Bridgeview Weapons Charge Lawyer
Experienced Illinois attorney defends individuals accused of gun violations
In cases relating to handguns and other types of weapons, Skinner Law Firm, P.C. in Bridgeview provides exceptional criminal defense representation. Attorney Steven E. Skinner II is knowledgeable about the complicated rules governing weapon possession and use. Whether you’re accused of carrying a gun in a prohibited location or using a weapon to intimidate someone, our firm is prepared to defend your fundamental rights.
Illinois carry laws and location restrictions
In order to purchase a gun legally in the state, you must have a valid Firearms Owner Identification (FOID) card. Even if you are authorized to carry, there are several locations where guns are not permitted, such as schools, government buildings and hospitals. Possessing a weapon within a school zone can convert a misdemeanor Unlawful Use of a Weapon charge into a felony. A first offense for carrying without a proper license is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail.
Types of weapons charges frequently brought in the Chicago area
Several Illinois statutes address improper weapons use, including:
- Unlawful Use of a Weapon — The alleged possession or use of various dangerous items can lead to an Unlawful Use of a Weapon charge. This crime not only covers firearms, but also weapons such as brass knuckles, blackjacks and switchblade knives. Razor blades and some other everyday objects are also included in this statute if the individual in possession intends to use them unlawfully. Many of the non-firearm cases are charged as misdemeanors, while some gun-related offenses, such as possession of a silencer, are Class 3 felonies, where the sentence can range from three to seven years.
- Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon — Someone who has previously been convicted of a felony is not allowed to possess a firearm or ammunition. Even holding a weapon for a friend with no intention of ever using it yourself is illegal.
- Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon — Carrying a loaded firearm, or an unloaded firearm where ammunition is readily accessible, is a felony if you are on a public street or sidewalk. You can also be charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon if you are on someone else’s property with a usable gun when the property owner has not given you permission. This is a Class 4 felony, which is punishable by one to three years of incarceration.
As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, Steven E. Skinner II will explain the specific charges brought against you and develop a sound strategy to help you pursue a favorable result.
Potential defenses to weapons counts
After being arrested on a weapons charge, you might be feeling pressure to plead guilty. However, even if a firearm or some other weapon is found to be within your control, there might be potential defenses that could help secure a lighter punishment or even a case dismissal. Evidence can be excluded from trial when it is collected by a police officer in an unlawful search or a traffic stop that lacked the proper legal foundation. Law enforcement might also misinterpret the situation and mistake someone else’s weapon for yours. You can rely on us to identify flaws in the prosecution’s case against you.
Contact an Illinois defense lawyer for a free consultation regarding a weapons charge
Skinner Law Firm, P.C. advocates on behalf of Illinois clients who have been accused of weapons crimes and other offenses. Please call 312-635-6459 or contact us online to set up a free consultation where you can learn about your legal options. We are located in Bridgeview.