FOID Applications for Convicted Felons

Felony Lawyer Joliet

In most states across the U.S., conviction on a felony charge can lead to a person losing many civil rights, some temporarily and others permanently. In Illinois, one of the rights a person stands to lose upon conviction of felony charges is the right to firearms ownership . While the loss of this right is not technically permanent, the law makes it difficult for a convicted felon to regain the ability to legally own a firearm.

Firearm Owner’s Identification Card

In Illinois, gun owners are required to possess a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, also known as a FOID card, in order to buy or own a gun. When a person is convicted of a felony, and he or she is a gun owner with a valid FOID card, the card is revoked after the person’s conviction. In addition, when applying for a FOID card, a person has to make a statement declaring that he or she has not been convicted of a felony. However, if a person’s felony conviction is far enough in the past, he or she may be eligible for a FOID card if other conditions are met.

Under Illinois law, a person who is prohibited from getting a FOID card and from owning a firearm for a felony conviction can apply to the Director of the State Police, or to a court in the county where he or she lives to have the decision overturned. The person making such an application has to satisfy the following conditions to the satisfaction of the director or applicable court in order to get the revocation overturned:

• The applicant must serve the State’s Attorney with a copy of the application 30 days before the hearing on the matter;
• The applicant must not have been convicted of a forcible felony under the laws of Illinois or any jurisdiction within 20 years of the application, or 20 years must have passed since the applicant was last imprisoned on a forcible felony conviction;
• The applicant must not be likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to the public. This determination is made by looking into the applicant’s criminal record;
• Restoring the applicant’s rights must not be contrary to public interest; and
• Restoring the applicant’s rights must not be against federal law.

While a person convicted of a felony may be able to meet the first two requirements easily, it may be more difficult for him or her to satisfy the other three. If a person has no other arrests or convictions after the felony conviction, he or she is more likely to have a revocation reversed because he or she can show that he or she would not be likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to the public. However, the real difficulty comes in overcoming the fifth condition, due to the federal prohibitions on gun ownership for people convicted of certain crimes .

Contact an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

It may be a difficult and extended process to regain gun rights for a person convicted of a felony; however, it is not impossible. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to better assess your particular case and better advise you on the possibility of regaining your rights to own firearms. The best way to avoid the consequences of a felony conviction would be to avoid the conviction in the first place if possible. If you have been arrested on felony charges, you should consult with an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba today.

Traffic Violations Excuses That Will Not Work

will county traffic lawyer

It is a common desire once you have been pulled over to attempt to escape having a ticket written against you. Whether bargaining with the officer on the side of the road or attempting to strike a deal with the prosecutor in court, many individuals wish to avoid the fines, fees, penalties, and higher insurance rates associated with a traffic conviction in Illinois . Some individuals may attempt to make their case more “deserving” of a favorable resolution by offering an excuse or a story. Some of these excuses or stories are less deserving of favorable action, however.

Worst Excuses for Your Traffic Ticket

Some of the worst excuses that you can offer in response to a traffic charge in Illinois include:

• “I really wasn’t paying attention.” Traffic laws are designed to promote attentive and safe driving. Admitting that you were not doing either is not a compelling argument that will encourage most law enforcement officers or prosecutors to give you a break. Even if they do, expect such an offer to come with a hefty price tag;
• “You didn’t/couldn’t have seen me speeding (or whatever you are accused of doing).” Most officers take care to carry out their job duties in a professional manner. This idea that the officer was mistaken is often perceived as an attack on the officer’s ability to do his or her job correctly. As one might expect, this is not the best way to resolve your traffic citation without a conviction;
• “Another driver was going faster than I was. Why didn’t you pull him or her over?” It may be true that other individuals were speeding as much as you were (or engaging in other violations of the vehicle code), but this in no way obviates you of your own culpability and responsibility. Depending on how this “excuse” is phrased, it may even be seen as an admission of guilt.
• “I didn’t know that [some activity] was illegal.” In some cases, not knowing that certain behavior is illegal may provide some defense to criminal charges. In many traffic cases, however, ignorance of the law is not grounds for a dispute. Simply put, it does not matter, in most cases, whether you intended to violate the traffic laws or not.

Building a Good Defense in a Traffic Case

Instead of attempting to offer excuses, one of the best ways to beat a traffic ticket is to enlist the assistance of an aggressive Joliet traffic violations attorney . At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we take pride in assisting drivers in defending themselves against traffic citations, thereby helping them keep their driving record clean and avoid points from being assessed against their license. Before attempting to resolve your ticket yourself, speak with us and learn how the representation of a knowledgeable traffic defense attorney may be able to help you experience a more successful outcome in your case. Call our firm at 815-740-4025 to discuss your traffic ticket today.

What Laws Are in Place to Address Underage Drinking and Driving?

Joliet juvenile drinking lawyer dui

Underage drinking and driving is an ongoing problem all across the country, with a surplus of eye-opening statistics that illuminate the reality that the problem is not going to disappear anytime soon. Sadly, in many cases, minors gain access to alcohol because adults provide it for them. While we cannot always control where or how minors acquire alcohol or stop them from making the decision to get behind the wheel once they have consumed it, we do have the power to do our part to prevent these incidences from happening whether minors are under our direct supervision or not.
Should an adult fail to be vigilant with this issue, or should they choose to willfully engage in an activity that allows minors access to alcohol, they are immediately at risk for criminal charges. Everyone loses under these circumstances: the minor caught drinking and driving, any victim(s) who may be affected by the behavior, and the adult responsible for allowing the behavior to take place.

The Need for Alcohol Possession Laws

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission reports that a myriad of health and social consequences exist where underage alcohol consumption is concerned, in addition to the blatant dangers that accompany driving while intoxicated. For starters, the American Medical Association (AMA) points out that an adolescent’s brain is still developing, and studies show alcohol damage at a young age can have long-term and irreversible effects on one’s brain development and overall health. A greater risk for alcoholism later in life, an increase in physical ailments, and a tendency to be overweight plague youth who drink alcohol underage.

Penalties for Adults Who Break Alcohol Possession Laws in Illinois

The legal consequences for parents who allow underage drinking are severe. It is considered a felony to allow underage consumption at your residence if the episode results in injury or death. The state’s possession laws do not apply to parents only, however. In 2013, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn put the Social Host Law into effect, which holds any adult accountable for allowing underage consumption. Adults guilty of this act are subject to a Class A misdemeanor, fines anywhere from $500 to $2,500, jail time, and possible felony charges if an injury or death occurs.

Underage DUI

Additional laws to prevent underage drinking also apply to minors specifically. For example, the “Zero Tolerance” law enforces driver’s license suspension, potential prison time, and fines for minors found to be intoxicated while driving, and even the transportation of alcohol in a vehicle is strictly prohibited. Any possession, consumption, or purchase of alcohol by a minor automatically results in the suspension of driving privileges, which vary in length according to conviction.
Abiding by the state’s alcohol possession laws is critical in monitoring and preventing unnecessary underage drinking and driving incidences. By doing your part to put a stop to young drivers getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, you can protect more than just yourself from life-changing criminal charges; you can also protect innocent motorists and pedestrians from needless accident, injury, and death.

If you have been involved in an underage alcohol consumption incident and are facing potential criminal charges, make the decision to speak with a knowledgeable Joliet criminal defense attorney . Attorney Jack L. Zaremba can walk you through the necessary steps to protect yourself in a court of law. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 for a free consultation.


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