After a traffic stop in Bloomington, an Illinois man faces criminal charges for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession by a felon, according to an article by The Pantagraph.
On Sunday, July 12th, police officers executed a traffic stop on Grandview Drive. In the process, the police officers discovered that the Illinois man was carrying a loaded handgun in his pocket. Furthermore, this Illinois man was a felon.
As a result of this incident, the authorities charged the Illinois man with:
- Unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon; and
- Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
The Illinois man declined to post $5,035 in bail and, thus, remains in police custody. While this man’s legal case plays out, it seems like a suitable opportunity to review several Illinois laws and penalties.
Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon
Illinois law at 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1 makes it illegal for convicted felons to possess firearms or ammunition for firearms. Though Section 10 of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act (430 ILCS 65/) does provide an exception to this rule.
Any person who commits unlawful possession of a weapon by a felony will face Class 3 felony charges. If convicted on those charges, the potential penalty includes a prison sentence between two and 10 years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.
On the second or subsequent violation, this offense is punishable as a Class 2 felony. If convicted, the penalty includes a mandatory prison sentence between three and 14 years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.
Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon
Illinois law at 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6 defines aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. There are essentially two elements to this offense. First, the alleged offender must carry or possess a firearm or similar weapon in a vehicle, in public or at another person’s property.
Second, this offense only applies in the presence of certain aggravating factors, such as:
- The firearm was uncased, loaded, and immediately accessible;
- The firearm was uncased, unloaded, and immediately accessible;
- The person carrying the firearm did not have a valid FOID card;
- The person carrying the firearm was previously determined to be a delinquent minor;
- The person carrying the firearm was previously convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses; or
- The person carrying the firearm was under 21 years old.
That being said, there are several exceptions to this offense. Namely, individuals are allowed to transport firearms that are cased and unloaded or disassembled. Additionally, certain individuals have a license to concealed carry firearms.
Any person who commits aggravated unlawful use of a weapon will face Class 4 felony charges. If convicted on those charges, the potential penalty includes a prison sentence between one and three years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.
A second or subsequent offense is punishable as a Class 2 felony. If convicted, the penalty includes a mandatory prison sentence between three and seven years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.