New DUI Law That Affects Firearms Rights

I previously blogged about the Monumental Firearms Law related Decision from the Superior Court in relation to DUI. In Commonwealth v. Musau, 2013 PA Super 159, the Superior Court held that an individual who, during a first or second DUI, refused to provide blood or breath testing, could only be punished by a maximum of six (6) months in jail, although it is graded as a misdemeanor of the 1st degree. As the maximum sentence that could be imposed was six months, although graded as a misdemeanor of the 1st degree, such a conviction would not trigger the federal disability, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922.

Today, Governor Corbett signed SB 1239, which effectively changed section 3802, so that the maximum sentence that can be imposed upon an individual who, during a first or second DUI, refuses to provide blood or breath testing, is five years, which consistent with most misdemeanors of the first degree. Accordingly, those individual who are now convicted under the amended DUI Code will be prohibited under 18 U.S.C. 922 from possessing or purchasing a firearm, regardless of the sentence imposed.

Of course, there are constitutional questions of whether an individual’s Right to Keep and Bear Arms can be infringed in relation to non-violent misdemeanor crimes. If you have been convicted of a non-violent misdemeanor offense and wish to discuss what options you have to petition the federal courts or are facing a DUI related to a refusal to submit to chemical testing, contact us today.

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6 Comments

Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

6 responses to “New DUI Law That Affects Firearms Rights

  1. Pittsburgh

    I had the understanding that refusal to submit to blood/breath tests was only a 1 year license suspention. (I’m in Alleghenny County) The thought of 5 years jail for a refusal is crazy. Am I reading this correctly?

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  2. Bill in IL

    If you refuse to provide breath or blood testing, how do they arrest you for DUI in the first place?

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  3. Joe Schiaffino

    I and a friend were both convicted of failure to file Pa.income tax returns. Mine was over $561.00 that it turns out I did not even owe. Still, 39 days in jail AND 8 years probation, plus a fine. Probation requires no firearms in the house for either of us. We wanted to fight that but were worn out from the tax cases. It is an absurdity that essentially a paperwork misdemeanor can result in loss of a constitutionally guaranteed right. Eight years is an ungodly long time. I want my rights back! Joe Schiaffino

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  4. Pingback: PA Supreme Court Decision in Musau Affects Firearms Rights – Ability to Obtain Relief from Certain DUIs! | Prince Law Offices, P.C.

  5. Pingback: US Supreme Court Decision Affects Firearms Rights – Ability to Obtain Relief from Certain DUIs! | Prince Law Offices, P.C.

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