Does a DWI in North Carolina Affect My Gun Ownership Rights?

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If you were arrested and charged with a DWI in North Carolina, you may have questions about how a conviction will affect your life. And if you own or are considering purchasing a firearm, you may have questions about how a DWI charge will impact your gun rights under the Second Amendment.

A North Carolina DWI conviction carries the possibility of jail time, considerable fines, and suspension of your driver’s license. In certain circumstances, it can impact your right to own a gun. But working with an experienced DWI defense attorney gives you the best chance of beating the charge and preserving your gun ownership rights.

North Carolina DWI defense attorney Ryan Stowe can answer your questions, defend you against the charges, and fight to preserve your Second Amendment rights.

First-Time DWI With No Complicating Factors

If this is your first offense and there were no aggravating factors, it is unlikely that a DWI conviction will affect your gun ownership rights.

But if this is your second DWI or more, or if there are aggravating factors that raise your DWI to a felony level, there is much more at stake.

Felony DWI and Gun Rights

If this is your second or subsequent DWI charge in 7 years or if there are aggravating factors, you will face felony DWI charges. Any time you are charged with a felony, your gun ownership rights are at stake.

Factors that can lead to a felony DWI charge include:

  • A prior DWI charge in the last 7 years
  • Any prior DWI conviction
  • Driving with a revoked driver’s license
  • Causing an accident or serious injury to another person while driving under the influence
  • A child in the car at the time of the offense
  • Reckless or dangerous driving

Any of these aggravating factors can lead to your being sentenced at the most serious level—Aggravated Level One—which carries a maximum punishment of 3 years.

Under federal law, anyone convicted of a crime punishable by a term of more than 2 years is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

North Carolina DWI defense attorney Ryan Stowe can work to have the charges reduced to a crime that is not punishable by more than 2 years in prison so you can still own or purchase a firearm.

Purchasing a Gun After a DWI Charge

If you wish to purchase a gun in North Carolina, you must first obtain a North Carolina Handgun Purchase Permit. You will not be issued a permit if you are under indictment or have been convicted of a felony.

If you were charged with a felony DWI, you will not be able to obtain a North Carolina Handgun Purchase Permit until your case has been resolved.

If you were charged with a North Carolina DWI and resolved the case with a punishment of less than 1 year in jail, you will be able to apply for and receive a North Carolina Handgun Purchase Permit.

Concealed Carry Permit After a DWI Charge

You will not be able to obtain a North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permit if you have been charged with a DWI or have been convicted of a DWI or other impaired driving offense within 3 years before your application was submitted.

The Stowe Law Firm: Serious Representation for Serious Criminal Charges

A DWI conviction can significantly impact your civil rights, including your right to own or possess a gun.

Because every case is unique, it is important that you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Ryan Stowe, who will analyze the circumstances of your arrest, defend you against the charges, and fight to protect your Second Amendment rights.

Ryan Stowe and the Stowe Law Firm, PLLC have extensive experience defending people accused of North Carolina DWIs and other crimes. Ryan has represented over 1,000 criminal defense clients and pledges to use every skill necessary to help his clients achieve the best result possible.

Learn more about our team and the cases we handle, get answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and read reviews from other people we’ve helped. Then contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case.

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About Ryan Stowe

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Ryan Stowe is the principal attorney at Stowe Law Firm, PLLC. Mr. Stowe is proud to be practicing in his hometown of Salisbury, NC, and is a first generation Rowan County attorney. Mr. Stowe takes pride in being a criminal defense attorney. He focuse…

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