Facing any type of weapons charge can have devastating consequences on your life, so finding a skilled Skokie Unlawful Use of Weapons lawyer can be a way to minimize the impact. You may not have actually used a weapon or even had any intention of doing so, just the fact of having any type of dangerous weapon your your person or in your vehicle in Skokie, IL, is a very serious offense. That is why it can be imperative to retain an experienced attorney to help you with a defense for an Unlawful Use of Weapons charge.
Understanding Weapons Charges in Illinois
There are many reasons why a law enforcement officer might decide to charge you with the unlawful use of a weapon. While some of these reasons may be valid, there is also a risk of you being charged due to some kind of misunderstanding. It is not unheard of for false allegations to occur on occasion. Just as there are a variety of reasons law enforcement personnel may use to charge you with an Unlawful Use of Weapons offense, there are just as many weapons and objects that can leave the potential open.
Some objects may be considered as weapons if you are carrying them on your person with the intent to use them in an unlawful manner. Other objects can bring about charges just by manufacturing, selling, buying, or carrying one of these weapons. You can find a listing of the items in the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 28, paragraph 24-1. All of this may sound confusing, and it can be at times. That is why you may need the assistance of a Skokie Unlawful Use of Weapons lawyer to help you to understand the law and what type of defense you can build in your specific case.
Consequences for Unlawful Use of Weapons
This charge can be classified on many different levels in a court of law. You may face charges of a Class A misdemeanor. Depending on other factors and the circumstances surrounding your case, you may also be charged with a felony of Class 4, Class 3, Class 2, or Class X designation. You may think that a misdemeanor charge is not that big of a deal, so you may not understand the importance of hiring an attorney with experience in handling Unlawful Use of Weapons charges in Skokie. Even a conviction at the misdemeanor level can result in jail time of up to 12 months and fines of up to $2500. Additionally, you will most likely have to serve some community service hours. For a Class 3 felony of this offense, you might be facing time of up to 7 years inside of a prison. A Class X felony could land you up to 30 years behind bars, which could certainly be a good portion of your life. Most weapons charges do not allow for the use of probation as an alternative to incarceration.
Fines, jail time, and community service may be the major legal ramifications you face in this matter. However, the negative effects can impact many areas of your life. A conviction will go on your permanent criminal record that will come up to anyone who performs a background check on you. This could be a potential employer, a credit agency, a bank, or even a landlord. The stress and financial burden can also cause a lot of strain on your family and social life. As you can see, these charges are not to be taken lightly. A knowledgeable Skokie Unlawful Use of Weapons lawyer may be able to save you a lot of hassle and heartache when sentencing is handed down.
Gun Rights and Responsibilities
Perhaps the most commonly known charges involve the illegal use or carry of a firearm. While the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution does grant the liberty to the right to bear arms, there are certain guidelines that must be met if you wish to avoid being charged with a crime in connection with this right. Law enforcement officers in Skokie, IL, take these rules and regulations very seriously, which may be why Skokie is considered to be 30% safer than the average city in the United States.
Unless you have otherwise lost your right to own a firearm, you can own and handle a properly registered gun on your own property or business and certain other areas as permitted by law. You cannot carry a weapon in your vehicle or on your person with a special permit. This is called a Firearm Owners Identification Card, often referred to as FOID. You may also have a weapon if you have a legitimate Conceal and Carry permit. Having a permit means that you may carry a firearm in your vehicle with certain restrictions. The gun must broken down into a non-functioning state or be empty of all ammunition and in enclosed in a case with ammunition not readily accessible. All firearms must be registered with the local police department as well. You cannot carry a gun out of the case or one that is loaded even with your FOID card.
Some Issues that May Require a Skokie Unlawful Use of Weapons Attorney
It is common for those that are just passing through Skokie to face charges for Unlawful Use of Weapons. Visitors who are passing through and unaware of strict Skokie weapons control laws are commonly charged when a gun is found in the glove compartment or under the car seat during a routine traffic stop. Those with FOID cards may not realize the identification needs to be renewed and can faces charges if the card has expired.
Whether the charges are justified or not, your best chances of protecting your rights, your freedom, and your future come from the help of a seasoned Skokie Unlawful Use of Weapons lawyer. By building an appropriate defense for your case, an attorney may be able to have charges reduced or even dropped in some cases. If you are convicted, having a competent lawyer at your side may be able to have some of your sentence reduced in order to lessen the negative impact that these charges can have on your life.
Choosing the Best Skokie Unlawful Use of Weapons Lawyer
Make sure that you take advantage of your rights under Illinois law and refuse to answer any questions until you get a chance to talk with a proficient attorney from Goldman & Associates. Not only will will explain your rights when it comes to guns and other weapons, we will also be your advocate in court. You will get the attention and compassion that you deserve. We are here to help you day or night. Call us at (773)484-3131 or (847)215-2600.