Unlawful Use of a Weapon

Unlawful Use of a Weapon(possession of a firearm)
The Second Amendment to keep and bears arms continues to be a controversial and fluid area of law. In 2012 and 2013, several of illinois' gun laws were held to be unconstitutional. After those rulings, Illinois courts have struggled with the state of the law and with people charged or convicted under the old laws. On top of that, Illinois passed a new gun laws allowing concealed carry of firearms. If you are currently charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon, it is extremely important to have an attorney who is experienced and up to speed with all the recent changes in the law.

Unlawful Use of a Weapon 720 ILCS 5/24-1
Despite the name, a person may commit the crime of unlawful use of a weapon without actually "using" the weapon at all. A person need only possess, sell, purchase, manufacture, or carry the weapon. In addition, the statute covers many types of weapons from brass knuckles to bombs to firearms. Depending on the specific facts, unlawful use of a weapon may be a misdemeanor or a felony.

Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon

Under Illinois law, a peron may be charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon if he has a prior felony conviction at the time he posseses a firearm. If the prior felony was a conviction for Unlawful Use of a Weapon under the law that was held to be unconstitutional, Villalobos & Associates may be able to vacate the prior conviction. Once that conviction is vacated, the current charge should be dismissed since there is no underlying felony conviction.

Motion to Suppress Evidence

Gun cases often have issues with the arrest and seizure of evidence. Villalobos & Associates has successfully defended many gun cases by filing a motion to suppress evidence based on an illegal search or seizure. There is a complex body of law that covers what police can and cannot do when stopping and searching people. If a defendant shows that the police did not follow the law, the state may be prohibited from introducing any evidence that the person possessed a firearm. These cases are very fact specific and it is very important to have an experienced attorney who has litigated this area of the law.