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Joliet criminal defense attorneysThe Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been in the news a lot over the past few decades. Mass shootings at schools, synagogues, shopping malls, and theaters have put the issue of gun control at the forefront of public consciousness. Many people want to ban firearms except for the military and law enforcement. However, the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. 

With this in mind, you should know that Illinois state laws regarding the concealed carry of a weapon are some of the strictest in the country. But how do they apply to minors who are in possession of a firearm? It is important to understand the gun laws in Illinois since the punishments vary depending on the age of the offender. 

Criminal Charges Involving Firearms

In Illinois, a person must obtain a Firearm Owner’s Identification card (FOID) from the state police before purchasing a gun or any ammunition. However, a FOID is only available for adults who do not have a criminal record or history of mental illness. 

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Joliet theft crimes defense attorneysCriminal offenses such as theft, robbery, and burglary are often misunderstood crimes because they are frequently lumped together. However, they are different offenses. Under Illinois law, theft occurs any time a person’s actions result in the intentional and unauthorized taking of property or services. 

Theft offenses are typically classified according to the dollar amount value of the item or service stolen and can range from misdemeanors to felonies depending on the circumstances. It is important to know the distinctions between them in case you are ever facing prosecution for theft in Illinois. 

What Constitutes Theft? 

Illinois law defines theft as occurring when a person knowingly:

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Joliet criminal defense attorneyThe sheer number of homicides in the news over the past few years has put a spotlight on Chicago’s gun violence. Illinois statutes regulate the use, possession, and carrying of a firearm, but the law can be confusing, and even gun owners can sometimes misunderstand it. Illinois residents are allowed to possess a gun or ammunition if they qualify for a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, which is issued by the Illinois State Police. 

Any criminal charge involving a weapon is taken seriously in the state of Illinois. When a person is arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm, it can impact the rest of his or her life. In some cases, a criminal record can be hard to erase. Interviewing for a job or trying to secure a home loan can be difficult when a criminal charge comes up on a background check.  

Unlawful Use of a Weapon Penalties

Under Illinois law, the unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) is a serious crime. If person does not have a conceal and carry permit, he or she can be charged with a misdemeanor UUW if he or she is found to be carrying a gun. If the gun was loaded and the person does not possess a FOID Card, he or she may be charged with an aggravated UUW, which is classified as a Class 4 felony in Illinois. Another example of a Class 4 felony is reckless discharge of a firearm. In certain scenarios, a second offense of these can be charged as a Class 3 felony. If a convicted felon is found in possession of a firearm, he or she may face a Class X felony.

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Joliet traffic violations attorneyIn today’s society, everyone is busy, going from place to place in a hurry. However, speeding in Illinois is a serious criminal offense. Studies show that traveling at a high rate of speed can cause severe and even fatal car accidents. Speed limits are put in place to protect drivers and pedestrians. In school zones, the speed is reduced even more than on other roadways due the presence of young children. According to the Transportation Research Board, approximately 25,000 children are injured and 100 are killed in school zone accidents each year. It is important for any Illinois driver to know the speed limits when traveling in school zones to avoid a serious traffic violation

Illinois Traffic Laws for School Zones

Under Illinois law, school zone speed limits are set at 20 miles per hour on school days when children are present. It is enforced only when children are likely to be on the street or outside the school building within the designated school zone parameters. However, the 20 mph speed limit is not in effect when children are inside the school building during normal class time. 

Any public or private school may have an established school zone around it, including institutions run by religious organizations. These school zones are typically in effect from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. and must display clear signage that indicates it is a school zone, the 20 mph speed limit, and that the limit is restricted to when school is in session and children are present.

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Will County criminal defense attorneyThe terms “assault” and “battery” often go hand in hand, which may cause someone to think it is one crime. However, they are separate offenses according to Illinois criminal law. Under the Illinois Criminal Code, criminal charges are divided into two groups: offenses against property, and offenses against a person. Crimes against property can be in the form of robbery, burglary, theft, and arson. Crimes against individuals can include kidnapping, sexual abuse/assault, homicide, and “bodily harm.” Assault and battery fall under bodily harm, and the penalties can differ depending on the circumstances of the case.

Two Distinct Crimes

Illinois law states that an assault occurs when an individual “engages in intentional conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” That includes a verbal or implied threat (menacing hand gestures or body language) of battery that causes an individual to feel afraid of impending violence. Approaching someone with raised or clenched fists is likely to be considered assault. 

Battery is committed when a person “intentionally or knowingly causes bodily harm to an individual,” or “makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.” Acts that constitute battery can include pushing, striking, kicking another person, or throwing an object at someone, resulting in injury.

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