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Rolling Meadows Weapons Charges Defense Lawyer

Rolling Meadows Gun Firearms Weapons Defense Lawyer

Criminal Defense Attorney for Gun Crimes in Cook County and DuPage County

There are many scenarios in Illinois that can lead to a gun or weapons violation.

You might get caught in the middle of a street fight or be stopped by the police for a minor offense, and--suddenly and unexpectedly--find yourself in police custody, charged with unlawful use of a weapon or illegal possession of a firearm.

Or perhaps your situation is more serious, and you have been charged with a crime such as sexual assault orrobbery. The penalties for such crimes are much greater if committed while in possession of a gun or other dangerous weapon.

Even someone who has clearly used a weapon in self-defense will usually be taken into police custody until the incident has been fully investigated.

At Hartsfield Law, we know exactly how strict the weapons laws are in Illinois. You need an attorney well-versed in the laws of the city and county where the incident occurred. If you were arrested in Cook or DuPage County, Hartsfield Law can help.

Having a gun or weapons crime on your record can have lifetime consequences. Whatever your situation, do not face a weapons charge alone. You can count on Hartsfield Law to provide a strong, sharp defense.

FOID, CCL, and Second Amendment Rights Issues

Illinois state law recognizes your Second Amendment right to own and carry firearms, but requires a Firearm Owners ID card (430 ILCS 65/1) and a Concealed Carry License (430 ILCS 66/5) to do so. Otherwise-lawful gun owners who fail to obtain or renew a FOID card can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

In addition, state and local laws place numerous restrictions on how FOID cardholders must transport firearms (either broken-down, in an inaccessible place, or unloaded and cased) and where CCL holders may carry a handgun. Some localities even ban certain types of weapons that are allowed under state law, such as Chicago's ban on so-called "assault weapons."

Hartsfield Law will vigorously defend you against FOID and CCL violations, as well as any charges that might stem from a self-defense incident. Even a misdemeanor criminal charge is not something you want on your record.

We can also help you get a misdemeanor arrest and/or conviction expunged from your criminal record, so that the incident will not show up on future background checks.

Unlawful Use of Weapons Charges

The Illinois laws on Unlawful Use of Weapons (720 ILCS 5/24-1) and Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6) cover more than a dozen different crimes. Some of the more common are listed below. These laws govern a variety of dangerous weapons in addition to firearms.

Note that a UUW charge may be elevated if the crime is committed in or near a school or school bus, public housing project, public park, public transportation facility (e.g., on a bus or in a train station), or courthouse. A charge may also be elevated for a second or subsequent offense.

The following UUW crimes are Class A misdemeanors:

  • Possession of a weighted bludgeon, commonly called a black-jack or sap; brass knuckles, made of any material; throwing star; a switchblade knife; or explosive bullets.
  • Possession with intent to use against another person any dangerous knife (dagger, dirk, razor, stiletto, etc.), billy club, broken bottle or glass, stun gun or taser, or similar dangerous weapon.

The following UUW crimes are felonies:

  • Possession of any firearm, stun gun, or taser that is immediately accessible, uncased, and loaded (or with ammunition immediately accessible), whether in a vehicle or on your person, is a Class 4 felony. This does not apply to possession on your own property or on another person's property with their permission as long as you have a valid FOID card, nor to concealed carry of a loaded handgun by a CCL holder.
  • Possession of a firearm silencer, sawed-off shotgun, grenade, bomb, or Molotov cocktail is a Class 3 felony.
  • Possession of a fully-automatic weapon (machine gun) is a Class 2 felony with a mandatory prison sentence of three to seven years, rising to a Class X felony if the gun is loaded and carried in the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle (i.e., ready for use in a drive-by shooting).

Defenses to Weapons Charges

At Hartsfield Law, we carefully investigate the details of each case to develop a customized defense strategy. Some possible defenses include:

  • The police did not have sufficient reason to stop you.
  • The police did not have sufficient evidence (probable cause) to arrest you.
  • The police conducted an unauthorized search.
  • You did not know about nor intend to be in possession of the weapon (for example, you were in a friend's car and had no idea there was a loaded firearm under the seat).

Rolling Meadows Lawyer Defends Gun Rights

If you have been arrested on a weapons or firearms charge, quick action by an attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed. You will want an attorney familiar with the laws in the city and county where you were arrested, as gun laws vary locally. If you were arrested in Cook County or DuPage County, contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for help. We have conveniently located offices in Chicago, Oakbrook Terrace, and Rolling Meadows. Call Hartsfield Law at 312-345-1700.

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