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Joliet weapons defense attorneyThe United States Constitution indicates that Americans have “the right to bear arms,” but there are some situations that may hinder (or even outright eliminate) an individual's “right” to own, use, or carry a firearm. Since gun laws are made and enforced at the state level, these conditions can vary from one state to the next. Learn more about the consequences of breaking firearm laws in the state of Illinois, and discover how a seasoned criminal defense lawyer may be able to help.

What Constitutes Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Illinois? 

In the state of Illinois, gun owners must possess a Firearm Owner's Identification Card, otherwise known as an FIOD. Without it, you risk being charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. Moreover, if you wish to carry a concealed weapon, you must also possess a permit for doing so. If you are caught with a concealed weapon and do not have one, you could face criminal charges. Other scenarios that may lead to criminal charges for unlawful possession of a firearm include:

  • Being a minor (under age 18) in possession of a firearm of a size that may be concealed (even if you are not actively concealing it);
  • Possessing a firearm or ammunition when you are under the age of 21 in and have a misdemeanor conviction of any kind (other than traffic offenses);
  • Possessing a firearm or ammunition if you have been a mental institution patient within the last five years;
  • Being a narcotic addict and having a firearm or ammunition in your possession;
  • Possessing an explosive bullet or another prohibited weapon; and
  • Possessing a firearm or ammunition when you have been convicted of a felony in any state.

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm - Examining the Consequences of a Conviction 

Depending on the situation, unlawful possession of a firearm may be classified as either a Class A misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony in the state of Illinois. Note that you can be charged with multiple counts of unlawful possession of a firearm - one for each gun or piece of ammunition that is found in your possession at the time of arrest. So, if you had one gun and seven bullets, you could be charged with as many as eight counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Consequences for a Class A misdemeanor charge can include up to a year in jail, two years of probation, and as much as $2,500 in fines and penalties. Unlawful possession felony convictions can result in up to three years in prison, 30 months of probation, and significant fines.

Criminal consequences should not be your only worry, however, as there are also what is known as collateral consequences for those who are convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm. These can include:

  • Difficulty finding or retaining employment, due to your criminal record;
  • Rejection of your application to certain colleges or universities;
  • Difficulty obtaining financial aid if you are ever accepted to a college or university;
  • Trouble qualifying for welfare, public assistance, or housing assistance programs; and
  • Possible deportation if were not born as a U.S. citizen.

Contact Our Joliet Weapons Defense Attorneys for Aggressive Representation 

When facing criminal charges, it is important to know you can trust the attorney representing you. Backed by decades of experience and known as one of the most aggressive legal defense teams in the state, the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. are the ones to contact. Schedule your consultation with our Plainfield weapons charges defense lawyers by calling 815-733-5350 today.


Joliet weapons charges lawyersAlthough the United States Constitution does protect the gun ownership rights of Americans, certain situations in the state of Illinois could lead to criminal charges – even in an otherwise legal scenario. For example, one cannot carry a weapon into specific buildings, even with a conceal and carry license. If you are caught doing so, you could be charged and subsequently convicted of a crime. Learn more about the types of situations that may lead to criminal charges related to unlawful possession of a firearm in Illinois, and discover how an experienced attorney can help you fight back against the potential consequences of a conviction.

Possession of a Firearm in Protected Locations

Individuals who possess a conceal and carry license are usually permitted to carry their weapons on them in public, but there are specific areas in which possession of a firearm is prohibited. Schools and other federal buildings, such as post offices and courthouses are some of the more obvious restricted locations, but establishments that sell alcohol are also restricted. If found to be in violation of this law, you could be looking at a Class 4 felony.

Possession of a Firearm While Hooded, Masked, or Robed

Being charged with the possession of a firearm while wearing a hood, mask, or robe might seem easy to avoid, but consider the weather for a moment. How often have you pulled the hood of your jacket over your head to avoid the rain or cold, firearm on your person, without ever even considering the consequences? Chances are a lot. Sadly, all it takes is one time of being seen by the authorities to find yourself up against a criminal charge.

Possession of a Firearm by a Felon

Felons (including those convicted in other states) are not permitted to possess, carry, or use a firearm in the state of Illinois. If found to be in violation of this law, one could be facing a felony charge. Thankfully, there are still ways to fight back – even if it looks like the evidence and your reputation are working against you.

Considering the Potential Consequences

While some unlawful possession charges are misdemeanors, which are punishable by up to one year in jail, many are felonies. If convicted of such a charge, you could be looking at a prison term of one year or longer. Furthermore, you would have a permanent scar on your criminal record, which would limit your job and housing opportunities. Do not let this happen to you. Instead, seek help from an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer.

Contact Our Joliet Criminal Defense Lawyers

At Tedone & Morton, P.C., we take the outcome of your case seriously because we understand that it is your future on the line. Seasoned and experienced, our Joliet weapons charges defense lawyers can aggressively represent you in your case. Get the legal assistance you need and deserve. Call 815-666-1285 today.


Joliet weapons charges lawyerWhen one has been convicted of a felony, many of their rights are restricted. A prime example is the law that restricts felons from owning, carrying, or using a firearm. Unfortunately, some are wrongly given the impression that their right may be restored after a certain time period. Others believe they may be able to purchase, own, or use a firearm if they move to another state. Still others find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. In all instances, the consequences for the unlawful use of a weapon by a felon charge can be severe.

