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Understanding Your Unlawful Use of a Weapon Charge

  • Being arrested for the unlawful use of a weapon can be a little confusing. You might not understand how your actions were unlawful, or you might believe that you were using a weapon in a legal way. Unfortunately, you might have trouble getting answers in the middle of an arrest. 

    If you're struggling to understand your unlawful use of a weapon charge, you'll need to seek out answers and guidance before you reach the courtroom. If you don't, you could face a conviction that will hurt your future. 

    Not sure where to begin? Read on for the basics of an unlawful use of a weapon charge. That way, you know what to expect from your criminal case and your defense lawyer and will know how they can potentially help you. 

    What Counts as Unlawful Use in Illinois

    Typically, an unlawful use charge depends on the weapon being used or on the intent and carrying of the weapon. 

    For example, there are many weapons banned by Illinois law. Stilettos, brass knuckles, and bludgeons are all weapons banned from use by Illinois residents. Certain types of firearms, like machine guns or other automatic weapons, are also banned and cannot be carried within the state. 

    In other cases, it might be the way you’re using the weapon. For example, a broken bottle lying around might not be more than a hazard for those nearby. However, picking up that bottle with the intent to harm someone else is a criminal offense. 

    Penalties for a Conviction

    Once you understand what counts as the unlawful use of a weapon, you’ll need to understand your penalties, too. Typically, the penalties will depend on the type of weapon involved. For example, many of these charges are misdemeanors, which means a maximum of one year in prison, coupled with your fines, which may be up to $2,500. 

    However, those charges become more severe if a firearm is involved. Guns are a serious concern, since they tend to be deadlier than other weapons. Because of that, if you were charged with a firearm-related offense, you might face felony charges. Even the least-severe charge you could face will mean one to three years in prison, plus even higher fines. 

    Speak to a Criminal Defense Lawyer when You’re Charged

    If you’ve been accused of a crime like the unlawful use of a weapon, it’s important to understand what that charge entails. If not, it’s easy to get lost in your case and end up facing a conviction with severe consequences. Once you understand your case, though, it’s time to fight back. 

    That’s where your attorney from Chicago Trusted Attorneys™ can step in. We understand the difficulties you’re facing when you’re charged with a crime. 

    If you’re struggling with your case, reach out to a Chicago criminal defense lawyer for help by calling 312-931-5411. We can also help when you contact us through our website for more information.