Many people in Chicago (and all over the country, for that matter) own firearms – they’re convenient to have for self-defense, property protection… the list goes on. However, a segment of our population is barred completely from owning any kind of firearm: felons. If you’re one of them, you need to know that there are intricacies in Illinois law that could land you in hot water (or at least in a Chicago criminal defense lawyer’s office).
Technically, it’s a crime to be in possession of a firearm after you’re convicted of a felony. But what counts as possession?
Felons and Firearms in Chicago
In Illinois, you have to have a FOID card to possess or acquire a firearm or ammunition. It’s simply an approval from the state saying that you’re authorized to have a weapon. If you’re a felon, though, you’re not eligible for one. (Anyone who has been convicted of domestic battery or domestic violence is ineligible for a FOID card; so are those who are subject to an order of protection.)
Basically, if you get caught with a gun, you’re going to face some serious consequences. You’re not allowed to legally purchase one with a felony conviction in your past. You can be convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm even if the gun you have isn’t yours.
Why You Need a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Illinois’ laws regarding weapons are very strict. If you’re charged with having a firearm, you need an attorney who’s willing to go to bat for you – one who will get your side of the story and make sure it’s heard in court.
Your lawyer will completely evaluate your case to determine whether police conducted an illegal search or if there are other nuances that may help you in court. Chicago and the surrounding areas take felons and firearms very seriously, so if you head into court without a lawyer, you’re taking a huge gamble with your future.