If you are facing a weapons charge, do not go to court without the representation of a qualified Skokie UUW Attorney. A conviction is a serious matter that can have devastating consequences that can follow you around for many years to come. While you may have a constitutional right to have a weapon, you are required to maintain certain responsibilities when carrying or transporting that weapon away from your home or place of business. When you do not take the appropriate precautions, you risk facing misdemeanor or felony weapons charges.
Unlawful Use of Weapons Laws in Skokie, IL
As a suburb of Chicago, Skokie has its fair share of crime. That’s why law enforcement officials take a tough stance when it comes to having any type of weapon in your vehicle or on your person. You can be charged with Unlawful Use of Weapons, also referred to as UUW, even for having as much as a single bullet on you. Some objects that are designed for everyday or other uses may also be classified as a weapon depending on the circumstances, so it is important to understand the law in Illinois.
While there are many details regarding the possession and transport of weapons and a wide range of objects that may be classified as a weapon, there are some basic considerations for which you should be aware. It is illegal to manufacture, sell, purchase, carry, or even possess certain weapons. These include objects such as black jacks, bludgeons, knuckle weapons, spring knives or blades that automatically open, throwing stars, bombs, gas guns, stun guns, or tasers. Additionally, you may need the advice and assistance of a defense lawyer in Skokie for Unlawful Use of Weapons charges if you carry and intend to use objects like billy clubs, daggers, razors, or any sharp object, even a broken bottle, against another person. There are also certain times when carrying a firearm can land you in some serious trouble.
Why You Should Be Concerned about UUW Charges
If you are facing weapons charges, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. However, most UUW charges in Skokie are charged as felonies. For a misdemeanor, you may have to pay thousands of dollars in fines and court costs. You could also have to spend up to a year behind bars. For felonies, you can face fines and prison time of more than a year, with the average time being from three to seven years. In some cases, a UUW charge can result in a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. For most cases, you will also be required to perform many hours of community service. What you might not know is that weapons charges do not typically carry the option of probation, so you have a greater risk of incarceration for any of these crimes.
The legal ramifications involved with a weapons charge are bad enough, but a conviction can create additional problems as well. These charges can stay on your permanent record for many years. Anyone who does a background check on you will be able to see these charges. This can affect your ability to gain or maintain employment, housing, or even insurance. You may even have trouble getting credit. While it might seem that a criminal charge does not have anything to do with these other areas, it still can negatively impact many aspects of your life and your future.
As already mentioned, Skokie law enforcement officers take their job very seriously. This means that you could face charges even for an honest mistake if you are caught with a weapon under unlawful circumstances. Ignorance of the law is not a defense in the eyes of the court, so it can be vitally important to connect with an experienced Skokie UUW attorney in order to ensure that your rights are protected.
Your Rights Regarding Weapons
If you pass a background check, you may be able to own a firearm. However, just because you can own one does not mean that you can take it with you everywhere you go. There are certain requirements that you must meet, and you must have the proper credentials either through a Carry and Conceal Permit or a Firearm Owners Identification, also known as a FOID card. Even with this certification, there are certain regulations that you will be required to follow when transporting or carrying your firearm.
You must break down your firearm into a condition where it cannot be readily used or it should be unloaded and placed securely in an appropriate case. Any ammunition should also be put away and not easily accessible or near where you are carrying your weapon. Your FOID card must be up-to-date and not expired, because if it is, you can be charged with a weapons violation.
Weapons Responsibilities Must Be Followed
It is not uncommon for someone from another state to be charged with UUW. A normally law-abiding citizen may be have all of the appropriate documents and permits for their state of residence and may be following the guidelines appropriately for their state. However, coming through Skokie may mean adherence to different guidelines. Going through Chicago may make you feel like you need to be armed for your own protection, but do not carry a gun until you know the laws regarding weapons in Illinois or you can face charges.
It never hurts to consult with a Skokie UUW Attorney or local law enforcement to learn about the regulations concerning firearms and other weapons in areas where you will be traveling to make sure that you are in compliance.
What to Do if You Are Charged with UUW
If you are charged with Unlawful Use of Weapons, you may want to find an experienced Skokie UUW Attorney to help you out. A good lawyer can help you to develop a defense that may help to minimize the impact that these charges can have on your life.
Whether you are guilty due to some technicality or you feel that you have done nothing wrong, you want to have a lawyer on your side who will give your case the attention that you deserve. Utilize your right to remain silent to avoid giving law enforcement officials any evidence that they might use against you and wait until you can speak with a lawyer.
The Best Skokie UUW Attorney
You want a lawyer who has experience in dealing with the Skokie court system regarding Unlawful Use of Weapons. At Goldman & Associates, we’ll advocate on your behalf so that you won’t have to face these charges alone. Get the defense that you need from a skilled defense attorney. We’re here to take your call any time. You can reach us at (773)484-3131 or (847)215-2600.