Potential Consequences

In the state of Illinois, the unlawful use or possession of a firearm by a felon is considered a Class 2 felony. This means that a conviction will place a second felony on your record. Even worse is that unlawful use of a weapon can make you ineligible for probation, so you may also receive a prison sentence. In addition, you may be forced to complete community service, could be faced with significant fines, and may suffer increased difficulties in obtaining housing or employment.

It is also important to know that these consequences are generally reserved for those who have never been convicted of unlawful use or possession of a weapon. Those who have former convictions may be at risk for being charged as an “armed habitual criminal,” which could result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

Fighting the Charges

Fighting a charge involving the unlawful use of a weapon by a felon can be difficult, but it is not necessarily impossible. There may be defenses that can be used to mitigate your charge. In some instances, it may even be possible to have the charges completely dismissed. Possible examples of viable defenses might include:

  • Provided notice to law enforcement that you were transporting the firearm to them;
  • Improper search or seizure (Fourth Amendment);
  • Being unaware of the firearm's presence (i.e. the firearm belonged to another person and you were not aware that it was on your property);
  • Finding a firearm that did not belong to you (and having the intent to turn it over to law enforcement); or
  • Taking the firearm away from someone who intended to use it against you.

Keep in mind that you should not attempt to fight such charges on your own. Further, you should never speak to an officer, detective, or other member of law enforcement until you have secured an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Doing so could result in further violation of your rights.

Contact Our Joliet Criminal Defense Lawyers

At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we recognize that having a conviction places you at risk for a subsequent conviction - even if you have done nothing wrong. This is exactly why we fight so aggressively to protect our clients. Let us work for you in your case. Call 815-666-1285 and schedule your consultation with one of our Joliet unlawful weapons charge attorneys today.


shooting, gun violence, Joliet criminal defense attorneyDespite being home to some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, the state of Illinois and, particularly, the city of Chicago continue to deal with exorbitant numbers of shootings and violent crimes on a daily basis. In the first eleven days of 2016, the Chicago Tribune has reported that 19 people have died and more than 100 others have been injured as the result of gun violence in the Chicagoland area. It seems that few neighborhoods are immune from the danger, as one of the fatal shootings occurred just a few blocks from the home of Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

Connections to Gang Activity

According to statistics maintained by the Tribune, this year's staggering numbers are about triple what they were just one year ago. During 2015's first week and half, nine people were fatally shot, with another 31 injured. Chicago Police are attributing the rise in violence to “chronic gang conflicts” and a glaring lack of cooperation on the part of gang members in criminal investigations. A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department issued a statement, indicating that many of the shootings have stemmed from “petty disputes between rival factions,” which have been “driven in part by social media commentary.”

More Gun Laws Needed?

“Every year, Chicago Police recover more illegal guns than officers in any other city,” the statement continued. “And as more and more illegal guns continue to find their way into our neighborhoods, it is clear we need stronger state and federal gun laws.” Although gun laws are already relatively tough in Chicago and throughout Illinois, reports indicate that nearly 60 percent of guns used in Illinois crimes originate in other states with more lax weapons statutes. The vast majority of out-of-state guns were obtained in the neighboring state of Indiana, leading many to believe increasing federal restrictions may provide some of the answers law enforcement officials are seeking.

Legal Assistance for Your Criminal Case

If you have been charged with a violent crime or any type of weapons offense, you need representation from a lawyer committed to protecting your future. Contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. today. We will review your case and help you take the steps necessary in securing your rights. Call us to schedule a free consultation at one of our two convenient office locations.


supreme court, weapons ban, Joliet criminal defense attorneyKeeping with what many believe to be an intentional trend to avoid Second Amendment cases, the Supreme Court of the United States has declined to hear a case challenging a local weapons-related ordinance in Highland Park, Illinois. The ban, upheld by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in April, prohibits the possession and sale of many semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines within the municipality's limits.

The high court's refusal to take up the case was confirmed this week by a vote of 7-2. As is customary, there was no reason given for the decision to reject the appeal, but the two dissenting Justices were very vocal in their disagreement.

“Flouting” Precedent

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a six-page dissenting opinion, expressing strong displeasure at the course chosen by the majority. He was joined by Justice Antonin Scalia in stating that, if he had his way, the court would have heard the case and struck down the ban as unconstitutional. In his dissent, Justice Thomas accused the lower court of “flouting two of our Second Amendment precedents,” referring to previous rulings based on the idea that the banned weapons are used for lawful purposes by a vast majority of owners. “Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.” Furthermore, Justice Thomas sees the lower court's ruling as “relegating the Second Amendment to a second-class right.”

Non-Binding Decision

Gun control proponents believe that local bans like the one enacted in Highland Park are necessary to reduce easy access to the types of weapons used in mass shootings around the country. In fact, the Highland Park law itself was a reaction to the 2012 shootings in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut. While the Seventh Circuit Court's ruling allowed the restrictions to stand, the decision by the Supreme Court does not establish any legal precedent. Informally, however, it seems to send the message that the current version of the court is not likely to take on wide-reaching Second Amendments cases, much to the chagrin of gun rights advocates.

If you are facing weapons-related charges for the illegal possession or use of a firearm, contact an experienced Will County criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we take your rights very seriously and will protect them vigorously throughout the process. Call 815-666-1285 to schedule an appointment today and get the quality representation you deserve.


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