How to Beat a Gun Charge in Chicago

Updated on 08/10/2023 / Under

In Illinois, weapons and gun convictions can carry severe penalties, particularly when offenders have a criminal record and/or the weapons charge is coupled with other criminal charges, such as robbery, home invasion, or drug charges. Often, weapons charges carry mandatory prison sentences, and defendants convicted may also get a permanent public record, the possibility of probation, heavy fines, and community service time.

Because weapons laws are constantly changing, it’s crucial that those who have been charged with a firearm offense in Chicago or Cook County consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Ktenas Law to learn more about their legal rights. Our skilled Chicago Gun charge attorneys have extensive experience and are dedicated to aggressively defending clients’ rights in any necessary legal proceedings, including but not limited to:

  • Arraignments and bail or bond hearings
  • Sentencing proceedings and plea negotiations, including 402 conferences
    expungement hearings
  • Trial and motions to quash arrest and suppress evidence
  • Probation violation proceedings.
Alex Ktenas, Chicago gun attorney

What Are the Different Types of Weapon Charges in Illinois?

A person commits the offense of unlawful use of weapons when he knowingly carries or possesses in any vehicle or concealed on or about his person except when on his land or in his home, or business, any pistol, revolver, stun gun, or taser.

A person commits the offense of unlawful use of firearms when they knowingly carry or possess on or about their person, upon any public street any pistol, firearm ammunition, automatic firearm, revolver, stun gun, or taser while the weapon wasn't in a case, was unloaded and the ammunition to the firearm was immediately accessible and the person didn't have a valid firearm owner identification card or conceal and carry license.

In Illinois, it is unlawful for anyone to knowingly possess on or about their person or on their land or in their own home or business any firearm or any weapon, or ammunition if the person has been convicted of a felony offense.

Learn More: What is Illegal Discharge of a Firearm?

What are the Punishments for Gun Charges in Illinois?

Aggravated unlawful use of a gun is a class 4 felony offense where you could be subject to 1-4 years in prison. A second or subsequent offense of aggravated unlawful use of a gun is a class 2 felony where you could be subject to 3 -7 years of prison if you're convicted of the offense.

Unlawful use of a firearm is a class 2 felony where you could be subject to 3-7 years in prison. If you're convicted of unlawful use of a gun by a felon, you aren't eligible for probation, and thus the minimum time you'll do in prison is three years.

Furthermore, if you're convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, you can never get a firearm owner's identification card or conceal and carry license again.

Handcuffs and a pistol on a black desk

Although it is a constitutional right to carry a firearm on your person, if the prosecution can prove that you didn't properly carry the weapon or have the proper license, you could face serious felony charges.

If you have been charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and this is your first time facing this criminal charge, you may be eligible for probation. Although the weapon charge is a class 4 felony where you could be subject to 1-4 years in the Illinois department of corrections, you may get probation with a good gun crime defense attorney.

Another legal option your criminal defense lawyer can negotiate is for the prosecutor to amend the criminal charge to a misdemeanor to prevent you from having a felony on your public record.

What Should I Do After Being Charged With a Gun Crime?

When facing a gun charge in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Kane County, Kendall County, or anywhere in Illinois, it's crucial that you talk to an experienced illegal weapons attorney to beat your charges.

A knowledgeable gun lawyer in Chicago will look at the details of your arrest and know the best criminal defense tactics to beat the case. For example, a knowledgeable gun attorney can get your case thrown out if they can prove that the police officer was just harassing you and there was no reason for the law enforcement officer to stop and search you in the first place.

Another possibility is for your criminal defense attorney to prove that there's no possible way that you were in possession of the firearm. Depending on the situation, a skilled trial attorney in Chicago should show the judge that the prosecutor can't meet their burden and prove that you're in possession of the gun because of the location of the weapon.

Additionally, a criminal defense attorney that is familiar with the prosecutors and judges can get your charges amended from a felony to a misdemeanor offense to keep the felony off your record and keep you out of Cook County jail.

At the Chicago criminal defense firm of Alex Ktenas, our skilled criminal defense attorneys have helped thousands of clients beat their gun charges and we can help you too. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation, contact our criminal defense law firm today. 

Is it Possible to Beat a Gun Charge?

If you or a family member has been accused of a gun charge or other gun-related crime and are seeking legal counsel from an aggressive criminal attorney, contact Ktenas Law to schedule a no-cost consultation with our criminal defense team. Our skilled attorneys will sit down with you and listen to all the circumstances of your gun charges. They will explain, in-depth, the legal process and potential outcomes to your criminal charges so you understand all the possibilities.

When arrested for and facing serious gun charges, it's crucial to find an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer who is at the top of their profession. Finding a skilled criminal defense attorney is the best thing you can do to protect your reputation and avoid prison time. To schedule a no-cost initial consultation with one of our skilled Chicago gun crime lawyers, call us now at 312-756-8652.