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Chicago IL criminal defense attorneyIn the United States, the right to own and carry a firearm is protected under the Second Amendment of the Constitution. However, there are certain acts and situations that may cause you to lose your right to own or carry a firearm. In addition, you could face criminal charges if you use a weapon to threaten someone or in the commission of another crime. A qualified criminal defense attorney can help you learn what you need to know about guns and weapons charges in the state of Illinois.

Not All Weapons Are Guns

While most weapons charges result from the illegal use or possession of a gun, not all are connected to a firearm. In fact, almost any object can become a weapon, depending on the circumstances. Examples could include everything from knives, swords, and switchblades to stun guns and brass knuckles. Use of these or any other dangerous weapons can lead to a criminal weapons charge under Illinois law.

Unlawful Use or Possession of a Weapon by a Felon

Those who have previously been convicted on felony charges are barred from using or possessing a firearm. This applies even if the felony conviction did not take place in the state of Illinois. If a felony offender ignores this ban, they are at risk of charges for unlawful use or possession of a weapon by a felon. At minimum, this is a Class 3 felony, which carries a penalty of up to ten years in prison for a first offense. A subsequent offense, or the possession of certain types of weapons, can lead to elevated charges and increased penalties.

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crime down in Chicago, Chicago Area Criminal Defense AttorneysPolice departments across the United States faced a large amount of criticism in 2015. America’s trust in our police forces was tested time and time again, thanks to the year’s many viral videos depicting police brutality, high profile cases, and questionable police department secrecy. Fortunately for the Chicago Police Department, things may be looking up in 2016.

A report recently released by the department shows that despite an increase in gun violence and gun related crime, overall crime in the city dropped for the fourth consecutive year. For a city that experienced the most homicides of any city in the United States in 2015, a drop in overall crime is very good news.

According to the department’s report, overall crime in the city dropped 6 percent from 2014. The report notes that robberies, assaults, burglaries, rapes, and thefts dropped significantly. Additionally, the report notes that violent crime fell substantially as well. In fact, the amount of violent crime that took place in Chicago in 2015 is the lowest the city has seen since the 1960’s. Since 2011, overall crime in Chicago has dropped 37 percent.

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