If you have been charged for the first time in Illinois with gun charges and have a clean criminal record, you could be eligible for probation if you have a good criminal defense attorney.
Many gun charges in Chicago and the surrounding counties are felony criminal charges. Hiring an experienced gun lawyer can help you get those charges dropped to a misdemeanor under the right circumstances.
If you are caught in possession of a loaded gun and have no FOID card or Conceal and Carry License (CCL), you could face 1-3 years in prison even if you have no prior felony gun conviction.
If you have the required permits, you could still face gun crime charges if you violated location-based firearms restrictions. Not knowing the law will not excuse you from facing criminal gun charges. In Illinois, gun laws are extremely strict, so if you are facing first-time gun charges, you will need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who knows how to navigate the complex criminal justice system.
Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon
Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm
Reckless Discharge of a Weapon
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Possession of a Deadly Weapon
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
Unlawful Use of a Weapon
Unlawful Sale of a Firearm or Weapon
Assault with a Firearm or Weapon
Armed Habitual Criminal
You could face a felony charge even if you have no criminal record. Depending on the circumstances, you could face one year in county jail, 1 – 4 years in prison, or 3-7 years in prison.
In Illinois, the first-offender program is a special legal option for individuals facing their first criminal offense. The program aims to provide an alternative to traditional criminal prosecution and focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment.
The first-offender program allows eligible individuals to avoid a formal conviction and potential incarceration by completing a set of requirements and conditions imposed by the court. These requirements often include the following:
Completion of community service
Participation in a vocational training program
Refrain from having any illicit drug prohibited by the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, Cannabis Control Act, or Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act in their body unless prescribed by a physician
Possibility of having to obtain a high school diploma or GED
Attendance of counseling sessions
Refrain from possessing any dangerous weapon, including firearms
Payment of fines, costs, and restitution
To be eligible to participate in the First Offender Program, you must meet the following requirements:
Have no prior convictions for a violent crime
Violence was not a factor in your circumstances of the crime committed
You are 20 years old or younger
Have no order of protection against you
Have never completed the first-time gun offender program prior
If you have a valid FOID card – Up to 1 year in jail
If you do not have a FOID card and the gun was loaded – you have 1 – 3 years in prison
If the gun was unloaded – Probation or 1 – 3 years in prison
Gun crimes are very serious charges in Illinois, with steep penalties. If you’re facing a weapons charge, it’s critical to understand Illinois law and your rights when dealing with such serious allegations. Here are some strategies to consider when trying to beat a gun charge in Illinois:
Retain an Experienced Attorney: Engage the services of a seasoned attorney with a solid background in handling weapons charges in Illinois. The Hirsch Law Group is experienced in navigating the nuances of Illinois criminal law and can help you understand your rights and develop a solid defense strategy.
Examine the Circumstances of the Arrest: Investigate if the Illinois State Police or other law enforcement agencies violated your constitutional rights during the arrest or search. If there were any legal missteps, your attorney could move to suppress the evidence, leading to the charges being dismissed.