Firearms and Felonies: Why They Do Not Mix

Illinois federal crimes attorney, Illinois criminal attorney, Illinois defense lawyer,If you have a felony conviction, the last thing you want is to find yourself standing in front of a judge again. After serving a punishment, individuals with prior felony convictions find themselves obeying the law down to the speed limit to avoid being separated from their family and friends for any duration again. Unfortunately, others find themselves back in trouble with the law because they were unaware that certain aspects of life might have changed for them due to their record. One change includes the loss of the ability to own firearms. Being found in possession of a firearm with a felony conviction is the most severe of weapons-related charges.

Firearms and Ammunition Are Off Limits

Once you have a felony conviction on your criminal record, you are no longer eligible for the Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card required by the Illinois Department of State Police. DSP reserves the right to deny, revoke, or seize a card at any given time if they find they qualifications are not met. Instances in which disqualification occurs include:

  • Not meeting the 21-year-old age requirement,
  • A record of a felony conviction,
  • Narcotics addiction,
  • Record of receiving patient services from a mental health facility,
  • Anyone judged mentally or developmentally disabled,
  • A mental condition that is decidedly a danger to oneself or others,
  • Prior conviction of a violent crime involving a firearm, or
  • Non-resident status of the state, with exceptions.

Potential Penalties of Mixing Felonies with Firearms

To be caught in possession of a firearm after being convicted of a felony results in harsh penalties, if convicted again. The standard charge is Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon, although the charges may vary. Penalties are dependent on the reasoning for the prior conviction. Possession of a Controlled Substance would likely receive a lighter sentence than someone previously convicted of a felony of a violent crime because of differences in the severity and classifications of the criminal history. If, however, this is the third felony in a row, there is a possibility of being charged as an Armed Habitual Criminal, which is a Class X felony. Class X felonies face up to 30 years in prison with zero chances of probation.

Protect Your Future

If you face a charge of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon or even being judged as an Armed Habitual Criminal, it is imperative for your future that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Illinois harshly penalizes those using firearms and other weapons without the proper authorization. Our goal is to either have the charges dropped or reduced in your favor. If you are interested in discussing your case with a skilled Chicago weapons violations defense attorney, the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney would like to assist you in your case. We proudly offer a free and confidential initial consultation. Call us today to find the help you need at 312-270-0999.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K24-1.1

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+24&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=68600000&SeqEnd=72000000

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