Firearms / Weapons
Tower Legal – Chicago Illegal Weapon Possession Lawyers.
If you have been arrested for or charged with a weapons violation, you could be facing serious penalties if you are convicted, especially if you have a prior criminal record. Illinois’ gun laws are stricter than the gun laws in many other states. Many of Illinois weapons offenses are felonies, which carry higher sentences and fines than misdemeanors. Though gun laws have changed in recent years, with the new ability to obtain a concealed carry permit, any infractions of the law have serious consequences.
Strictly Enforced and Prosecuted
In addition, Illinois gun laws are strictly enforced and prosecuted. If you are convicted of the unlawful possession, use, or discharge of a gun or weapon, you can face a mandatory prison sentence. If you used a gun or weapon while committing another crime such as car theft or burglary, you face increased penalties if convicted.
Illinois Weapons Offenses
- Unlawful Use of a Weapon (UUW)—This lengthy statute lists a variety of weapons that are illegal for possession or use. Penalties vary depending on the weapon, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Illegal weapons include, but are not limited to: bludgeons, black-jacks, throwing stars, switchblades, bombs, firearm silencers, machine guns, and grenades. Other weapons are illegal in certain circumstances. Stun guns, daggers and other dangerous weapons are illegal if possessed with the intent to use. Firearms can only be carried and used with the proper licenses. Possession or use of a firearm without the appropriate licenses is a crime. Without a concealed carry license, there are very specific rules for how a firearm can be transported. Additionally, possessing a weapon while masked, or at a school or courthouse will carry additional penalties. Likewise, subsequent offenses carry higher penalties.
- Unlawful Use or Possession of Weapons by a Felon—Anyone convicted of a felony may not possess a weapon. Possession of a weapon by a felon within a penal institution has a higher penalty. Outside a penal institution, possession of a weapon by a felon is a class 3 felony. Inside the penal institution, possession is a class 1 felony. Possession of a firearm, ammunition or explosive within a penal institution is a class X felony.
- Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm—Knowingly discharging a firearm at a person or into a home or car where people are present is a class 1 felony. Discharging a firearm at a law enforcement officer or emergency medical personnel is a class X felony.
- Reckless Discharge of a Firearm—It is illegal to discharge a firearm in a reckless manner that endangers the safety of another individual. If it occurs while in a vehicle with the knowledge and consent of the driver, the driver will also be held accountable. Reckless discharge of a firearm is a class 4 felony.
- Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon—This class 4 felony occurs when a person knowingly carries a loaded and accessible firearm into a place where firearms are not permitted, without the proper licenses, and is either previously adjudicated a delinquent minor, is part of a gang, has an order of protection against him or her, or is involved in a misdemeanor involving threat of violence or a violation of the cannabis control act.
Weapons Violations Penalties
Penalties for weapons vary depending on the weapon and the circumstances of the crime. Offenses range from misdemeanor violations to more serious felony violations.
- Misdemeanor Violations—Misdemeanors are less serious offenses that have penalties of less than one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fine. Depending on the offense, probation or community service may be available.
- Felony Offense—Felonies are much more serious offenses that have penalties of over a year in prison and fines up to $25,000. Rated in seriousness by class, felonies range from class 4 to class X, with class X felonies carrying the highest penalties.
Weapons Criminal Defense Attorney
At Tower Legal, our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help defend you against gun and weapons charges. We know the Illinois gun laws and we know how to successfully resolve criminal firearm charges. If you’ve been charged with a weapons offense, call the criminal defense attorneys at Tower Legal today.