When Can I Face Criminal Charges for Unlawful Use of Weapons?

underage consumptionThere are multiple reasons why people may carry guns, knives, pepper spray, or other items that are considered weapons. These weapons are often used to ensure that a person has the proper protection and will be able to defend themselves when necessary, although they may also be used for hunting or other purposes. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that they may be in violation of the law when carrying or using certain types of weapons. For those who are facing weapons charges for the offense of unlawful use of weapons, it is important to understand the potential consequences of a conviction.

What Is Unlawful Use of Weapons?

In Illinois, gun owners are allowed to possess firearms if they have a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card, and they may carry or transport firearms that are unloaded and kept in a box or container. Those who have a valid Concealed Carry permit may carry a loaded firearm on their person or in their vehicle. However, if a person possesses or carries a firearm without a valid FOID card and/or Concealed Carry permit, they may be charged with Unlawful Use of Weapons (UUW).

UUW charges may also apply if a person possesses or carries other types of weapons, including switchblade knives, brass knuckles, throwing stars, or blackjacks. Carrying a dangerous knife, razor, club, broken bottle, taser, or stun gun with the intent of using a weapon unlawfully against someone else may also result in criminal charges. Possession of grenades and other explosives and certain types of firearms, including machine guns, rifles with a barrel shorter than 16 inches, or shotguns with a barrel shorter than 18 inches, may result in criminal charges. UUW charges may also apply if a person carries any type of firearm in a church, mosque, temple, a place that sells alcoholic beverages, or a public gathering.

In most cases, Unlawful Use of Weapons is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, and a person who is convicted may be sentenced to up to one year in prison. Possession of illegal rifles, shotguns, or explosives may be charged as a Class 3 felony, and a person may be sentenced to between two and five years in prison. Possession of machine guns is a Class 2 felony with a sentence of three to seven years.

Charges of Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons may apply in certain situations, including when a person was subject to an order of protection or if they allegedly engaged in drug crimes or violent crimes while in possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon. Aggravated UUW is generally charged as a Class 4 felony, and a conviction may result in a prison sentence of one to three years.

Contact Our Grundy County Weapons Charges Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges related to possession or use of firearms or other weapons, the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can provide you with legal representation and help you build a defense strategy. We will make sure you understand the charges you are facing, the potential penalties, and your options for avoiding a conviction. To schedule a free consultation, contact our Will County Unlawful Use of Weapons Attorney today at 815-740-4025.

Can I Face Legal Consequences for Serving Teens Alcohol in Illinois?

underage consumption
As an Illinois parent, you may wonder what responsibility you have if your teenage children and their friends are drinking alcohol at your home. You may have even heard of some parents thinking it is safer to host and supervise a party than take the chance that their teens are sneaking around. Under Illinois law, if you allow or encourage the drinking of alcohol by minors, you can be held civilly and criminally liable for any injuries and deaths that result.
Civil liability was most recently clarified in 2004, under the Drug or Alcohol Impaired Minor Responsibility Act. This Act allows the victim or the victim's family to bring a civil lawsuit against the person who supplied alcohol or illegal drugs to a minor. The person bringing the lawsuit can be awarded economic damages including medical expenses, non-economic damages including pain and suffering, punitive damages, and other expenses. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this could include injuries suffered on your property as well as liability for motor vehicle accidents that occur because of underage drinking.

Criminal Charges in Illinois For Supplying Teens With Alcohol

To strengthen the criminal consequences of supplying minors with alcohol, in 2013, Illinois passed amendments to the Illinois Liquor Control Act, known as the Social Host Law. Knowingly permitting minors to consume alcohol is now a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in a fine of at least $500. If a death or injury results from the drinking, you can be found guilty of a Class 4 felony. This could result in a fine, jail time, or both. The law allows an exception if you request help from law enforcement to stop the party and remove the minors. This exception is only valid if you are the first to call the police. It does not apply if the police show up after a call from a neighbor or any other person. Additionally, you do not need to be at home to be found guilty under the law. Your approval of the event is enough to be found guilty.

Contact A Will County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or your child have been accused of a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney protecting you and your future. Contact The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. immediately for a free consultation. We can assist with your case, and we will work with you to build the best possible defense strategy. Contact a Joliet criminal defense attorney at 815-740-4025. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. serves clients in Will County, Grundy County, and the surrounding areas.

What Are the Penalties for an Assault Conviction in Illinois?

joliet assault
There are many different situations in which a person may face criminal charges based on accusations that they have caused harm to others. If a person has been accused of physically attacking or threatening someone else, he or she may face charges of assault. The specific offenses that may apply will depend on the circumstances involved in a case, and the penalties of a conviction can vary significantly. Those involved in these situations will need to understand how the laws apply to them, and they can work with an attorney to determine their best options for defending against these charges.

Illinois Assault and Battery Charges

In Illinois, charges involving the threat of injury or the infliction of bodily harm will generally be divided into two categories (assault and battery) that may be charged together or separately. Battery involves actually causing bodily harm, such as by striking someone hard enough to break the skin or cause bruises, concussions, or fractures. The charge of battery may also apply in situations where a person made physical contact without inflicting injuries if the contact could be considered to be “insulting or provoking,” such as poking someone in the chest or slapping them in the face. Assault charges may apply in situations where a person acted in a way that caused someone to reasonably believe that he or she will suffer battery, such as verbal threats of violence.

A “simple” charge of assault is a Class C misdemeanor. If a person is convicted, he or she may be sentenced to up to 30 days in prison, or receive a sentence of supervision and be required to complete 30 to 120 hours of community service. In certain cases, a person may be charged with aggravated assault based on the location where the alleged assault occurred, the identity of the alleged victim, or the use of a weapon. If an aggravated assault occurs in a public location, at a sports venue, or at a church; if it is committed against a person with a disability, a teacher, or a school employee; or if it involves the use of a deadly weapon other than the discharge of a firearm, a person may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and they may be sentenced to up to one year in prison. If aggravated assault is committed against a police officer or involves the discharge of a firearm, a person may be charged with a Class 4 felony and sentenced to one to three years in prison.

Battery is charged as a Class A misdemeanor unless there are aggravating factors that may lead to increased charges. Aggravated battery may involve the infliction of great bodily harm, including injuries that result in permanent disability or disfigurement, or this charge may apply if battery was committed against certain people, such as teachers, school officials, taxi drivers, or nurses. Aggravated battery may be charged as a Class 3 felony, and a person may be sentenced to three to five years in prison. If aggravated battery was committed against a police officer or involved great bodily harm to a person over the age of 60, a person may be charged with a Class 2 felony and sentenced to three to seven years in prison. If aggravated battery involved the discharge of a firearm, a person may be charged with a Class X felony and sentenced to between six and 30 years in prison.

Contact Our Will County Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of committing assault or battery, you will need to make sure you take the correct steps to defend against these charges. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can assist with your case, and we will work with you to build the best possible defense strategy. Contact our Joliet criminal defense attorney at 815-740-4025 to arrange a free consultation.


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