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Name: People v. Frawley
Case #: A088519
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 07/31/2000
Subsequent History: None

Appellant Frawley was convicted of a felony in the early 1990s, and in August, 1997, the court dismissed that conviction pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4. In April, 1999, appellant was charged with several more felonies, including a violation of section 12021 for being in possession of a firearm as an ex-felon. The trial court granted a motion to dismiss this count because the relief granted to appellant under section 1203.4 precluded his prosecution for possessing nonconcealable firearms. The appellate court here reversed. Section 12021 prohibits any person who has been convicted of a felony from possessing any firearm. Appellant fell squarely within that statutory definition. Section 1203.4 does not “expunge” the prior conviction. It does not relieve the ex-offender of the obligation to disclose it, and it does not preclude charging the offense as a prior conviction in the future. Amendments to the statute in 1961 were not intended to afford a defense to a prosecution under section 12021. Appellant could have “expunged” his prior conviction under other available statutes, but he did not choose to seek the relief made available by those statutes.