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FL Gun Laws: Adjudication withheld - can I own one?


In Jan. 2006 I was arrested (in the state of FL) and charged with a 3rd degree felony (poss. cont. sub.), as well as a misdemeanor (poss. paraph.) I plead no contest and had adjudication withheld, was given probation and fines, etc. etc. I completed the probation in February of 2008 with no problems. Around July/August of this year, 2008, I applied for a gun permit but was denied. Prior to even APPLYING forthe permit, I contacted a lawyer whom told me that since I was not adjudicated guilty, ALL of my civil rights remained intact... but, alas, I was denied. I called the woman whom "rubber stamped" my denial and she, to be completely blunt, didn't even KNOW the phrase "adjudication withheld"... she was rude and honestly seemed completely clueless. I don't know what to do! Where do I stand, legally? I had another attorney tell me that I had to wait THREE years from the end of my probation to own a gun... and another tell me that if I were to have my record sealed/expunged, I could get one as soon as that went through. Ok now, what is fact and what is fiction? For the record, I have nothing else (aside from minor traffic infractions) on my record.

Also, my husband is going through a military training that will require he get a "Top Secret" security clearance. Can MY record affect that process in any way, shape, or form? If so, will sealing/expungement change that?

3rd and final question: Seal VS. Expunge? It is my understanding that since I had "adj. with." I can only SEAL my record, wait TEN YEARS, then EXPUNGE. But also, I've read that anyone adjudicated GUILTY can't do either. What gives?!

P.S. I plan to go into criminal law, am I making a mistake? Can I even do that, given my history? (That wouldn't be funny - four years of UNI "pre-law/poli-sci" down the tube... ha..ha....ha?)

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