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Multnomah County CHL predicament

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by tonebone72, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. tonebone72

    tonebone72 Portland, OR New Member

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    Hello everyone. Been lurking on the site for a about a year, mostly on the legal & political forum. Here's my story. I moved to Portland from New Jersey in 2003.

    I applied for my CHL in Multnomah Cty. back in late March 2013. I was sent the letter a couple weeks later scheduling my appointment for fingerprinting to take place on August 16, 2013.

    I knew I had some legal trouble in New Jersey in 2000 but did not have any documents to confirm actual convictions so I used an online service to perform a criminal background check on myself to see if anything came up. I was not about to willingly lie or misrepresent events that I am embarrassed about but not afraid to own up to. It came up clean so I sent in my application without regret. For the record, my legal issue was a DUI and I also had 2 grams of pot. I did everything that was required by the court and got my license back. Soon thereafter I left the state.

    Now I get the letter from the Sheriff's office saying the background check shows my arrest in NJ for possession of CDS and that I was sentenced to conditional discharge and diversion. It says: accorded to ORS 166.291(L), a concealed handgun license applicant "has not been convicted of an offense involving controlled substances or participated in a court-supervised drug diversion program..."

    Next sentence: The "second chance" provision does not apply to out of state drug arrests. Therefore, your application is hereby denied.

    I totally understand that they think I lied on the application with respect to the CDS arrest/conviction. Had that showed up on the report I did on myself I could have considered options to deal with it however, I would not have willingly lied on the application and expected a law enforcement agencies background check to not reveal what my check revealed. I guess I did not consider the possibility that my check would be deficient and put me in a position of the appearance of dishonesty or deception.

    I just got the letter this afternoon and was not able to contact any lawyers or the sheriff's dept. to figure out where I stand. I know I have 30 days to appeal the denial. Obviously that would be pointless as long as my NJ record shows up.

    The question is if I can get that expunged must that happen within the 30 day appeal period? Or as the letter implies do I have no "second chance" because it is out of state? What happens if I do not appeal the denial, can I reapply in the future if/when I get my NJ records expunged?

    I have searched the statutes and have seen nothing regarding a "second chance" provision. I know these are questions for a lawyer but I know you all have knowledge & experience that I have come to trust at times so I respect your input.

    I will keep you posted on my progress if any. I plan on contacting the sheriff's dept. and a couple free consults with OR & NJ attys to figure out my options.

    Geez, trying to gain access to one's constitutional rights it's a full time job!
     
  2. duane black

    duane black Washington Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the board !

    I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.

    Take a very close look at 166.291. Familiarize yourself with the law.

    Here is what they are using for their denial :

    Has not been convicted of an offense involving controlled substances or participated in a court-supervised drug diversion program, except this disability does not operate to exclude a person if:
    (A) The person has been convicted only once of violating ORS 475.864 (Unlawful possession of marijuana) (3) and has not completed a court-supervised drug diversion program under ORS 135.907 (Notification of availability of diversion); or
    (B) The person has completed a court-supervised drug diversion program under ORS 135.907 (Notification of availability of diversion) and has not been convicted of violating ORS 475.864 (Unlawful possession of marijuana) (3);


    I have wondered in the past how this law as written applied to out of state drug convictions. Another thing that is interesting to me is the diversion portion of the law. What exactly is drug diversion ? Is this Multnomahs STOP, 135.907 as mentioned, drug court, etc. How about DUII diversion ? Isn't this technically a drug diversion ? I spoke with a attorney recommended to me by OFF and basically, the law is very poorly written. I do not think the state legeslature intended it to be determined that out of state convictions for possesion of MJ prohibit you, forever.

    I digress.

    Here is what I would do If I was in your position.

    Get the charge expunged, sealed, thrown out or whatever equivalent procedure exists in the state the charge occurred. This almost always can be done by you, without an attorney.

