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  1. #1
    Private dirtdiver's Avatar
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    Default Denied in Schenectady County

    Hey All...

    1) Has anyone ever been denied in Schenectady county?

    2) Was it a technicality? In other words, maybe the judge was seeking additional paperwork that you didn't submit?

    3) Did you have to restart the entire paperwork process again? (ie., references, fingerprints, photos, etc)?

    Thanks,
    DD
    Last edited by dirtdiver; 01-01-2010 at 09:02 PM. Reason: Reauthored

  2. #2
    General waldershrek's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you got denied? If they deny you they have to provide an answer as to why it was denied.
    Tact is for people not witty enough to use sarcasm

  3. #3
    Private dirtdiver's Avatar
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    Yes, and my story is somewhat embarrassing, but maybe it will teach others a lesson as well.

    To make a long story short, 11 years ago I was arrested for a DUI, when I was 24. Although my conviction was reduced to a traffic violation (not considered a misdemeanor or felony), part of my sentence was to seek counseling at the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Schenectady County and also attend the Victims Impact Panel. I completed both to fulfill my sentencing. It was my only DUI offense and I obviously matured since then. This incident has definitely changed my habits since and made me realize how stupid I was then.

    Recently I received a letter from the Judge that my pistol permit had been denied for Schenectady county. The generic denial form has a list of reasons with check boxes, but the only one marked was "Other" and the comments were hand written, including a name of a contact and a phone number where I can reach them. The handwritten note says, I need a notarized statement as to whether I have ever under gone to any alcohol counseling -- and if i had, then I need documentation (notarized) regarding successful completion. I guess I will have to call and ask what the process is since I was denied and who I have to contact to get those documents.

    Actually, I was surprised that I was denied. Seeing that it was my only offense and it happened 11 years ago, especially since the Sheriff had approved my application and background check. Maybe once I get the paperwork it will satisfy the judges requirement and hopefully pass my application to get approval. But, I'm really not sure what to expect, leaving me pretty disappointed. I hope to find out next week what this all means.

    DD
    Last edited by dirtdiver; 01-01-2010 at 09:47 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
    General waldershrek's Avatar
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    I'm sure they just want to see that you have gone to counseling for your alcohol problem. It sounds like once you do that they will sign off on it
    Tact is for people not witty enough to use sarcasm

  5. #5
    Private dirtdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waldershrek View Post
    I'm sure they just want to see that you have gone to counseling for your alcohol problem. It sounds like once you do that they will sign off on it
    Not to mince words, but would it have been better to say "alcohol related incident"? I think your comment had somewhat of a negative connotation to it. ;-) Besides, I don't drink anymore. It was an expensive lesson for me at 24 and can't imagine what it would be like at 35 with a family for a second offense. So, I just decided its not worth it. I can find other ways to enjoy life with friends. Besides, the laws are so tough now, I would not want to chance it.

    Thanks for your positive outlook though. I do hope that that is all I need to have them approve of it.

    Thanks,
    DD
    Last edited by dirtdiver; 01-02-2010 at 12:05 AM. Reason: typo

  6. #6
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    I would not give up, once you listed this on the application the Judge may just be looking for documentation.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ686G View Post
    I would not give up, once you listed this on the application the Judge may just be looking for documentation.
    I can see that. They probably want to cover their ass in case something ever happened. I can picture the news making a big deal out of someone getting a permit that "had an alcohol problem" even if it's not true and was a single incident a long time ago.

    Sounds like they just want to cover themselves. Hang in there and give them the documentation they ask for. Hope it works out and you get your permit.
    NYSRPA Member - SCOPE Member - NRA Life Member - NRA Range Safety Officer

  8. #8
    Private dirtdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkvibe View Post
    I can see that. They probably want to cover their ass in case something ever happened. I can picture the news making a big deal out of someone getting a permit that "had an alcohol problem" even if it's not true and was a single incident a long time ago.

    Sounds like they just want to cover themselves. Hang in there and give them the documentation they ask for. Hope it works out and you get your permit.
    Thanks for the comment. I will find out more next week and post back here regarding my situation. Thanks!

