When football season heats up things can sometimes get a little out of hand, but it is a rare case that a little bit of team rivalry ends in weapons charges. Though it may seem more innocent than a violent crime or drug crime, possessing a Taser, or other such weapon, may wind up costing a person time in jail and other penalties and consequences. A Chicago Bears fan facing weapons charges in Wisconsin after a bet-gone-wrong likely knows this story far too well.
The Chicago Tribune reports that 42-year-old Chicago Bears fan John M. Grant and his Green Bay Packers fan wife went to bar in Wisconsin to watch the Bears play the Green Bay Packers on Monday of this week. Mr. Grant allegedly made a bet with his wife that if the Bears defeated the Packers, he could use a Taser on her. When Mr. Grant won the bet, he Tasered his wife two times on her buttocks while the couple was a cigarette break in an alley. Mr. Grant’s wife called the police after the Taser incident, and they came to arrest Mr. Grant. Mr. Grant was ultimately charged with felony possession of an electronic weapon. According to reports, while Mr. Grant’s wife told police that she did not give Mr. Grant permission to use the Taser on her, cell phone video showed her laughing in the alley while she was being Tasered, and appeared to have given her consent to him. Mr. Grant’s case is still pending at this time.
Weapons charges vary from state to state and Illinois weapons charges may differ in some respects to those of Wisconsin. Under Illinois criminal laws, carrying or possessing a Taser with the intent to use it constitutes the crime of unlawful use of weapons. Under the statute, it is also a crime to carry a Taser concealed on one’s person or in one’s vehicle. However, it is not a crime to possess or conceal a Taser in one’s own home. The crimes of carrying or possessing a Taser with the intent to use it, and carrying or possessing a concealed Taser or a Taser in one’s vehicle are Class A misdemeanors.
The Chicago unlawful weapons statute also contains provisions for felony crimes in certain circumstances when it comes to the possession of Tasers. It is a Class 4 felony to carry or possess a Taser at an establishment that is licensed to sell alcohol or at a public gathering where a license has been obtained to permit the gathering. It is also a Class 4 felony crime to possess or carry a Taser when a person is hooded, robed or masked in such a way that his or her identity is concealed.
Weapons charges are seriously prosecuted in Illinois and should not be taken lightly by anyone facing them. If you have been charged with violating Illinois criminal laws you should immediately seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.