Not Guilty of Aggravated UUW in Bridgeview
By: James G. Dimeas | Jan 26, 2015 | Recent Victories |
My client was found Not Guilty of Aggravated UUW after a bench trial at the Bridgeview Courthouse in Cook County. My client was an Indiana resident. He owned a firearm in Indiana which was legally purchased and lawful for him to own and possess in his residence in Indiana. My client drove to Chicago to visit his grandmother and visit a doctor in Chicago. He left Indiana in the early morning and arrived in Chicago in the late afternoon. My client brought his firearm with him which he had left in the trunk of his vehicle. My client testified that he bought his firearm with him because there had been a rash of burglaries in his Indiana neighborhood and was afraid that someone would break into his home and steal it. After my client arrived at his grandmother’s house his ex-girlfriend arrived and he had a domestic incident with her. The police arrived at the house an placed our client under arrest and charged him with a Domestic Battery. During the investigation, the police were informed by a witness that they had seen him take a gun out of the trunk of his car and taking it inside his grandmother's house. At least one individual told the police that they saw him point the gun at his ex-girlfriend. The police entered the grandmother’s residence, received consent from her to search the residence, and found a loaded firearm in the dresser of an upstairs bedroom. My client was questioned at the police station and admitted that the firearm belonged to him. The police charged him with an Aggravated UUW and the original Domestic Battery. The Domestic Battery was dismissed but the state persisted with the Aggravated UUW charge. Every count that he was charged under stated that he did not have a valid FOID card. At trial I admitted that the gun belonged to my client and that he did not have a valid FOID card. The entire case came down to the FOID requirement. I decided to attack the FOID element of each charge and argued that there is a specific exception to the FOID requirement for out of state residents who had the legal right to own a firearm in their home state. My client testified that he was coming to Chicago for one day, legally owned the firearm, and had never been arrested before. I argued the law, Illinois and Indiana law, and was able to convince the court that my client was not required under Illinois law to have an FOID card. As a matter of fact, because he was an out of state resident, he was not able to obtain an Illinois FOID card even if he had wanted to have an Illinois FOID card.
At the end of the trial the judge found my client Not Guilty and my client won the case. This was a lengthy and difficult ordeal for my client since he had never been arrested before and had been wrongly accused of a serious crime in Illinois. Most attorneys are unaware of the Illinois gun laws. All of our attorneys have extensive experience with gun cases and have a through understanding of the Illinois UUW statutes. Other attorney frequently consult with us on their UUW cases for advice and tips on how to handle their cases.