    IF ANYBODY THAT READS THIS HAS A CRIMINAL RECORD, DO THIS, TOMORROW !

    Get proof, this occurred.

    Re apply.

    If denied ( doubtful but possible ), file an appeal ( you will win, period ).

    Here is the part of 166.291 that forces them to issue you a permit, once the above has occurred.

    A person who has been granted relief under ORS 166.274 (Relief from prohibition against possessing or purchasing firearm) or 166.293 (Denial or revocation of license) or section 5, chapter 826, Oregon Laws 2009, or 18 U.S.C. 925(c) or has had the persons record expunged under the laws of this state or equivalent laws of other jurisdictions is not subject to the disabilities in subsection (1)(g) to (L) of this section.


    Update this thread WHEN you get your CHL. This subject is very interesting to me.

    Again... I am not a attorney. Contact OFF for a great recommendation in Portland.

    I did not stay at a holiday inn last night either.
     
  3. PopsBdog

    PopsBdog Southern Oregon Active Member

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    What a quagmire.
    I don't know the law in your case. BUT... I would never trust an online service to be complete, ever.
    Your best bet is to deal with NJ direct to get in writing the exact offense, what happened in court and the final outcome.

    I have multiple copies from multiple states of my youthful indiscretions which were worse than yours.
    In one state I had to get a pardon. Once I had everything cleared, I can now cross the border into Canada, buy guns, and I have a CHL in OR and FL.

    The paper work always follows. Don't even assume the FBI knows the outcome. Get it from the state.

    I am my own lesson to the young ones that your record follows you for the rest of your life.
    It takes years to build a reputation, it takes seconds to ruin it.

    Be patient and persistent. Good luck.
     
  4. duldej

    duldej Portland Member

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    I still have a similar problem. I had a misdemeanor crime, which was, afterwards, expunged from 2010, and which happened in California. LEDS, Law Enforcement Data System, the "rap sheet" that Oregon Law Enforcement Agents use, is fallible, but bottom line, like duane black, above, said, is to get the conviction expunged in New Jersey, and then show proof of that to Multco. I was advised by someone at Short Law Group that you can simply reapply, in spite of having been denied, and in spite of the 30-day stipulation, however long it takes you to get the charge dismissed/expunged, and perhaps have better luck, then; but paying an attorney in NJ the grand or so that attorneys charge for expungements is paramount to your successful application. Please do post when you get that CHL/attempt again to obtain one.
     
  5. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

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    You're gonna need to get a lawyer. Especially because you'll likely need to deal with NJ, which as you know is a nightmare. Or, you could just move to WA which doesn't have that BS gotcha over minor possession charges.
     
  6. tonebone72

    tonebone72 Portland, OR New Member

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    I finally had some time to sit down and deal with things after a couple weeks of being tied up with work. Step 1 is under way as I have paid a NJ attorney $1,200 to deal with the expungement issue. I've got about 5 things on my record as a juvenile and adult and he says he can hopefully expunge everything. Apparently towns or agencies can deny the request for expungement but I am hoping that doesn't happen. This process could take upwards of 3 months and things need to be in order before I reapply for the CHL. At this point all I can do is wait and hope the attorney I hired is efficient and gets it all squared away in the 90 days he said it could be done.

    I will post developments as they arise. Thanks for your help everyone!
     
  7. duane black

    duane black Washington Well-Known Member

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    It will all work out man.

    Very doubtful a judge will deny your expungement, unless this was recent, or you have been in trouble recently. Oregon has a process in place for you to make this happen. ( or has had the persons record expunged under the laws of this state or equivalent laws of other jurisdictions is not subject to the disabilities in subsection (1)(g) to (L) of this section.)

    I have heard of people with much more serious offenses than MJ possession regain their right to carry in the state of Oregon.

    One thing that is very interesting about all this is the Oregon Medical MJ court ruling. Not to highjack this thread too much but prohibiting you due to a MJ possession charge is beyond absurd due to this ruling.

