Wednesday, November 23, 2016

CAN YOU BE CONVICTED OF BOTH AGGRAVATED UNLAWFUL USE OF A WEAPON AND NOT HAVING A FOID CARD?

The answer is yes.

You may be convicted of both charges even though your Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (AUUW) is based on not having a valid Firearm’s Owner Identification card (FOID). The elements of the two crimes are somewhat different and therefore, they create separate offenses. (See People v Schweihs).

Under the Illinois AAUW law, you can be charged if you knowingly carry a firearm on your person or vehicle except if you are on your own land, home or fixed place of business or someone else permits you to carry the weapon on their property. (See Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapon).

The FOID law requires that you have a FOID Card previously issued by the Illinois State Police in your name in order to acquire or possess any firearm, stun gun, or taser within Illinois. (See FOID Card Act).

The difference between the two laws involves your location, which is an additional element required under the AAUW law. For example, if you possess the firearm in your own home without a FOID card, you may be charged with failing to have a valid ID but not AUUW. Once you leave your own premises, the AUUW may now come into play.

If you are charged with a weapons offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. Do not talk to the police or try to “explain” your way out of your offense. You could give the state the evidence it needs to prosecute you. An experienced attorney can review your case for your best possible defense. Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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