Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon
Rockford Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon Attorney
Fighting Gun Charges against Those with Felony Convictions in Illinois
The Second Amendment prohibits people from owning or possessing firearms when they have been convicted of a felony in Illinois or under federal law. The police and prosecutors aggressively pursue all weapons charges, but they are especially tough on felons with illegal firearms or other prohibited weapons. Possession of a firearm is sufficient to constitute a violation. You can be convicted of unlawful use of a weapon if you transport, carry, or use a firearm despite not intending to do so. You may also be charged with UUW Felon if a firearm that belongs to someone else is found in your possession.
We understand that those with criminal records already face difficulties in finding employment, obtaining higher education, obtaining loans, obtaining occupational licenses, and finding housing. The challenges can be increased if a felon is convicted of illegal possession of a firearm or other prohibited weapon.
During a traffic stop, an officer may claim that the gun was in “plain view,” or the officer may have conducted an illegal search. If the firearm is obtained during an illegal search, attorney Marriett may ask the court to suppress it through a motion. In the absence of a weapon, the prosecutor frequently finds that the case against our client has disintegrated. Our defense lawyers and investigators have built a reputation for zealous defense in weapons cases by preparing cases for trial instead of waiting for the prosecutor to offer a plea deal.
What Must the Prosecutor Prove to Obtain a Conviction of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon in Illinois?
This criminal offense is defined under Illinois law pursuant to 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1 as the knowing possession of a prohibited weapon under Section 24.1 as well as an firearm/gun or ammo by anyone who has any type of felony record. This restriction applies to carrying the weapon, gun or ammo on one’s person as well as in the person’s home, place of business or vehicle. The felony upon which the unlawful use by a felon charge is based does not need to be an Illinois conviction; rather a felony conviction under the state law in any jurisdiction and federal law will suffice.
Consequences of Felon in Possession Weapons Charge Conviction in Illinois
The consequences of a conviction for violation of this provision are significant as this criminal offense constitutes a Class 2 Felony. Further, you will not be eligible for probation, so if you are convicted of unlawful use of a weapon in Illinois, the judge does not have the discretion to allow you to avoid state prison. The other consequences that may flow from a criminal conviction of this nature will be all too familiar if you have suffered a felony conviction in the past, including substantial fines and assessments, community service, a felony conviction and more.
On top of these court imposed penalties, you will also suffer a wide range of other negative effects that may include but are certainly not limited to the following:
- Academic discipline for college students
- Difficulty obtaining rental housing
- Ineligibility for some forms of student aid like certain loans and grants
- Lack of eligibility for some state employment licenses
- Potential adverse action by USCIS, including but not limited to removal, exclusion, denial of citizenship and inability to adjust status
- Use by prospective employers and others who conduct background checks
While any gun charge can result in consequences that significantly disrupt your life and result in forfeiture of your liberty, felon in possession of a firearm is among the most serious type of gun crimes in Illinois. The precise sentence that is imposed depends on the underlying felony that led to your inability to possess a gun or other firearm. If the underlying felony conviction was a Class 2 Felony, for example, you could face a sentence of three to fourteen years in state prison. In a case where the prior felony conviction is a Class 3 Felony (i.e. somewhat less serious), the range of sentence for a conviction of felon in possession of a weapon is two to ten years.
If you have two prior felony convictions that include those specifically enumerated in 720 ILCS 5/24-1.7(a)(2), forcible felony offenses or drug offenses that are at least a Class 3 Felony, you may even be charged as an Armed Habitual Criminal and face even more severe penalties. This offense is a Class X Felony and you will not be eligible for probation and may be sentenced from six to thirty years of incarceration.
Our Illinois felon in possession attorneys work diligently to investigate factual deficiencies and expose misconduct or improper procedures by law enforcement so that we can obtain the best possible outcome for our clients.
Contact A Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon Lawyer
Rockford criminal defense lawyer Paul M. Marriett has handled thousands of criminal defense law cases. We defend the accused against all types of gun and weapon accusations and charges – experience and results matter – call TODAY for help and a FREE CONSULTATION!