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What to expect when facing firearms and ammunition charges

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Illinois law enforcement and prosecutors take weapons laws seriously and those who are charged with firearms or ammunition violations could face severe penalties if they are convicted. State law regarding possession of firearms or firearm ammunition dictates who can possess these items, how old they must be and what consequences they can face for a violation.

It is essential for people confronted by these allegations to understand the law and how to craft a comprehensive defense designed to avoid a conviction or reduce the charges. In some cases, there can even be an acquittal.

Know the facts about firearm violations

The laws for possessing firearms and ammunition are clear and much depends on the age of the person who is alleged to have committed the crime. Those under 18 cannot legally carry any concealable firearm.

Those under 21 who have been convicted of a previous misdemeanor for crimes other than traffic violations or had been categorized as delinquent will also violate the law if they have a firearm or ammunition.

People labeled as being addicted to narcotics and those who were patients at a mental institution in the previous five years and have firearms or ammunition will also be charged. Those with mental disabilities or who have an “explosive” bullet can be arrested on firearms charges. Explosive bullets are specific types of ammunition that are designed to, as the name implies, explode on contact with its target.

Possession of ammunition is a Class A misdemeanor. Illegal possession of a handgun is a Class 4 felony.

An aggressive defense is key when facing firearms charges

Given the negative connotations of illegal firearms charges, people arrested need to think about the future. Simply because a person was arrested does not automatically imply guilt, nor does it mean their entire future is compromised.

There are avenues of defense that can be explored such as questioning the way in which law enforcement conducted the investigation and if there is a logical explanation as to why the person was in that situation. From the outset, it is imperative to explore all options and understand the gravity of the charges. This can help with formulating a comprehensive and effective defense for all weapons offenses.