Decatur, Illinois Weapons Offenses Lawyer
No doubt there is a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. But gun ownership is still highly restricted and regulated, both at the federal and state levels. And if you run afoul of these laws, you could easily find yourself facing serious criminal weapons charges that could land you in prison.
If you have been arrested and charged with a weapons-related crime, you need to act promptly to assert your constitutional and legal rights. A qualified Decatur, Illinois weapons offenses lawyer can provide you with legal advice and representation. At Patel Law, PC, our team has extensive experience in handling and trying felony criminal cases in both state and federal court.
How Gun Laws Work in Illinois
The first thing you need to know about weapons laws is that certain categories of people are not allowed to own firearms at all. In Illinois, these groups include convicted felons, most minors under the age of 21, individuals who have been admitted to a mental hospital within the past five years, persons addicted to narcotics, persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities, undocumented aliens, and people who have either been convicted of domestic abuse or are currently subject to a restraining order.
If you belong to one of these excluded groups, you can be charged with a crime simply for having a firearm in your possession. Indeed, perhaps the most common type of weapons offense prosecuted today involves previously convicted felons found to be in possession of a firearm. And even if you are not prohibited from owning a gun, Illinois residents must still obtain a Firearm Owners Identification card, which serves as a license and permit to purchase and legally possess a firearm. Under current law, you also need a separate license to carry a concealed firearm.
There are also certain types of weapons that it is illegal for anyone to possess, even if they are not excluded from owning firearms generally and possess a proper license. For example, you cannot legally own a machine gun or stun gun. Certain types of ammunition, such as metal-piercing bullets, are also forbidden.
A first offense for illegal weapons possession is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. Even this charge carries a potential jail term of up to one year. Second and subsequent offenses are classified as felonies, which can mean up to five years in prison upon conviction. And depending on the specific facts and circumstances, a firearms charge may go as high as a Class X felony, the highest degree of non-murder charge available under Illinois law.
Contact Patel Law Today
Never assume that the Second Amendment will automatically get you out of any potential legal jeopardy for possessing or carrying a firearm. There are many ways a person can violate federal and state weapons laws, oftentimes without realizing it. That is why if you have been arrested or charged with a crime, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced Decatur, Illinois weapons offenses lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Patel Law, PC, today to schedule a free case evaluation with a member of our criminal defense team.