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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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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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Joliet property crimes defense attorneyWhen people hear the words burglary and robbery, they may think they are the same crime. Although similar in nature, there are differences that make them separate in terms of penalties. Whether or not a weapon was involved in committing the act also factors into the legal consequences. Burglary is when a person illegally enters a building in order to commit a crime while inside. Robbery involves taking money or property from a person without permission by force or intimidation with the intent to keep the property permanently. In Illinois, both burglary and robbery convictions are serious crimes and can result in significant prison time in addition to steep fines.   

Penalties for Burglary and Robbery

In most cases, burglary is considered a felony. Illinois laws determine burglary penalties based on certain factors such as:

  • The type of crime the offender intended to commit inside the building;
  • If the perpetrator was armed with a weapon;
  • The type of building involved; and
  • If the building was occupied at the time

The penalties for a burglary conviction depend on the felony class. Typically, burglary is a Class 2 felony in Illinois, which may result in a prison sentence of three to seven years. In some situations, burglary can be charged as a Class 1 felony, which can result in four to 15 years in prison. For felonies that are Class 2 or Class 1, the state may increase the sentence if the defendant has prior convictions for Class 2 felonies or higher. The state may also require a fine up to $25,000.

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