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The charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (also known as Agg UUW/Veh/Fir/Loaded/No Foid or Agg UUW/Person) is a very common gun charge in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The law can be found under 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6      . The name of the offense can be misleading as it suggests that the suspect used the weapon in some dangerous way. Quite simply, a person is guilty of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon if they knowingly possess a firearm, while in a public place or public road, and the gun is loaded, uncases and immediately accessible at the time of the offense.
There are many ways to attack and defend a case involving this charge. An experienced weapons charges defense lawyer can aggressively defend a client by convincing the Judge or Jury that one of the elements required for proof are missing. For example, the gun must be immediately accessible. What does this mean? According to Illinois case law, immediately accessible is equivalent to “within easy reach.” Therefore, it is a defense to this charge to suggest that the gun in question may have been loaded but it was not within easy reach. This would be the case for example if the person arrested was driving an SUV and the loaded gun was on the floorboard of the back row of seats. It may be a loaded gun but it is not immediately accessible and therefore it is not aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former criminal prosecutor with years of experience with gun cases under 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6 . Contact Mr. Weisberg today so that he may begin the crucial process of defending you in court. He can be reached on his cell phone 24/7 at (773) 453-2140.
Up until they year 2011, a suspect that was found guilty of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon under 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6 might realistically have expected a sentence of probation and no jail or prison time. That all changed in 2011 when Illinois gun laws became more severe. Beginning on January 1, 2011, and continuing to the current day, any defendant convicted of this charge (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6) that is not in possession of a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) is required to spend between 1-3 years in prison. This harsh law applies to all individuals and can be devastating to suspects and their families. An excellent and well prepared criminal defense lawyer may able to convince the prosecutor to reduce the charge to allow the client to avoid jail time. It is very important that you retain a lawyer that allows you the greatest opportunity for the best result. Mr. Weisberg’s number one goal in every criminal case is to fight to keep his client out of jail.
If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.6) in the Chicago area, Andrew M. Weisberg is a criminal attorney with a reputation as an aggressive, smart and tough defense lawyer. He is a former prosecutor in Cook County and Will County, and he has gained vast experience in defending every area of criminal law, from sex crimes and violent offenses to domestic violence and theft offenses. To speak with Mr. Weisberg, call his office or his cell phone 24/7 at (773) 453-2140. The consultation is immediate, free and confidential.