Is unlawful use of a weapon a felony in Illinois? There are a lot of rumors going around about whether it’s a misdemeanor, a felony, or both – so here’s what you need to know.
Is Unlawful Use of a Weapon a Felony in Illinois?
Unlawful use of a weapon, commonly called UUW, can be a misdemeanor or a felony. The law is broad and covers a wide range of criminal offenses, including crimes involving the lack of a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, or FOID, as well as those related to carrying a gun loaded or unloaded.
Related: How strict are Chicago’s gun laws?
What Does Unlawful Possession of a Weapon Mean?
If someone has a FOID card but carries or transports an unloaded gun improperly, he or she could face a misdemeanor charge. However, if someone doesn’t have a FOID card and is carrying a loaded gun, they’ll likely face a felony charge. You can be arrested and charged with a UUW if you’re carrying when your FOID card is expired, as well.
Even people visiting Illinois from other states are subject to our gun laws – otherwise there’s a very real risk that they’ll be charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime.
What Happens if You Get Caught With a Gun in Illinois?
If you’re an Illinois resident and you have a FOID, you can carry a gun – provided that you stay in compliance with state and local laws. However, if you don’t have a FOID, or if your FOID is expired, you may face unlawful use of a weapon charges. If that charge is a misdemeanor, the court can sentence you to up to a year in the county jail and fines of up to $2,500. If the charge is a felony, you’re looking at the possibility of time in prison.
What Should You Do if You’re Accused of Unlawful Use of a Weapon?
Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or a felony, it may be in your best interest to get in touch with a Chicago criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You can call us for a free consultation at 847-920-4540 right now – we’ll be happy to discuss your case and help you figure out what to do next. If it’s easier, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you.