What to Know About Illinois Gun Crime Charges

What to Know About Illinois Gun Crime Charges

Criminal Defense Attorney

What to Know About Illinois Gun Crime Charges

In Illinois, gun convictions can carry hefty sentences – especially for defendants who have a criminal record or when the crime relates to another criminal charge, such as robbery. In most cases, such charges carry prison sentences, heavy fines, community service and a permanent blemish on a record.


These laws are changed constantly, so if you have been charged with a gun-related crime, you need a defense attorney with experience in handling gun-related cases. The penalties and punishments for these depend on the way the weapon was used and the harm it did or could do. Here are some laws you should be aware of:


Unlawful Use of a Weapon

The Illinois Statute 720 5/31-1 determines the penalties, which pertain to the unlawful use of a weapon in the state. While most defendants are charged with misdemeanors for this crime, they may face criminal charges in some instances.

In the state of Illinois, you can be charged with unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) if you:


  • Used or carried a gun in a public space where the gun could be loaded, accessed and fired immediately, and is not locked.
  • Are carrying deadly weapons intending to hurt or threaten people or an individual.
  • Possess or carry a tear gas launcher.
  • Sell, buy, manufacture, or own deadly weapons besides firearms – such as a switchblade.
  • Sell, buy, manufacture, or own explosive bullets.
  • Carry a dangerous and deadly weapon into a government building whether you intend to use it to harm someone or not.


Reckless Discharge of a Firearm

According to Illinois law, you will be charged with this reckless discharge of a firearm if you fire a gun in a manner that risks someone’s life. For example, if you fire a gun in the air during New Year’s celebrations out of excitement, you will be charged as a criminal in Illinois.
If you fired a gun while you were in the passenger seat or back seat of a car. The driver may also get charged as an accomplice to the crime. However, if you are a police officer or are in the armed forces and you used a weapon as part of your lawful duties, you may be protected.
If you need a defense attorney in Palos Heights, IL, to aggressively fight your gun crime charges, look no further than Michael D. Ettinger & Associates. Call us for a consultation by calling (708) 923-0368 or by sending us an email for a free consultation at our law office.