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What Are the Penalties for Unlawful Use of a Weapon in Illinois?

 Posted on August 27, 2019 in Criminal Defense

Will County weapons violations attorneysWith limited exceptions, every United States citizen has the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. According to Illinois’ Concealed Carry Act, a person must obtain a permit in order to carry a gun in public. In addition, gun owners must have a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID).

Unlawful of a Weapon (UUW) is a serious crime in Illinois. If a person is arrested for having a gun in public, and he or she does not have a Concealed Carry Permit, the charge is UUW. If an individual does not have a FOID Card or if the gun was loaded, he or she will be charged with an Aggravated UUW. Both charges could result in hefty fines and jail time if convicted. It is important for gun owners to understand what constitutes the unlawful use of a weapon.

Punishments for UUW Offenses

Illinois law provides the definitions, offenses, and penalties pertaining to UUW charges in the state. While many violations of this statute are classified as misdemeanors, an offender could face felony charges depending on the circumstances. 

If a person is an Illinois resident and owns a gun but does not possess a FOID card, he or she is considered to be breaking the law. In most cases, if someone has a FOID card but was carrying an unloaded gun in an improper way, that person could be charged with a misdemeanor UUW. An UUW that is considered a Class A misdemeanor carries a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. Court Supervision or Conditional Discharge is possible.  

Aggravated UUW carries harsher penalties in Illinois. If an individual carries a loaded gun on his or her person or in his or her vehicle without a FOID card and a Concealed Carry Permit, he or she can be arrested for Aggravated UUW. This means even visitors from out of state must comply with Illinois’ gun laws, or they could face such charges as well.

Illinois residents can also be arrested and charged with a UUW if their FOID card is expired. Not realizing a FOID card had expired is not a plausible defense to a UUW or Aggravated UUW charge.

An Aggravated UUW in Illinois is a Class 4 felony with the possibility of one to three years in prison. The majority of prosecutors are unwilling to negotiate for anything less than jail time regarding a UUW or an Aggravated UUW charge. 

Contact a Will County Firearms Violation Defense Lawyer

In Illinois, the penalties for weapons violations can be severe. Unlawful use of a weapon can involve gun crimes, which can be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances of the case. If you or someone you know is facing such charges, you need skilled legal counsel to represent you. The experienced law firm of McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC can help reduce your charges or get them dropped altogether so you can get on with your life. Our diligent Joliet weapons charges defense attorney will fight for your rights. Call us today at 815-727-0100 to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. 




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