For some, the impact of a domestic violence conviction on their gun rights is of no concern – for others, it is of paramount concern.

The Federal Gun Control Act (GCA) prohibits those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV) from owning or possessing a firearm. An MCDV is an offense that is a misdemeanor under federal or state law, has an element of the use of force or attempted use of force (or the threatened use of a deadly weapon), and also that at the time of the offense the defendant was a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, or shared a child with the victim. The federal definition of domestic violence is significantly different from Colorado’s, because the federal definition requires the actual use or threatened use of force. Further, the federal definition includes crimes against children, which Colorado’s definition does not – so that a conviction for misdemeanor child abuse could trigger federal firearm prohibition.

If you are offered a deferred judgment, you will not be “convicted” of a domestic violence offense so long as you successfully complete your deferred judgment; upon the successful completion of your deferred judgment, your case will be dismissed and no conviction will exist on your record.