Justifiable Force, Self Defense, and Weapons Charges

Illinois legalized the concealed carry of firearms in 2014, which led to a large number of applications for concealed carry permits. Since then, the number of applications has tapered somewhat, but the initial surge by Illinois citizens to secure concealed carry permits was likely fueled by the belief that carrying a handgun is a good way to defend oneself. While “self defense” is a legitimate and strong defense strategy, it may not be the solution to all one’s legal troubles if the same situation results in a gun or weapons charge.

Justifiable Use of Force

In the state of Illinois, the law allows for a person to use force under specific situations. In these scenarios, one can be cleared of wrongdoing if they were deemed to have used justifiable force. The specific situations in which justifiable force is allowed are as follows:

  • Use of force in defense of a person is allowed when one believes they are facing the threat of great bodily harm or death due to the actions of another person.
  • Use of force against another person in defense of one’s dwelling is considered permissible if it is necessary to prevent unlawful entry or an attack on the dwelling. The attempted entry must be of a violent or unrestrained manner.
  • Use of force in defense of one’s property (other than a dwelling) is considered allowable if it is necessary to prevent others from illegally trespassing and interfering criminally with one’s rightful real or personal property.

The use of force is allowed even to the point of causing bodily harm or death to the person alleged to have initiated the threat. Furthermore, the law prevents those alleged to have initiated the threat, as well as their family members, to pursue action against the individual deemed to have used justifiable force, unless “willful or wanton misconduct” is found.

Facing Other Charges

Even if someone is exonerated for the use of force, or if they possess the appropriate licensing for a gun, they may still face charges. Here are some examples of cases where other charges may apply:

  • A Colorado Springs man cleared of using a gun in self defense is facing a weapons charge because he is considered an offender in a previous felony weapons possession case.
  • In the case of a Michigan woman who pulled a handgun in defense of her daughter during a fight among shoppers, police indicate that she had a valid concealed carry permit, but are still working with prosecutors to determine if charges are necessary.

Build Your Defense with Help from an Experienced Joliet Gun and Weapons Lawyer

The stress and uncertainty of gun or weapons charges is not something you should ever face on your own. The help of a knowledgeable Will County gun and weapons defense attorney will ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the process. The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba will conduct a detailed review of the charges, study your case thoroughly, and build a defense strategy which will help you obtain appropriate relief from undue hardship.

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26 East Clinton Street Joliet, IL 60432