    Please keep us informed, I know this will work out. You just need to go through the hoops like everything else in .GOV.

    Mr Bill is also absolutely correct. Based on the information you provided there is nothing that would lead me to believe you would be prohibited in the evergreen state.

    Hell, we just legalized it. Opens up some possibility for some " interesting " cases...


    0_0
     
  8. tonebone72

    tonebone72 Portland, OR New Member

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    yeah, that's funny. Folks with their OMMP card can smoke all day long and not have to worry about being denied a CHL. But god forbid a non-OMMP person has one past offense for minor possession and you get denied. Makes perfect sense. :rolleyes:

    All my offenses were at least 10 years ago. The one that's causing a problem is from 2000. I had an assault charge dismissed in 2003 but that will be available to LE background checks so I'd like to get rid of that. The other one that I might have been adult for was a trespassing charge. Funny thing about that was about a year later the county land we were on using the swimming hole was incorporated into the county parks system and legal for all to explore and enjoy. Other 2 were at least 20 years ago and your typical criminal mischief. Not sure if they are even on the database but hopefully when the attorney gets all his replies to requests for records I will get to see everything and once again have copies of all my indiscretions for future reference. Not like I'm gonna join the police academy or anything but now I see how those could have been handy.

    If only it were as easy as moving to WA. I've got a house & business here in Portland so I'm staying put. My wife already thinks I'm crazy...imagine if I told her we were moving just so I could get my CHL quicker. I'll have to just be patient. I might apply in WA after I get the OR CHL since I like to do some outdoors stuff in WA. Don't seem to go there for anything else. It's funny 'cause I live a couple miles from both major bridges and can't remember the last time I crossed either one! Usually just go out to Bridge of the Gods and head up to Indian Heaven for mushrooms and berries once or twice a year.

    On the "legalize" topic, as far as I'm concerned, unless it is treated like alcohol and individuals are permitted to grow a certain amount per year (just as home brewers are) it isn't legalized. I would support no law in Oregon that does not allow for home cultivation in the way that home brewing was legalized by Jimmy Carter in 1979.
     
  9. duane black

    duane black Washington Well-Known Member

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    ^^

    Good stuff man, you are on track.

    Since his name was dropped already, Jason Short is an attorney in Portland and he has my full recommendation. You want to do this right, give him a call and make sure HE agrees you are on the right track. He will ( his office told me they do )give you a free consultation and is very knowledgable. Keep his name handy for after you get your chl as well.

    I spoke with an associate attorney for a length of time over the phone and was more than impressed with his knowledge Oregon law in regards to firearms. We even got on the subject of justifiable shootings in Oregon and how to handle the aftermath.

    VERY impressed.

    Take care and good luck.
     
  10. Mbeef61

    Mbeef61 SW PDX Active Member

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    Any updates? I am taking my class tonight and applying this week. I fear I may be in the same boat however. I had a marijuana infraction about 10 years ago in Washington. I was upfront on the application. I don't know how my luck will be. Being as though you don't get second chance if its out of state. Doesn't really make sense to me. You get a second chance but only if the first violation was in Oregon? Kinda weird to me

    That is my old blemish on my record. A 10 year old violation/infraction. Not even a misdemeanor. We will see. Keep you posted
     
  11. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    If you have a medical MJ card and you answer that question "NO" on the Federal form when buying a weapon you could be prosecuted for lying on the form under Federal law. If you answer yes then you won't get the weapon.
     
  12. sandman1212

    sandman1212 NW Oregon Active Member

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    I am not sure about other states, but 1 year from the date of sentencing and accepting a diversion program in Oregon(1st offense Only), if you successfully complete the program, your charge is expunged from your record and becomes a "diversion", no longer a misdemeanor. I received a DUII in 2010 and had my permit revoked. One year from the date of conviction and with my completion of the program, I had my permit back. Good luck to you!
     
