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4 Reminders for Illinois Firearms and Knife Owners in 2018

joliet gun and knife lawyer

If you enjoy hunting or target shooting or even just carrying a pocket knife, Illinois can be a tricky place to live, particularly if you live in or near the city of Chicago. Even the most well-intentioned citizens—including Illinois’ 2.1 million FOID card holders—can find it hard to stay current and compliant with all of the state and local firearms and weapons regulations. To help you avoid running afoul of the law in 2018, here are a few reminders for Illinois weapons owners.

1. Make sure your FOID card is in your wallet and has not expired. Illinois residents need a current Firearm Owners ID card in order to purchase all types of guns and ammunition, and most shooting ranges require it as well. Possession of a firearm with a FOID card that has been expired for less than six months is considered a petty offense, assuming the individual still meets all of the eligibility requirements. If, however, the FOID card has been expired for longer than six months, the individual can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, the penalty for which can be a fine of up to $2,500, probation for up to two years, or imprisonment for up to one year. It only costs $10 to renew your FOID card, so do not get caught short. If you also hold a Concealed Carry License (CCL), you do not have to worry about renewals for at least another year, as these licenses are good for five years and have only been available since 2014.

2. Update your knowledge of your local ordinances. Particularly if you have moved recently, make sure you are in compliance with the firearms ordinances of the municipality in which you now reside. These are available, as required by law, on the Illinois State Police website.

3. Be aware of knife carrying laws as well. In August 2017, it became legal in Illinois for FOID card holders to possess and carry switchblade knives. However, this state law does NOT preempt or override local ordinances; individual cities may enforce their own stricter rules. For example, the city of Chicago forbids the personal carry of any knife (switchblade or not) with a blade more than two inches in length.

4. Manage firearms transfers and losses correctly. Many firearms owners are still unfamiliar with two key provisions in the Illinois Gun Safety and Responsibility Act that took effect in January 2014. This law addresses the issue of private transfers of firearms between individuals who are not federally licensed firearms dealers, requiring the seller to verify the buyer’s FOID card number with the Illinois State Police and receive a transfer approval number prior to making the transfer. This law also requires gun owners to report the loss or theft of any firearm to local law enforcement within 72 hours of discovering the loss.

A Will County Attorney to Protect Your Second Amendment Rights

If you need help navigating concealed carry or other firearms laws in Illinois, or if you have been charged with a weapons-related violation, you need a lawyer who understands all of the applicable state and local laws. Retain the services of an experienced Joliet gun and weapons charges defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected. As soon as you become aware that the police wish to speak to you regarding a weapons-related incident, speak to a lawyer BEFORE speaking to the police. Contact the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation with an attorney who has years of experience with these types of situations.

Is Your Child Facing Underage Drinking Charges?

joliet zero tolerance lawyer

Many people do not wait until they are of the legal age to start drinking. Sometimes, those who are under age 21 gain access to alcohol when an older friend or relative purchases it for them, they attend a party at which alcohol is available, or they sneak into a bar. While some adults see such behavior as a part of growing up or even a rite of passage for their, it is important for people of all ages to understand that underage drinking is a crime and it can have serious consequences.

When a person under 21 years old is found guilty of possessing, purchasing, or consuming alcohol, they are at risk of having their driving privileges suspended for up to 6 months. The offense is also a Class A misdemeanor, in most cases, carrying a fine of up $500 as well. A second underage conviction results in a year’s suspension, and any further underage drinking offenses will in result in the revocation of the individual’s driver’s license.

Underage Drinking and Driving

If you are underage, having any amount of alcohol in your system is against the law. An underage driver found to have any alcohol in their system—meaning a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.00—is subject to penalties under the Zero Tolerance Law in Illinois. A person under age 21 who is caught driving with any alcohol in their system will have their driving privileges suspended for three months. If a police officer arrests a driver on the suspicion of breaking the Zero Tolerance Law, the officer will ask the driver to take a chemical blood alcohol test—usually a breathalyzer. If the driver refuses to submit to BAC testing, his or her driver’s license will be suspended for six months. A second offense including refusal to submit to chemical BAC testing will result in a two-year driver’s license suspension.

An underage driver operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher may be charged with driving under influence (DUI). Consequences for a first offense include a two-year mandatory license suspension, fines of up to $2,500, and up to a year in jail. A second offense is punishable by up to a five-year revocation of the offender’s license and more severe fines and longer jail time. If another person is injured or the drunk driving causes an accident, the driver may face additional penalties.

Contact an Experienced Will County DUI Lawyer Today
If you or your child has been charged under the Zero Tolerance Law in Illinois, you deserve a lawyer who will fight hard on your behalf. Contact an experienced Joliet criminal defense attorney for the guidance you need by calling 815-740-4025 today.

Crucial Traffic Stop Tips for Young Drivers AND Their Parents

joliet driving tips

Young drivers can easily find themselves in serious legal trouble in any number of ways, including repeated speeding offenses (particularly in work/school zones), for example, or driving under the influence. Distracted driving due to smartphone use is another common problem with young drivers, who need to be aware of the 2014 Illinois law that calls for stiff fines and even jail time for distracted driving that results in injury to others. Even something as seemingly innocuous as passing a stopped school bus can lead to stiff fines and driver’s license suspension.

When facing a police officer after being pulled over for a traffic violation, even the most experienced driver can get nervous and be unsure how to act. But an impulsive mistake can haunt a young driver for months and years to come. That is why it is so important to make sure that all drivers in your family—but especially the younger, less experienced ones—know what to do when a police officer approaches your car.

New Law Requires Driver’s Ed on Traffic Stops

Illinois law now requires, beginning with the 2017–2018 school year, that all driver’s education courses include instruction on how to act during a traffic stop. The Illinois Rules of the Road 2017 manual now includes these specific instructions for drivers who have been pulled over by law enforcement:

• Stay in the vehicle with both hands on the steering wheel and in clear sight of the officer.
• Do not step out of the vehicle unless the officer asks you to do so.
• Comply with the officer’s request to see a driver’s license and proof of insurance. Tell the officer where these items are (for example, in the glove box, a purse, under the seat, or on a cell phone), and wait for the officer’s okay before retrieving them.
• If you are given a ticket, you should sign it. Your signature is only proof that you received the ticket; it is not an admission of guilt.

Traffic Stop Courtesy

Whatever happens, remind yourself to remain calm and polite. How would you speak to an employee of a store or restaurant, for example? If you are in a bad mood, perhaps because you were already running late or had a rough day, do not take it out on the officer. Remember the old adage, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

Arrested for a Serious Driving Violation?

If you are arrested, tell the police nothing except your name and address. Even if you feel you have been unfairly arrested, remain calm, and do not argue or resist. Politely but firmly state that you wish to remain silent and you want to speak to an attorney.

Protect Your Driving Rights with a Skilled Joliet Traffic Violations Attorney

Driving offenses can have serious consequences, but a skilled traffic offenses lawyer can explain your options and guide you through what can be a complex and confusing process. Do not wait until you or a loved one are facing a court appearance or trial. To protect your driving rights, consult a knowledgeable Will County traffic violations defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Jack L Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation; phone calls are answered 24 hours a day.

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