What You Should Know About Firearms and Weapons Charges in Illinois

Posted on in Weapons

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.

Weapons Used in a Crime

Weapons used during an act that is considered a crime under state law can elevate the resulting criminal charges. As an example, assault and battery are independent crimes under Illinois law. If a weapon was used in the commission of battery, the charges are likely to be increased to aggravated battery. Elevated or aggravated charges carry potentially heavier penalties for the defendant, including a longer jail or prison sentence and increased monetary fines. Violent crimes that are committed with a weapon often carry the heaviest penalties. Separate weapons charges for unlawful possession or unlawful use of a firearm could also be filed.

Contact a Chicago Weapons Violations Attorney

If you are facing a weapons charge, either independently, or in conjunction with another crime, contact an experienced Chicago violent crimes defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel. We will aggressively defend you against the charges and help you protect your rights. Regardless of the charges or the evidence against you, we will always pursue the most favorable outcome possible for your unique situation. Call 312-629-0669 for a free consultation today.



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