  13. tonebone72

    tonebone72 Portland, OR New Member

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    Finally going to resurrect this thread from the dead. I was much less efficient than I hoped at moving along the expungement. Over a year later and I now have my Order of Expungement and the letter from the State Police indicating the removal of the records from their database.

    This week I'm sending in the new application for CHL. Question is, do I initial the line that states "I have never been convicted of an offense involving cds or participated in a court-supervised drug diversion program"? Or do I leave it blank and explain that those records have been expunged and attach paperwork.

    I just don't know if it is going to be helpful to give them too much information right away. Maybe I'm overthinking things...
     
  14. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Congratulations on the expungement! finally!

    Why don't you check to see if you can make an appointment to speak in person to the Multnomah County Sheriff?
     
  15. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    You should be good to go now, because according to ORS 166.291(2) (just after ORS 166.291(1)(L) that affected you the first time)



    There will most likely be a "local" file kept on your last application attempt showing that you were denied for "said reason", so mark that box "yes" (again) and include a notarized copy of your expungement paperwork pertaining to that incident with your CHL application. They will of course cross-check the info with your former State's database records, and if it all checks out you SHOULD be green-lighted.

    Hope that helps! :)
     
    scientist likes this.
  16. tonebone72

    tonebone72 Portland, OR New Member

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    So here's what went down. After some research, I confirmed that after expungement, in Oregon, you are legally allowed to deny the occurrence of the expunged offence. So I checked "no" on the appropriate line for the offence.

    My next hangup was at the top of the application where it asks if it is a "new application (never applied for Multnomah Cty. CHL)" or renewal etc. Technically it was not a renewal since I never got the CHL after being denied but technically it was not a "new" application since I previously applied and was denied.

    I went into the Multnomah Ct. Sheriff's building a few weeks ago to see if I could clear some things up and get the ball rolling. I told the receptionist I wanted to turn in my application but had some questions regarding the above mentioned issues. She told me to dial the CHL unit from the phone in the lobby and see if I could get some help from them. I called and they told me to get buzzed in so they could take a look at my papers.

    He took a look at the new application and searched the system for the original application. He said that since I previously applied that this would be treated as a "renewal" for purposes of payment. So I only had to pay the $50 renewal fee instead of the $65 new application fee. Next he asked to see my papers regarding the NJ expungement. I gave him what the NJ attorney sent me which was their letter explaining that the matter had been expunged as well as a letter from the NJ State Police which said the information was removed from their system and a copy of the filed court order. He photocopied those for the file. Apparently they did not need to be notarized.

    He said they had the fingerprints on file still so I did not have to get reprinted. At that point I paid the $50, got my photo taken and was told it would be about 3 weeks to get the CHL in the mail!!!

    I am proud to say it arrived last week and there is one more good guy out there...

    Thanks to all who offered advice and encouragement. Hopefully this thread can help others navigate their way through the system if they have similar circumstances.
     
    Dyjital, BrentN, Stomper and 2 others like this.
  17. Liberty97045

    Liberty97045 Oregon City Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations!!!

    I had an error on my record from NH that I had to go through this stuff for back in the early 90s.

    Mine was an arrest but I was never indited or convicted. I was able to buy guns and get a CHL in Multnomah County but it kept popping up whenever I did a background check. Even though it was not standing in the way, I felt it was best to take care of it while I could. I would give this same advice to anyone, deal with it.

    I read of several instances where laws changed and what was not previously a disqualifying conviction suddenly becomes a problem. Case in point, a man convicted of simple assault in the 1970 for popping someone in the nose. The law changed to make it a felony and even though it was not a felony at the time some overzealous DA revoked his firearm rights.

    Case in point #2, domestic violence is became a disqualifying offense in the 1990s (thanks Billary)

    Always best to clean out the closet before it needs cleaning if you get my meaning.
     
  18. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Awesome news, fellow CITIZEN! :s0155: