Cook County Weapon Crime Lawyer
Need a lawyer for a weapon crime case in Evanston, IL?
Weapons offenses are taken very seriously by the prosecutors in Illinois, if you have been arrested and charged, then you need skilled legal assistance on your side immediately. Weapons charges carry severe penalties, including fines and jail time for conviction.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a weapons offense, it is in your best interest to seek the assistance of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney in the Evanston / Skokie area to safeguard your rights. We understand the severity of the situation you face, and you can count on our Cook County criminal lawyers for the representation you need.
Types of Weapon-Related Charges
Illinois has very restrictive weapons laws, there are various reasons one can be charged with a weapons crime in this state. Some of these may include the following:
- Pointing a firearm at another person
- Unlawful use of a weapon
- Possession of a firearm without a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID)
- Unlawful selling of firearms
- Reckless or aggravated discharge of a firearm
Possession of certain knives and other weapons can also be illegal under Illinois law.
What is legal gun possession?
Possession of a gun is legal in a few situations: in one’s own home or place of business; or if the gun is cased, unloaded, AND not immediately accessible. All of these conditions are subject to interpretation. For example, the Illinois Supreme Court recently reversed a conviction and sent it back to the trial court because the defendant was not allowed to argue to the jury that his car's glove compartment was a case for purposes of the gun law.
Due to persistent gun violence that is plaguing Chicago, law enforcement in Illinois, including the States Attorney of Cook County and the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, is vigorously defending the current law which makes it illegal to carry a gun outside the home. The attorney general is weighing an appeal to the US Supreme Court right now.
What this means for you is that you will face stiff opposition from the prosecutor if you are accused of a gun charge or of unlawful use of weapons in Cook County. Illinois law makes gun possession, or aggravated unlawful use of weapons, a felony with a possible sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison. A recent amendment to the law mandates prison; probation is not available for this offense.
A proposed new law would grant permits for concealed carry but it would have strict requirements to get the permit. For example, an applicant would have to be 21 years old, have a criminal record free of felonies or misdemeanors involving violence, mandatory training, among others.
There will be numerous other restrictions of where in public a person can carry a gun. To make matters more confusing, individual towns may be allowed to make their own laws restricting guns. To be clear: no new law has been passed yet. It is still unlawful to carry a gun outside the home in most situations.
Penalties for Misdemeanors and Felonies in Cook County
- Class A misdemeanor: conviction results in less than 1 year in jail, plus up to $2,500 in fines.
- Class 4 felony: usually entails a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years and up to $25,000 in fines. There is also a minimum 1 year of parole following any prison term.
- Class 3 felony: includes 2 to 5 years in prison and again, up to $25,000 in fines and a minimum 1 year of parole.
- Class 2 felony: this could mean a 3- to 7-year prison term and a maximum fine of $25,000. Minimum parole would be 2 years.
- Class 1 felony: means 4 to 15 years in prison on top of up to $25,000 in fines and at least 2 years parole.
- Class X felony: There is no chance for getting probation if convicted of this felony. Sentencing is usually anywhere from 6 to 30 years in prison, still up to $25,000 in fines, and a minimum parole of 3 years.
Free Consultation from Our Cook County Criminal Defense Lawyers
At Pfeifer & Pfeifer, Attorneys at Law, we have more than 50 years of combined experience in criminal defense law. We believe in providing our clients with one on one representation and giving you the undivided attention you deserve for the handling of your case. If you are facing weapons charges in Evanston, then you need a strong defense in order to pursue a successful outcome.
We offer a free case evaluation so that you may obtain some legal advice and information regarding your situation before making any financial commitment to our firm. Utilize this benefit to your advantage today, and do not hesitate to speak with a representative from our firm for the legal assistance that you need.
If you find yourself facing any of these charges, we encourage you to contact our firm for an aggressive and dedicated defense.