Friday, July 14, 2017

DO I NEED AN ILLINOIS FIREARM ID IF I AM LICENSED OUT OF STATE?

The answer depends on what you mean by “licensed.”

Illinois law requires gun owners to possess a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card issued by the state. There is an exception, however, for non-Illinois residents. In that case, you do not need an Illinois FOID if you are licensed to carry a firearm in your home state. An Illinois appellate court has interpreted this to mean that you must actually have a valid license from a regulatory body in your home state. The mere fact that your state allows citizens to possess firearms is not enough.

In People v Wiggins, the defendant was charged with Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon. A Texas resident, he did not have a valid Illinois FOID. Defendant argued that since his home state of Texas does not require a license to own firearms, he was thus licensed in Texas for purposes of Illinois law. The court disagreed. The court reasoned that the non-resident exception only applies to non-residents who have complied with an official state process for licensing in their home state.

Illinois law does make an exception for non-resident hunters when their home state does not require licensing.

If you have been charged with a firearms or similar offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An experienced attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Perhaps you are covered by one of the FOID law’s exceptions. Perhaps the police lacked probable cause to stop you or make an arrest. If so, an attorney may be able to petition the court to suppress the results of any illegal search or arrest.

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.)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

POLICE MUST VIDEOTAPE MURDER INTERROGATIONS IN ILLINOIS

Illinois law requires that police videotape anytime they question you about murder charges provided that you are in custody. If police fail to record the entire interrogation, a judge may throw out any statements you made even after the tape began rolling

Under 725 ILCS 5/103-2.1, your oral, written, or sign language statements made as a result of a custodial interrogation conducted at a police station or other place of detention are presumed inadmissible as evidence unless: (1) an electronic recording is made of the custodial interrogation, and (2) the recording is substantially accurate and not intentionally altered. The statute defines custodial interrogation to mean “any interrogation during which (i) a reasonable person in the subject’s position would consider himself or herself to be in custody and (ii) during which a question is asked that is reasonably likely to elicit an incriminating response.”

In a recent Illinois decision, People v Little, the Appellate Court suppressed a murder suspect’s statements where the police failed to record the first part of his interrogation. When the interrogation began, Defendant was in custody as he had been taken to the police station in handcuffs and was not free to leave. Although the defendant may not have been a murder suspect when the interview began, the state later sought to use his statements against him in a murder proceeding. Therefore, the court held that police were required to video the start of his questioning. Because the first part of the interview was not taped, defendant’s later statements which were on video were inadmissible.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately to review your best options. If police acted improperly in conducting a search, making an arrest or questioning you, the attorney may be able to petition the court to suppress the results of illegal police conduct. In some limited cases, this could result in the charges against you being dismissed.

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.)