    DD

  9. #9
    General waldershrek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkvibe View Post
    I can see that. They probably want to cover their ass in case something ever happened. I can picture the news making a big deal out of someone getting a permit that "had an alcohol problem" even if it's not true and was a single incident a long time ago.
    This is more what I was trying to say. The proof of counseling is more of a CYA measure for them if something was to happen.
    Tact is for people not witty enough to use sarcasm

  10. #10
    Private dirtdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waldershrek View Post
    This is more what I was trying to say. The proof of counseling is more of a CYA measure for them if something was to happen.
    OK, no problem. I understand you completely. ;-)

    I guess this makes the most sense. As I understand it, it's in the best interest of the court to perform some due diligence to make sure they have covered all their bases,... in event that I ever have another incident as I did when I was younger. This will in turn take the responsibility off of the judge who issues my permit. That makes sense, even though my habits have since changed from that day.

    I just hope that I don't have to resubmit all my paperwork. I will call for details next week and update this thread with some news then. Thanks for all the comments.

    DD

  11. #11
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    Call for details, but presumably your approach will be to get a statement that the course was completed, get that statement notarized, and then send it back in with a cover letter explaining that you're glad that they're making sure that dangerous people don't get licenses and you certainly learned a lot since your DUI arrest. I think the big thing is just trying to get this information in on your old app, without submitting a new app. (That way, you will never have to admit to having a license application "denied.")

  12. #12
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    Do it fast so you maximize your chances of getting the judge to "reconsider" the old denial, instead of having to submit a new app.

  13. #13
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    OK...here is the current update.

    From what I have found out from the Schenectady County Clerk, was that I had to produce "some kind" of documentation and also a letter to the judge (both notarized). I will have to call her back to find out how much time I have or if she can grant me an extension.

    So, I went to DMV in Albany to get some information. The DMV representative pulled up my drivers license information and said she can see the DUI from 1999, however because it was over 10 years ago it wont print on any of their "abstract" reports and I would have to be directed to the DMV Records Division. She provided me a number and I made the call. The DMV Records Division said I would have to submit a FOIL (Freedom of Information) request since the information I am seeking is beyond 10 years and I just have to fill out the MV-15F form and submit it. They will charge a credit card number for the search and the cost of each document, but said it could take up to 20 days and the documents will be mailed to me.

    This is why I have to call for an extension. Hopefully the nice woman I spoke with at the Schenectady County Clerks Pistol Permit office will assist in offering me an extension so I can get these documents to her ASAP.

    I'll post more details when I have them.

    DD
    Last edited by dirtdiver; 01-05-2010 at 10:11 PM.

  14. #14
    Captain davejensen's Avatar
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    Doesn't the clerk at the courthouse have some means of accessing old records?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by davejensen View Post
    Doesn't the clerk at the courthouse have some means of accessing old records?
    But that means they'd have to do work.


  16. #16
    Private dirtdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davejensen View Post
    Doesn't the clerk at the courthouse have some means of accessing old records?
    Well, they would just reply that it's my responsibility to get my own paperwork in order. I understand that the court is trying to keep dangerous people from having a pistol permit, but in reality, if they are that dangerous and want to do someone harm and want a pistol bad enough, I dont think they would pay for all the fees, go though a vigorous background check and wait 6 months or more for their permit before they continue on their war path.

    I realize the county is doing its job, but its been 11 years of a clean driving record and clean background. I don't know what else I can provide them. Most of what I found out was that the records exist in DMV but I cant get to them because they are older than 10 years and I have to submit a Freedom of Information request for the details of the infraction.

    In the mean time, I wrote a letter to the judge and had it notarized asking for an extension to provide additional documents to meet the courts requirements since the FOIL request will take 20-30 days.

    DD

  17. #17
    Captain davejensen's Avatar
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    Did you have an attorney in connection with the DUI? He/she would likely have copies of pertinent papers.

    Have you tried going to the clerk's office and asking them how you can access the file from an 11 year old DUI charge? I find it hard to believe they threw it away...

  18. #18
    Private dirtdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davejensen View Post
    Did you have an attorney in connection with the DUI? He/she would likely have copies of pertinent papers.

    Have you tried going to the clerk's office and asking them how you can access the file from an 11 year old DUI charge? I find it hard to believe they threw it away...
    YES! Trust me! I have been digging deep for a week. I talked to the judge who presided over my case at the town court I was convicted in. He happens to be a friend of my fathers. He told me that the town purges most of their data older than 10 years. Now I'm not sure what that means exactly, although he said the only information I would have available to me is the court case history and disposition paperwork.

