In California, back in 2000, at the age of 18, I was charged with PC245 (A) Assault with GBH with a deadly weapon against a domestic cohabitant)
[EDIT: I only used my hand during the incident, and only struck once, but for some reason they classified the blow as and assault with a "deadly weapon". I had absolutely NOTHING in my hands at the time. I had no prior criminal record that would have reasonably justified the DA classifying my hands as deadly weapons. But they did and that seems to be a huge factor in this scenario.]
The altercation was between myself and another resident of a dormitory I lived in, making us cohabitants, and the charge was considered "domestic". I plead No Contest. Served my time, completed my probation, completed my anger management course and paid all fines fees and restitution. There was no felony strike accompanying this charge.
A few years after the completion of all of these things I hired a lawyer and was able to have the charge successfully reduced to a misdemeanor. Once this was completed I then petitioned the courts for an expungement. They granted the expungement and it has been like 12 or 13 years since then. I have never had any other criminal charges or convictions since then. I own a home, I'm married, I pay my taxes and contribute to society in every way.
I was always under the impression that I still could not vote. I learned recently that this was wrong. And today for the first time in my life I actually fucking voted....awesome.
I also was under the impression that because the assault charge was considered "domestic" that I would never regain my 2nd amendment rights either. I think that it was a federal thing, nothing to do with Ca law and so even moving to another state (which I am planning to do in the next few years) would not help me. I was told by some friends, lawyers, and people online that even the expungement would not allow me to regain my constitutional rights.
I was told that the only recourse would be to petition the Governor of Ca. or the POTUS for a full pardon. Other wise, the DOJ would flag me when I went purchase a firearm. I was told that there really isn't much I can do. And that I just need to forget about it.
But I also was told by a good buddy of mine (who is former law enforcement, well versed on 2a matters/laws, and a serious gun enthusiast) that its not true, and that "if you can vote you can shoot".
I really want to know what you guys think or know about this issue. Please feel free to cross post this or what ever, I'm not sure what sub-verse would be the best choice for this topic.
Also, if you come across this post way down the line when its old and stale, please don't hesitate to still chime in, I will keep checking it.
TLDR: Convicted of pc245(a) [assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily harm to a cohabitant] in Ca in 2000, 20 years later, clean as a whistle, no other convictions, probation completed, record expunged, can I now legally posses a firearm? I'm told no. Asking advice.