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Arlington Heights, IL criminal defense attorney unlawful use of a weapon

Across the United States, firearms and other weapons are highly regulated in an attempt to keep them out of the hands of wrongdoers and to keep citizens safe. The state of Illinois is no exception. Illinois has some relatively strict laws when it comes to the possession and use of firearms and other weapons. These laws exist as a means to protect people and to keep the community safe, which is why a conviction for unlawful use of a weapon charge has the possibility of resulting in a misdemeanor or even a felony charge in some situations. The severity of the charge will depend on the circumstances surrounding the incident, which is why it is important to discuss the details of your case with a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

What Constitutes an Illinois UUW Charge?

When it comes to the unlawful use of weapons charge in Illinois, there are various situations in which you could be charged with this crime. However, the most common reason people are charged with a UUW charge is because of a firearm owner’s identification (FOID) card or a concealed carry violation. In the state of Illinois, any person who wishes to legally possess and purchase a firearm must apply for and receive a FOID card. Gun owners who wish to carry their firearm on their person or transport it in their vehicle must receive a concealed carry permit stating that they are allowed to do so. 

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal law attorneyIn mid-March, communities across the United States experienced a shutdown of nonessential businesses and operations, a move made in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has moved through the country like wildfire. Confirmed COVID-19 cases have peaked at more than 5 million nationwide, while plans to reopen and resume business as usual move forward in some states. The coronavirus pandemic has brought uncertainty into almost every aspect of our lives, even in the criminal justice system. Many criminal cases have been backlogged since March, while new cases have been accumulating, leaving many, like you, to wonder about the status of their case. As of early July, Cook County courts were instructed to begin resuming most court operations, with safety protocols put in place. If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, you should expect to be notified about your modified court proceedings.

Safety Protocols Put into Place

An executive order signed by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans allowed Illinois courts to resume court operations beginning July 6. However, the order also required the implementation of several health and safety protocols to help contain the spread of coronavirus. These protocols include:

  • Reducing the number of people entering the courts each day

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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney aggravated DUI

One of the things that police patrols are constantly doing is looking for signs of impaired drivers on the roads. Impaired and drunk driving are responsible for many traffic accidents and deaths each year in the United States. According to the latest data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 10,500 deaths from drunk driving accidents in this country in 2018 alone. Any type of DUI charge is serious, but charges are increased when a DUI incident results in the injury or death of another person. In these cases, the impact a DUI conviction could have on your life could be severe, so it is important to understand the consequences you may face in Illinois.

DUI Resulting in Injury

If you are charged with a DUI and that incident resulted in the bodily harm, injury or death of another person, it is likely that you will be charged with a felony DUI. In Illinois, all felony DUIs are referred to as aggravated DUIs. If you were charged with a DUI and you caused an accident that resulted in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another person, you will be charged with a Class 4 felony. This means that you could face between one and four years in prison, up to $25,000 in fines, and a minimum two-year driver’s license revocation.

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Rolling Meadows criminal law attorney

Not all crimes are created equally. Some crimes, like assault or murder, are much more serious than lesser crimes, such as theft or traffic violations. Illinois, like all states, has a system for classifying crimes. Crimes are placed into categories of felonies and misdemeanors, of which there are varying “classes” of severity. What many people do not know is that there are also certain factors that can increase or mitigate the severity of the punishment that is imposed on someone who is convicted of a criminal offense. It is important to understand the factors that are commonly used by the prosecution to enhance the charges to “aggravated” in Illinois.

Aggravating Factors in Illinois

Even if someone is convicted of a crime, that does not automatically determine the sentence that he or she will receive. Under Illinois law, a sentencing hearing will occur after the conviction in which a judge will review the case and make a decision as to what the appropriate sentence would be for the specific situation. In some cases, this is when the prosecution has the chance to present any aggravating factors that may be present, which could influence the judge to impose a more serious sentence. Illinois lists 32 unique aggravating factors that could affect a defendant's sentence. Some of the most common factors include:

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Rolling Meadows, IL domestic abuse defense attorney

In today’s world, social media plays a big part in many people’s daily lives. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are used by millions of people across the world to connect with one another. Social media is so ingrained into our society that it is important to understand the effects that these digital networking platforms play in our life. In particular, social media has created some concerns when it comes to dealing with domestic violence allegations. In certain scenarios, information or pictures that a defendant posted online could be used against him or her in a criminal case.

Domestic Abuse Laws in Illinois

The state of Illinois defines domestic violence as acts of harassment, abuse, intimidation, interference with personal liberty, or willful deprivation toward a family or household member. In many cases, acts of violence can also be considered assault and/or battery, but when these acts are allegedly perpetrated against a family or household member, they can lead to domestic violence charges.

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