Joliet Unlawful Use of A Weapon Attorney
Unlawful Use of a Weapon Lawyer – Will County & Grundy County
If you have been charged with unlawful use of a weapon in Illinois, it is important to take your situation seriously and seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The consequences of a weapons charge can be severe and can have a significant impact on your life, including fines, imprisonment, and a permanent criminal record. Attorney Jack L. Zaremba understands the gravity of these charges and is committed to defending his clients’ rights to the fullest extent possible.
Unlawful use of a weapon is a serious criminal offense in Illinois, and the law defines it as the possession, sale, manufacture, purchase, or carrying of any firearm, stun gun, or taser in violation of the law. This charge can be applied to a variety of situations, including the possession of a weapon without a valid FOID card, carrying a weapon in a prohibited location, or using a weapon in a manner that endangers others.
As a former Will County prosecutor – attorney Jack L. Zaremba has extensive experience representing clients charged with unlawful use of a weapon. He understands the complexities of these cases and will work tirelessly to build a strong defense on your behalf. Our team will investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest, review all available evidence, and develop a strategy tailored to your unique situation.
We are committed to protecting your rights throughout the legal process and will work to ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law. Our team will advocate on your behalf in court, negotiate with prosecutors to seek the best possible outcome, and explore all possible options for reducing or dismissing your charges.
We understand that facing criminal charges can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. We are here to provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate this difficult time. With our help, you can be confident that you are receiving the highest level of legal representation possible.
If you are facing charges for unlawful use of a weapon in Illinois, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your legal options. Contact us today to take the first step toward protecting your rights and your future.
When Is Unlawful Use of a Weapon (UUW) Considered a Misdemeanor?
Illinois Statute 720 5/24-1 prohibits the following:
- Selling, manufacturing, purchasing, or possessing a bludgeon, black-jack, slug shot, sand-club, sand-bag, brass knuckles, throwing star, or switchblade
- Carrying or possessing a dagger, billy, dirk, switchblade, razor, stiletto, broken bottle, stun gun or taser, or any other similarly dangerous or deadly weapon with the intent of using it unlawfully against another person
- Setting a spring gun
- Possessing a tear gas launcher
- Carrying a firearm in a public place (either on your person or in your car) that is: 1) not broken down into a non-functioning state; 2) immediately accessible; 3) loaded and not locked in a case; OR 4) not carried in accordance with the firearm concealed carry act
- Selling, manufacturing, or purchasing explosive bullets
- Carrying a billy club or similar weapon in a government building or office
Violating any of these rules will result in a Class A Misdemeanor charge, involving a fine of up to $2,500 and 1 year of incarceration in county jail. Felony charges are a possibility for repeat offenders.
What Constitutes A Felony UUW Charge?
A prosecutor may charge you with a Class 4 Felony when you:
- Carry a firearm, stun gun, or other deadly weapon inside any place licensed to sell alcoholic beverages, at a public gathering authorized by a government license, or during a public event where an admissions fee is charged
- Carrying a firearm or other dangerous weapon while hooded or attempting to conceal your identity
A conviction could result in 1 to 3 years of incarceration in state prison and a possible fine of up to $25,000.
Class 3 Felony charges are a possibility when the prosecutor has evidence that you:
- Possessed a silencer
- Manufactured, sold, purchased, or carried a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches or a shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches long.
- Sold, manufactured, purchased, or possessed a bomb or grenade
If convicted, you could face 2 to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
A prosecutor may bring Class 2 Felony charges against you if you manufactured, sold, purchased, possessed, or carried a machine gun or author automatic weapon. A conviction could result in a prison sentence of 3 to 7 years and fines of up to $25,000. And if the weapon was loaded and on your person, or in the passenger compartment of your vehicle, you will face Class X felony charges, which may result in a prison sentence of 6 to 30 years and possible fines reaching $25,000.
Whenever a violation of any of the above provisions occurs on or within 1,000 feet of a school, park, public housing development, or courthouse, the charges will be increased to the next level. For example, if you get caught carrying a gun while hooded in a public park, the offense will increase from a Class 4 to a Class 3 felony.
Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon
Under Illinois Statute 720 5/24-1.6(3), you may be charged with aggravated UUW if you possessed a firearm either on your person or vehicle, and you were not on your land, residence, or fixed place of residence, and any of the following apply:
- The firearm was loaded, out of its case, and readily accessible
- The firearm was unloaded, uncased, but the ammunition was immediately accessible
- You did not have a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID)—regardless of whether the gun was loaded or not
- You had previously been ruled a “minor delinquent”
- You were committing a violation of the Illinois Cannabis, Controlled Substance, or Methamphetamine Acts
- You had a restraining or protection order issued against you within the last 2 years
- You were under 21
- You were committing a misdemeanor involving the use or threat of violence
Aggravated UUW is a Class 4 felony that can result in up to 3 years in prison and fines reaching $25,000. A second conviction, however, is considered a Class 3 felony involving up to 5 years in prison. A prosecutor may charge you with a separate aggravated UUW violation for each weapon you possessed at the time of the offense.
How Do You Defend Against Unlawful Use of Weapon Charges in Illinois?
If you are facing unlawful use of weapon charges in Illinois, there are several possible defenses you can use to fight the charges.
Lack of knowledge – you can argue that you did not know that you were carrying a weapon, or that you were unaware that the weapon was illegal to possess. For example, you might have borrowed a bag from a friend, not realizing that it contained a weapon.
Self-defense – if you were carrying a weapon for self-defense purposes, you might be able to argue that you had a reasonable fear for your safety, or that you were protecting someone else from harm.
Unlawful search and seizure – if the police found the weapon during an illegal search or seizure, you might be able to have the evidence thrown out of court.
Invalid arrest – if the police did not have a valid reason for arresting you, you might be able to have the charges dismissed.
Second Amendment Rights – you may argue that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives you the right to bear arms, and that the charges against you are a violation of your constitutional rights.
It’s important to remember that each case is unique, and the best defense strategy will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. It’s important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action.
Contact A Joliet Unlawful Use of Weapon Attorney
Attorney Jack L. Zaremba understands the rules that the police must follow to search your car, home or business. If you are facing UUW or Aggravated UUW charges contact The Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba for help. Attorney Jack L. Zaremba is dedicated to protecting your rights and achieving the best outcome on your case, quickly and efficiently. As a former Will County prosecutor, he has the courtroom trial experience you can count on.