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Category Archives: Weapons Charges

DuPage County weapons violation defense attorney

The United States has always had an interesting culture surrounding firearms, one that the majority of the rest of the world does not quite understand. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that citizens are given the right to bear arms, but firearm ownership is very much a state issue. In Illinois, citizens can legally purchase and own a firearm once they have applied and been approved for a firearm owner identification (FOID) card. However, gun violence is still an issue across the country and in Illinois. This is why the state passed a so-called “red flag” law in an attempt to temporarily prevent those with access to guns from committing violent criminal acts.

What Are Red Flag Laws?

Red flag laws, which are also sometimes called extreme risk laws, are not unique to the state of Illinois. In fact, Illinois was one of the most recent states to pass a red flag law and only just passed the law in 2018. Although red flag laws differ from state to state, they all aim to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a risk to others. In some states, only certain people, like police officers or other law enforcement officials, can file a petition to remove a person’s firearms.

Firearms Restraining Order Act

Illinois’ version of a red flag law, which is referred to as the Firearms Restraining Order Act, went into effect at the beginning of 2019. In Illinois, a petition to remove a person’s firearms can be filed by a family or household member or by a police officer who believes that the person poses a threat to themselves or others by having a firearm in his or her possession. Once the petition is filed, a judge must hear the petition as soon as possible. If the judge decides that there is enough evidence to establish that the person is indeed a threat to himself or herself or to others, then the court will issue an order to remove any and all firearms from the person’s possession.

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DuPage County weapons charges defense attorneyLike many states across the United States, Illinois has strict gun laws in place that are meant to protect its citizens. To legally possess or purchase a firearm, you must obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card and meet all eligibility requirements. Even then, there are many rules that you must follow when owning and possessing a firearm. Other weapons, such as knives, brass knuckles or bludgeons, are strictly regulated in Illinois. If you are charged with unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) in Illinois, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the situation. 

Misdemeanor UUW Charges

In certain situations, a UUW will result in a misdemeanor charge. You can be charged with a UUW misdemeanor if you:

  • Sell, manufacture, purchase or possess a black-jack, slung-shot, bludgeon, sand bag, knuckle weapon, sand-club, ballistic knife, or switchblade knife;

  • Carry or possess with the intent to use a dirk, dagger, dangerous knife, stiletto, billy, razor, broken bottle or piece of glass, taser or stun gun, or any other dangerous weapon;

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Wheaton IL gun charges lawyerThe United States has a long history with firearms: for as long as we have been a country, firearms have been present. The U.S. Constitution specifically guarantees citizens the right to bear arms, though that right can be restricted if states deem it necessary. 

Illinois has some of the most strict gun laws in the country. The city of Chicago did not even allow residents to own firearms until 2010, and it was not until 2013 that the state began allowing residents to carry concealed weapons. Violating Illinois weapons laws can come with serious consequences. 

Here are a few things you may not have known about Illinois gun laws:

1, You Must Have a FOID Card to Legally Possess a Firearm

The state of Illinois requires you to apply for and receive a firearm owner identification (FOID) card before you are legally able to purchase or possess a firearm. If you possess a firearm without also possessing a valid FOID card, you can face up to five years in state prison. To obtain a FOID card, you must also meet certain criteria, including not having been convicted of a felony, not being addicted to narcotics and not having been admitted to a mental facility in the past five years.

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Wheaton IL weapons charges attorney.jpgIn the state of Illinois, if you are in possession of a firearm, you must also be in possession of an Illinois firearm ownership identification card (FOID). It is illegal for you to own or be in possession of a firearm without a FOID card. Though the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms, the Illinois State Police reserves the right to revoke or suspend your FOID card at any time if you violate ownership rules or if you become ineligible for a FOID card. Having your FOID card suspended or revoked comes with a laundry list of things you must do to comply with the suspension or revocation, and if you do not comply with those requirements, you could be facing serious charges.

Notice of Revocation

There is a multitude of reasons that your FOID card can be revoked. Some of those reasons include:

  • You were convicted of a misdemeanor other than a traffic offense, and you are under the age of 21;
  • You were convicted of a felony;
  • You are addicted to narcotics; and
  • You were convicted of domestic battery after 2012.

If your FOID card is revoked, you will be notified in writing by the Illinois State Police. The notice will go into detail as to why your card has been revoked. The notice will also include a list of the requirements you must comply with.

Revocation Requirements

Once you have received your revocation notice, you have 48 hours to complete the requirements that you were given. First, you have to surrender your FOID card to your local law enforcement agency. You will receive a receipt that you have surrendered your card, and your local agency will send your card to the state police.

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IL defense lawyerWeapons charges in Illinois has potentially severe criminal penalties. Punishments run anywhere from a misdemeanor to a Class X felony depending on a variety of factors of the case, resulting in fines to potential jail or prison sentences. These factors include the location of the alleged crime, the number, and type of weapons involved, and the severity of any injuries incurred. Many cases become exacerbated by any previous criminal history or if other charges accompany the weapons charge. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is not a good excuse in many weapon-related cases. If you face a weapons charge in Illinois, it is a good idea to understand your accusations.

Reckless Discharge of a Firearm (720 ILCS 5/24-1.5)

This law applies to instances when a suspect fires a gun in a reckless manner which endangers the safety of another individual. The code does not explicitly indicate what qualifies as “reckless,” leaving it up to the judgment of the arresting officer and the court. If the suspect were a passenger in a moving vehicle, both the passenger and the driver would receive the charge. If convicted, the resulting penalty is a Class 4 felony which is punishable by one to three years in prison.

Unlawful Use of a Weapon (UUW) (720 ILCS 5/24-1)

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