Frankfort UUW Lawyer

Attorney Aggressively Defending the Rights of Clients Charged with the Unlawful Use of a Weapon in Will and DuPage County

Over the past few years, Frankfort police have been dealing with a rash of armed robberies and other serious crimes. As a result, law enforcement officials are paying especially close attention to anything that even remotely resembles a gun crime. Each year, dozens of people in the relatively small town of Frankfort are arrested and charged with unlawful use of a weapon (UUW). Of course, given the aggressive approach police take in these cases, not everyone who gets arrested is guilty of committing a crime, and even those who may have violated the law deserve a defense. At Fotopoulos Law Office, our Frankfort UUW lawyer proudly represents individuals facing serious gun crimes, helping them move past their arrests and on with their lives with as little interruption as possible.

Illinois Gun Laws

Illinois has incredibly strict gun laws. In fact, according to a leading public interest group, Illinois ranks eighth in terms of the states with the strictest gun laws in the country. While lawmakers' intent when passing such legislation is aimed at reducing gun violence, Illinois' unlawful use of a weapon statute is often used to impose incredibly harsh penalties on those who never intended to misuse firearms or other weapons.

What Is Considered "Unlawful Use of a Weapon" in Illinois?

Unlawful use of weapons (720 ILCS 5/24-1) is one of the primary weapons offenses in Illinois. While there are other Illinois gun laws on the books, the UUW statute is an astounding 2,650 words, making it one of the longest and most comprehensive firearms laws on the books. At its heart, the UUW law is aimed at punishing those who buy, sell, manufacture, possess, or carry certain deadly weapons, including firearms.

There are dozens of ways one can violate 720 ILCS 5/24-1. However, the most common violations include:

  • Carrying a firearm into a place of worship
  • Carrying a firearm into a school or other educational institution
  • Carrying a firearm in a vehicle or in public without a Firearm Owner's Identification Card (FOID)
  • Carrying a concealed firearm without a concealed carry weapons (CCW) license
  • Buying, selling, or possessing any machine gun
  • Possessing a silencer
  • Carrying a firearm while wearing a mask or concealing one's identity
  • Possessing a firearm in a bar or any other place that serves alcohol
  • Carrying a firearm in public within city limits

While most UUW prosecutions are based on the possession of a gun, the statute also prohibits the possession and use of other weapons, including brass knuckles, switchblade knives, blackjacks, tear gas guns, tasers, and stun guns.

What Is the Punishment for a Frankfort UUW Conviction?

A conviction for unlawful use of a weapon can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case. Given the various ways a person may violate the UUW law, the possible punishments vary significantly. For example, here are some of the most commonly prosecuted gun crimes and their respective punishments:

  • Carrying a loaded weapon in public without a FOID is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by less than one year in jail.
  • Buying, selling, or possessing a machine gun is a class 2 felony, carrying a mandatory three to seven years in prison.
  • Carrying a loaded machine gun or transporting a machine gun in the passenger compartment of a vehicle is a class X felony, punishable by a sentence of six to 30 years in prison.
  • Carrying a firearm on school grounds is a class 3 felony, punishable by a sentence of two to five years in prison.

It is important to remember that being arrested for a crime is not the same thing as being convicted. There are many defenses to gun crimes that may result in the prosecution withdrawing the case against you, offering you a favorable plea agreement to reduce the charges against you, or an acquittal at trial.

Contact Our Will County UUW Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with a gun crime, it is essential that you reach out to an experienced Frankfort UUW lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney John Fotopoulos has decades of experience defending the rights, freedom, and future of clients facing misdemeanor and felony gun charges. With his deep knowledge of the law, Attorney Fotopoulos routinely obtains favorable results for his clients by successfully arguing motions to suppress, negotiating with prosecutors, and litigating his client's cases in front of judges and juries. To schedule a free consultation with a Frankfort UUW attorney today, call 708-942-8400. You can also connect with us through our secure online contact form. We proudly defend clients in DuPage County and Will County.

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