Firearm Possession Attorney
Gun Crime Lawyer Illinois
Gun Crime Lawyer in Illinois. Illinois prosecutes gun crimes ambitiously, and the penalties for a conviction can be severe. That’s why you need an aggressive and talented gun crime lawyer by your side to fight on your behalf. At Drummond Law, we believe everyone should have access to the highest level of legal advocacy and legal defense, no matter the circumstances of their case. If you’ve been charged with a gun crime you’re likely feeling worried, afraid and uncertain, but with the help of dedicated legal representation this moment will not define your life or your character. Our initial consultations are free and come with no obligation. Call an Illinois gun crime lawyer at Drummond Law today at 217-388-1103 or contact us online.
Illinois Gun Laws
While the Second Amendment generally provides for people in the United States to bear arms, individual states are given broad authority to restrict certain weapons, what licensure they can require and modify who can have access. In Illinois specifically, anyone who wishes to buy and possess a gun must have a Federal Owners Identification (FOID) card:
Federal Owners Identification (FOID) Requirements in Illinois
Unlawful possession is the most common gun charge in Illinois Buying and possessing a gun without an FOID card is a crime in Illinois. According to 720 ILCS 5/24-3.1, unlawful possession of a handgun is a Class 4 felony, while unlawful possession of any other firearm is a Class A misdemeanor. To qualify for an FOID card in Illinois, you:
- Must be at least 21 years old or have a parent or legal guardian that is eligible for an FOID sponsor you
- Cannot have been convicted of a felony.
- Must not be addicted to narcotics
- Must not be intellectually disabled
- Must not have been in a mental health facility in the last 5 years (some exceptions apply)
- Cannot have been convicted of assault or battery
- Cannot have been convicted of domestic violence
- Must not reside in the United States illegally
Illinois prohibits guns and weapons regulated under the National Firearms Act, short-barrel rifles and shotguns, a machine gun or silencers.
Common Types of Gun Charges in Illinois
Individual circumstances surrounding our client’s cases vary, but typically most of the gun charges our gun crime lawyer team sees in Illinois fall into one of the following categories:
- Unlawful Use of a Weapon (720 ILCS 5/24-1)
Even if you legally own a gun, you can still be charged for using it illegally, for example:
- Carry it with the intent of committing a crime
- Carry it in a place of worship
- Carry it while loaded in your vehicle (except if it is in a case and separated from ammunition)
- Carry it at a public gathering
- Carry it in a bar or anywhere else “intoxicating beverages” are sold
- Carry it while hooded or masked in an effort to conceal your identity
Charges can vary from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class X felony.
- Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6)
The charge can become upgraded to aggravated if:
- You do not have proper documentation
- The firearm is uncased, loaded and immediately accessible to you in your vehicle or in public (unless you have a concealed carry permit)
- You were engaged in a misdemeanor violation of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act or the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act.
- An order of protection was issued against you in the last 2 years
- You engaged in a misdemeanor that included an act of violence
Sentencing for aggravated unlawful use can range from a Class 4 felony to a Class X felony.
- Unlawful Use or Possession by a Felon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1)
- Armed Habitual Criminal (720 ILCS 5/24-1.7)
The state may consider you an armed habitual criminal if you have been convicted 2 or more times of any combination of:
- A forcible felony
- Other firearm charges
- Violent felonies
- Drug related felonies
Being convicted with an armed habitual criminal is a Class X felony.
- Reckless Discharge (720 ILCS 5/24-1.5)
This charge involves recklessly discharging a firearm in a way that threatens someone’s safety and is a Class 4 felony. If the gun is shot out of a vehicle with the knowledge and consent of the driver, the driver can also be charged.
- Aggravated Discharge (720 ILCS 5/24-1.2)
An aggravated discharge is when someone knowingly or intentionally when someone:
- Fires into an occupied building
- Fires in the direction of a person or occupied vehicle
- Uses a silencer
Aggravated discharge is a Class 1 felony, and can become a Class X felony if it is fired near a school or fired in the direction of a:
- Law enforcement officer
- Paramedic or EMT
- Fire fighter
- Any other emergency personnel
It is illegal for anyone convicted of a felony to carry a firearm or have one in their home, though you may be able to seek an exemption if 20 years have passed since your conviction. Charges may be brought as anywhere from a Class 3 to Class X felony.
If this is your first offense, your gun crime lawyer may be able to help enter you into the First Time Weapon Offender Program, which seeks to rehabilitate instead of punish. To be eligible, you must not have committed the gun offense while committing a violent crime, the offense is a Class 4 felony or lower, you do not have previous convictions for violent offenses and there were no existing protection orders issued against you.
How an Illinois Gun Crime Lawyer Can Help
At Drummond Law, our gun crime lawyer team respects law enforcement’s attempts to curb violent crime, but understands that sometimes police and prosecutors can be over ambitious when arresting for and prosecuting gun crimes. The ever-changing gun laws in Illinois make it possible for gun owners to unknowingly commit a crime because of an honest mistake. For example, someone may not know that they need a separate concealed carry license in addition to an FOID card to conceal a weapon, or someone convicted of a felony might not be aware that someone they are living with has a gun in the residence. It’s even possible that you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and are being unfairly connected to something you had nothing to do with. You don’t need to intentionally commit a crime to be charged, but an experienced and knowledgeable Illinois gun crime lawyer like those at Drummond Law will likely be able to charges dropped or significantly reduced.
Even if the facts are against you, there are sound strategies your gun crime lawyer can implement in order to lessen the impact the charges have on your life. We’ll check police work and make sure they did not violate Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights. Your Illinois gun crime lawyer at Drummond Law can aggressively negotiate a plea deal on your behalf and/or use or passionate representation to convince a judge that you deserve leniency.
A Drummond Law gun crime lawyer can also provide expungement or record sealing services to our Illinois clients who have already been convicted.
Gun Crime Lawyer in Illinois | Drummond Law
Being charged with a gun crime is serious, and the outcome of your case could have an impact on the rest of your life. Our Illinois gun crime lawyer deem does not judge our clients and does everything possible to get the best results in their cases. We know the intricacies of gun laws in Illinois, and will walk you through the entire legal process so you understand the potential outcomes of your case and can make the best decision for yourself, your family and your future. If you’ve been charged with a gun crime, call a compassionate, tenacious and experienced Illinois gun crime lawyer at Drummond Law today at 217-388-1103 or contact us online.