Lake County Weapons Charges Attorney
Illinois Lawyer Helping Those Facing Gun Charges
In the State of Illinois, it is illegal to possess a gun, absent a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card. In Illinois, even if you have this ID card, while you are in a vehicle your weapon must be unloaded and enclosed inside a gun box. If found with a loaded firearm under the seat of your vehicle or in the glove box, you could be charged with unlawful use of a weapon—should the gun be discovered during a legitimate search. If you are visiting the state of Illinois and are in full compliance with your home state’s gun laws regarding transporting a weapon, you could still be charged with unlawful use of a weapon. Lack of awareness that your FOID card has expired is no defense to a charge of unlawful use of a weapon. A large number of those charged with unlawful use of a weapon were not even aware they were breaking the law, however in certain circumstances, UUW is a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in an Illinois state prison.
While you may not feel you have done anything all that wrong, a felony conviction can have serious, far-reaching consequences. Aside from the penalties of spending time in prison and paying large fines, a felony conviction can prevent you from obtaining employment you are otherwise well-qualified for. You can be denied housing and could also be denied a professional license you may have worked many years to obtain. You may be unable to obtain a federal student loan for higher education, and will be unable to ever own a firearm again. If you have been charged with a weapons charge in the state of Illinois, it is crucial that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
Calling the Law Offices of Matthew R. Gebhardt, P.C. is the first thing you should do following your arrest. Decline to talk to law enforcement until Attorney Gebhardt arrives, regardless of how hard the police officers attempt to get you to answer questions. Our Lake County weapons charges lawyer understands that police officers can become overzealous in their interpretation of what constitutes a valid weapons charge. Matthew spent five years as a Cook County prosecutor, giving him the ability to consider your charges from both sides.
Penalties Associate with Weapons Charges
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you could be charged with a wide range of offenses, from a Class A misdemeanor all the way to a Class X felony. The range of jail time for those offenses is from one year to thirty years. You will also be subject to a fine as large as $25,000. Enhanced penalties are possible if you possessed the weapon in a school, university, courthouse, public housing development, park, or on a public bus or school bus. Possession of a firearm in a bar or any place which sells alcoholic beverages, or while wearing a mask or hood will be charged as a Class 4 felony, and can be punished by three to six years in an Illinois state prison.
Getting the Help You Need for Your Illinois Weapons Charges
Whether you were charged with violating the Illinois unlawful use of weapons law for possession of a firearm or you used a weapon in the commission of another crime, you need a strong, knowledgeable defense. Matthew R. Gebhardt is committed to resolving your case as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Matthew will discuss your case thoroughly with you, with a goal of having the charges reduced or dropped, or obtaining an acquittal at trial. Our Northbook weapons charges lawyer wants to minimize the potential consequences of your charges; contact Attorney Gebhardt today at 773-898-8745 or 847-239-4703.