UUW – Unlawful Use of Weapon

What is UUW – Unlawful Use of Weapon Violation?

The Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., have extensive experience and particular expertise to help you beat your case and clear your name.

If you are charged with an Unlawful Use of a Weapon (UUW), Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon UUW, UUW by a felon, or any other gun or weapons charge, you can be assured that if you retain our firm, you will be represented by an aggressive team of experienced attorneys who have over 40 years of combined experience fighting gun cases.  We have your best interests in mind.  We will fight to win your case!

There had been dramatic changes to the Illinois gun laws over the last few years.  We have been at the forefront of the struggle to change the gun laws in Illinois.  At each step of the way, we have been successful in fighting prosecutors and winning cases in Cook, DuPage, Kane and Lake County, Illinois.  We have won gun cases at trial, others cases were dismissed after winning a pre-trial Motion, and others were won at the Preliminary Hearing. We have even vacated gun convictions for cases decided years ago because of the recent changes in the Illinois gun laws.  We follow the gun laws closely and are aware of any changes as they occur.  We are frequently contacted by other attorneys asking for our advice on how to handle their gun cases.

We understand the seriousness of an Unlawful Use of Weapon UUW charge.  A conviction for Unlawful Use of Weapon UUW can have serious consequences for your future and will appear on your record if anyone does a background search.  You may never be able to remove this case from your record if you are found guilty and convicted.  A case like this may follow you around for the rest of your life.  If you are working, your employer may fire you if they find out about your case.  It is important that you win your case so you can clear your good name and protect your future.  When it comes to gun cases, it is critical that you hire an attorney that understands the seriousness of your case and has the experience and the knowledge necessary to beat your case and win!

Our goal is to win your case and prove that you are not guilty of the charge of Unlawful Use of Weapon UUW.

What is AGGRAVATED Unlawful Use of Weapon Violation? (Agg UUW) (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6)

Under (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(3), unless you are on your own land, residence or place of business, you can be charged with felony Aggravated UUW if:

  1. the firearm was not in a case, loaded, and immediately accessible, or
  2. the firearm was not in a case, unloaded, but the ammunition was immediately accessible; and
  3. you did not possess an FOID card or a Conceal and Carry license; or
  4. other aggravating factors.

UUW is considered a Class 4 felony that can carry up to three years in jail. However, probation may be available as an alternative to jail depending on your criminal history,

What is UUW by a FELON? (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1)

If you have a previous felony conviction, regardless of how long ago, the case can be a Class 3 or greater felony with a 2 year minimum jail sentence.

Summary of Illinois Unlawful Use of Weapon Gun Law

FOID CARD REQUIREMENT: All residents of Illinois are required to have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) issued by the Illinois State Police (430 ILCS 66/1) to possess a gun.  There are exemptions to the Illinois FOID card requirement (430 ILCS 65/2(b), such as for out of state residents. The general requirements in order to obtain an FOID card after a background check are:

  • You must not have been convicted of any Felony anywhere in the United States;
  • A Court has not found that you are mentally defective;
  • You must, within the past five years, not have been a patient in a mental institution or any part of a medical facility for the treatment of mental illness;
  • You are not intellectually disabled or developmentally disabled;
  • In the year before your application for an FOID card, you have used or been addicted to any controlled substance or narcotics;
  • You don’t have an existing Order of Protection, or a No Contact or No Stalking Order entered against you;
  • You haven’t, within the past five years, been convicted of Battery, Aggravated Assault, Assault, Violation of an Order of Protection, or a substantially similar offense in which a firearm was used or possessed;
  • You haven’t been convicted of Domestic Battery, Aggravated Domestic Battery or similar offense;
  • You are not a fugitive from the law;
  • You are a legal alien;
  • You are not a medical marijuana patient registry card holder;
  • You haven’t, within the past year, failed a drug test unless you had a prescription;
  • You renounced your US citizenship;
  • You haven’t been dishonorably discharged from the military.

With an FOID card, you can transport your gun legally if: 1) the gun is in a non-functioning state; or 2) unloaded, in a case and have a valid FOID card, or you 3) carry or possess the gun under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act.

TRANSPORTATION OF A GUN OR WEAPON: If you have a license under the (1) the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (430 ILCS 66/1 and 2) have an FOID card (430 ILCS 65), you can carry a concealed firearm on your person or in your car.  However, private businesses and public institutions can forbid weapons on their premises. That’s why you will notice some businesses post signs on doors to the entrance of their property which warn you that guns are not allowed on their property. On the other hand, if you have an FOID card only, you can carry or physically transport your firearm if it’s unloaded and in a case. If the firearm is in your car and you only have an FOID card, if the gun is uncased, loaded, and immediately accessible, it’s a Class 4 felony under the Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapon Statute 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6.

What is The Sentence for UUW Charges

Under 720 ILCS 5/24-1(b), some Unlawful Use of a Weapon (UUW) charges are misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. However, the vast majority of weapons charges or Unlawful Use of Weapon (UUW) charges are felonies – including situations where an FOID card holder transports a loaded gun and doesn’t have a Conceal and Carry License. The majority of our clients are charged with having a weapon in their vehicle.

Why Hire The Legal Defenders for Your Unlawful Use of Weapon UUW Case?

We truly believe that the US Constitution is alive and well and it is our duty to protect it. We will fight tirelessly to protect the rights granted to us by our forefathers. We are well versed in the 2nd Amendment and have been fighting with prosecutors who often overreach and improperly prosecute people in violation of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.  We have a track record of fighting and winning cases against prosecutors for over 20 years. Further, we are familiar with all the constitutional rules regarding the seizure of evidence, and we know how to apply them to your case. We always strive to win a case before it goes to trial.  We are highly trained and skilled UUW lawyers who understand the rules that the police have to follow in order to search your car or home.  If the police do not follow the rules, we will have the evidence seized thrown out and your case dismissed.  We aggressively challenge the prosecutor’s attempt to introduce evidence in court that was seized in violation of your constitutional rights.  Our UUW lawyers will explore every possible way of winning your case and beating the police.

If you have a UUW, Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon case in Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, or Kane County, give us a call.  We can help.

Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyers Blog - Weapons Charges/UUW