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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2001 4:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2000 6:01 am
Posts: 493
Location: Framingham, MA USA
It is not too difficult for people to have domestic squabbles in these troubled times.
You would be shocked at the number of cases involving misdemeanor physical contact matters. Even if the matters are resolved, and parties concerned live happliy ever after, just read on:

Here is a case from the First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that surprised me, and is a “need to know case” for anyone who possesses firearms

When a defendant, who pled guilty under Maine’s general purpose assault statute, was later found to be in possession of a firearm, this was sufficient to warrant the defendant’s conviction under 18 U.S.C. section922(g)(9),which prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from knowingly possessing a firearm.

“This appeal requires us to resolve an interpretive schism that has divided the district courts. This schism involves the interplay between a state assault statute and a federal law barring misdemeanants who have committed crimes of domestic violence from possessing firearms. The crux of the controversy is whether ‘offensive physical contact,’ one of the two variants of assault featured in Maine’s general purpose assault statute, necessarily involves the use or attempted use of physical force. If so, prior convictions under that statute can qualify as predicate offenses for purposes of the federal statute prohibiting persons previously convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence from possessing firearms under (18 U.S.C. Section (922 (g)(9). If not, such misdemeanors…at least whose convictions are not readily identifiable, as involving more than offensive physical contact may well escape the strictures of the federal law.

“Based upon our construal and reconciliation, we conclude that Congress intended the federal law to cover all persons who have been convicted of assaulting domestic partners in circumstances similar to those delineated by both strains of the Maine Statute. Accordingly, we affirm the conviction and sentence imposed in the case at hand.”

United States V. Nason

In cases of domestic assault for misdemeanors are very common, and the caveat is that a guilty finding and restraining order pursued by strict prosecutors, can often lead to plea bargaining to dispose of the case even though the persons involved kiss and make-up.

The surprise to me is that conviction of just possessing firearms after a misdemeanor can lead to a federal felony.

Alan K


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