Chicago, IL criminal defense attorney Gal Pissetzky talks about specific gun laws in the state of Illinois.
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In Illinois when you are charged with a gun crime today, prosecutors take it extremely serious because Chicago is in the news for the gun violence and the many guns on the streets that are being possessed by individuals that should not possess them.
When somebody who is accused of a gun crime comes to see me, I explain to them a few things. First, I need to know what their background is. Because if it’s a simple unlawful possession of a gun for the first time, it could be a misdemeanor. But a second offense like that becomes already a felony. And then you can have aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, which is always a felony. If you are a felon from before, you cannot in Illinois possess a gun. There is no way that you can get a FOID card and a permission to possess a gun. So you are looking at a Class 4 felony. And anything above that if it’s your second offense you are looking at a Class 2 felony.
Now recently in Illinois they changed the law. And some of these offenses are not probationable. Even though Class 2 felonies and Class 4 felonies may be probationable under other crimes, for gun laws they may not be probationable. If you are caught with a gun that you were not supposed to have and you also have a small amount of marijuana, a small amount of drugs, the prosecutors can charge you with armed violence, which will be a Class X felony. So the gun laws in Illinois are very severe.
Fortunately, there are many ways to fight these type of cases. There are many ways to file motions to suppress because illegal searches and seizures.