    The lawyer I had at the time is also a friend of my fathers. I haven't contacted him yet, but I will. I don't think he will have anything regarding my successful completion, only the sentencing information.

    I spoke the Director of the Drinking Driving Program at the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council of Schenectady County. She said their records are purged after 7 years. I have a document with their letterhead stating this. She has also had other similar requests but doesn't know what those folks did after speaking with her... I asked her to consider providing the folks she counsels a "successful completion certificate" and she said they recently started doing that a few years ago. (Still doesn't help me)

    I spoke to DMV (as mentioned above). Its in there system, they cant print it because its older than 10 years and I have to file a FOIL request which will take 30 days to get back to me. Also, they cannot guarantee that the information I request will be available if its "too old" (whatever that meant).

    So, I wrote a letter to the judge, mailed the FOIL request and trying to get a copy of my clean drivers license for the last 5-10 years. If the judge grants me an extension, I will supply her with the driving records, the FOIL paperwork and also the ASACSC letter. More to do yet...stay tuned!

    DD
    Last edited by dirtdiver; 01-07-2010 at 08:52 PM.

  19. #19
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    I have a similar situation. I got into a bit of trouble when I was a kid, over ten years ago, and I think only one thing was on my record. I'm a Marine vet since then, and haven't had any other charges on my record. what is it that I have to disclose, since its on my sealed juvenile record? none of them were drug related or violent. mostly theft like an idiot

  20. #20
    General waldershrek's Avatar
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    Don't count on your "sealed record" being sealed. Remember arrests and convictions are separate things. If it asks you about arrests you must answer yes even if you weren't convicted most of the time.
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  21. #21
    Private dirtdiver's Avatar
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    After a relatively short wait, I finally received my NYS Pistol Permit.

    Basically it came down to writing a letter to the judge and having it notarized, filing a FOIL request for my driving records from DMV and providing them to the judge and lastly get a copy of my court disposition paperwork. Although my DUI, which was 11 years ago, was considered a traffic infringement and not a misdemeanor, its something I never want to go though again. This is just an example of what you try to keep in the past has a way of coming back to haunt you later in life.

    Thanks for all the comments and support.

    DD

  22. #22
    Super Moderator Bill's Avatar
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    Awesome good for you, remember never shoot off all your ammo at the range ,thats the hardest.

  23. #23
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    Glad to hear it all worked out.

    But putting you through all that doesn't make much sense.

    If the judge had a rationale reason to believe that you might still have a substance abuse problem, shouldn't he also have been concerned with the fact that you driving for the last 11 years? Shouldn't he have taken some action to not only deny a pistol permit but also take away your license?

    I know why he didn't. Because he no legal right to do so. The same should be true of his initial denial of the pistol permit.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by waldershrek View Post
    Don't count on your "sealed record" being sealed. Remember arrests and convictions are separate things. If it asks you about arrests you must answer yes even if you weren't convicted most of the time.
    Such records are never sealed to LE or the courts. Only as to the general public. This is for DCJS records. Court records are always open even if a charge is reduced to a non-criminal charge UNLESS the court specifically orders sealing of its own record. This was never a problem before because it was virtually impossible to search each and every of the 1,250 local courts in NY. However, for several years the Office of Court Administration has been selling state-wide record checks for $62. They supposedly stopped selling the records on cases reduced and supposedly sealed by law but I don't trust that to be true.

    As to the main issue, is it possible to get the records of your evaluation from the agency that conducted it and proof of completion of the DDP from the agency where you went for classes?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by nogods View Post
    Glad to hear it all worked out.

    But putting you through all that doesn't make much sense.

    If the judge had a rationale reason to believe that you might still have a substance abuse problem, shouldn't he also have been concerned with the fact that you driving for the last 11 years? Shouldn't he have taken some action to not only deny a pistol permit but also take away your license?

    I know why he didn't. Because he no legal right to do so. The same should be true of his initial denial of the pistol permit.
    Although I see your logic in this, from what I have come to understand is, the denial letter I received was not specifically a denial. The judge had asked for additional information using the denial form because they cant assume that I would be diligent enough to follow through with providing the additional paperwork the court recommended. I did not have to resubmit my entire application over again. All that was asked was that I reply to the request as soon as possible. So, in retrospect, it wasn't *really* a denial, but if I had taken my sweet ass time to follow through, then I could almost bet money that I would be forced to resubmit the entire application again, probably even going through the safety course if it went past 6 months.

    DD

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