Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

Friday, July 1, 2016

Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon in Chicago

Most people who have been convicted of a felony can’t possess or use a weapon in the state of Illinois.

So what happens if you’ve lost your Second Amendment right to own or possess a firearm, but you have one anyway… and you’re caught with it?

Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon

If you’re charged with the unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in Chicago or the suburbs, you need to know that if you have a felony record, you don’t actually have to use the weapon for a judge to convict you. Simply having the gun is enough for the court to convict you—even if the firearm belongs to someone else.

This law (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1) says, “It is unlawful for a person to knowingly possess on or about his person or on his land or in his own abode or fixed place of business any weapon prohibited under Section 24-1 of this Act or any firearm or any firearm ammunition if the person has been convicted of a felony under the laws of this State or any other jurisdiction. This Section shall not apply if the person has been granted relief by the Director of the Department of State Police under Section 10 of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act.”

The worst part is that it’s a Class 3 felony. You’re facing no less than 2 years and no more than 10 years of imprisonment.

If this is your second or subsequent offense, it becomes a Class 2 felony; you could go to prison for between 3 and 14 years.

If the firearm you have is a machine gun, you’re looking at a Class X felony. The sentence is at least 12 years, but not more than 50 years of imprisonment. (If you’re wearing or in possession of body armor, it’s a Class X felony with a prison term of 10 to 40 years.)

Each firearm or firearm ammunition is a single and separate violation. Two guns? Two charges!

What to Do if You’re Charged With Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon

Don’t talk to police. Call a gun crime lawyer in Chicago immediately.

There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for the situation you’re in; maybe you simply made a mistake. No matter what, we’ll preserve your rights and get you the best possible outcome.

Call us right away at 847-920-4540 for your free gun crime case review. Don’t waste any time—your freedom could depend on it.

 


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