The most common gun charge in Illinois is Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon. This is when a person is carrying a gun, outside of their home or place of business, and they do not have a Concealed Carry License. It is a Class 4 Felony and the sentence is a mandatory 1-3 years penitentiary time and is non-probationary.
There are a few strategies that you and your lawyer should consider when defending against this charge. The first is to try and determine if there are any violations of your constitutional rights under the 4th amendment or 5th amendment.
The 4th amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure by the police. Many defendants challenge either the grounds of a traffic stop or the reason for searching the person or car.
The 5th amendment is your right against self-incrimination. Upon arrest, the police have the requirement to tell you your Miranda rights. One of your Miranda rights, is your right to remain silent. In many situations, the police do not give the Miranda rights to a defendant. This can lead to challenging the admission in court.
Another defense strategy is actual versus constructive possession. If a gun is found near you in your car or outside your home or business with other people around, this is known as constructive possession. The gun can actually belong to someone else and constructive possession can be challenged. Another example of constructive possession is if a defendant was driving someone else’s car and the gun is found in the trunk. The prosecution needs to prove that you had knowledge and intent to possess the gun.