Frankfort UUW Lawyer
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 is paying especially close attention to anything that even remotely resembles a gun crime and each year, dozens of people in the relatively small town of Frankfort are arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a weapon (“UUW”). Of course, given the aggressive approach police take, not everyone who gets arrested committed a crime. And even those who did deserve a defense. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, our Frankfort UUW lawyer proudly represents individuals facing serious gun crimes, helping them move past their arrest 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 8th in terms of the states with the strictest gun laws in the country. And, while lawmakers’ intent on passing such legislation is aimed at reducing gun violence, Illinois' unauthorized use of a weapon statute is often used to impose incredibly harsh penalties on those who never intended to misuse a weapon.What is Considered “Unauthorized Use of a Weapon” in Illinois?
Unauthorized use of a weapon (720 ILCS 5/24-1) is the primary Illinois gun law. 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, below are the most common violations:
- Carrying a firearm into a place of worship;
- Carrying a firearm into a school or other educational institution;
- Carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle or in public without a Firearm Identification Card;
- 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; and
- 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, black jacks, tear gas guns, tasers and stun guns.What Is the Punishment for a Frankfort UUW Conviction?
A conviction for unauthorized use of a weapon can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts. And, given the various ways one can violate the UUW law, the possible punishments vary significantly. For example, below are a few of the most commonly prosecuted gun crimes and their respective punishments:
- Carrying a loaded weapon in public without a Firearm Identification Card 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 6 to 30 years in prison.
- Carrying a firearm on school grounds is a class 3 felony, punishable by a sentence of 25o f5 years in prison.
However, 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 reduced charges, or an acquittal at trial.Have You Been Charged with UUW in DuPage or Will County?
If you’ve recently 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. At the Fotopoulos Law Office, 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 learn more, and 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.