the money and property you each have, and discussing worst-case scenarios related to your marriage and your future financial goals establishes trust and honesty. For instance, suppose you were previously married and have children from that previous marriage, it is important that you establish the financial security of your non-joint children's future as well as your spouse’s in the event of death or separation.
Prenup Agreements are Only for Celebrities and the Wealthiest Couples
Wealthy couples may sign prenups more than the average couple, but these agreements are not only for them. Prenuptial agreements can highly benefit even those with no significant assets in various ways. For example, prenups can save you from paying off debts that your partner had before marrying you. Therefore, even if you do not consider yourself wealthy, you might consider signing a prenup for other reasons.
Prenuptial Agreements are Always Biased
In some instances, one partner might try to suggest ideas that the other feels are biased. Therefore, you need to involve a qualified attorney when signing a prenup agreement to explain your side of the issue. An attorney will ensure that all terms set forward are fair to each partner. Additionally, under ORS 108.725, the court cannot enforce a prenuptial agreement if it determines that it is unconscionable.
If you need more information on prenuptial agreements or would like to seek our legal services, contact us today to schedule a consultation.