Chicago Weapons Lawyer
It seems that barely a day goes by in Chicago without a report of some kind of shooting in the local media. The University of Chicago Crime Lab reports that 80 percent of Chicago homicides involve firearms, and nearly 75 percent of all homicide victims were outdoors, which suggests that many of the shooters were carrying guns in public.
Because of the prevalence of gun violence, Illinois lawmakers have attempted to crack down on offenses related to the possession and use of firearms. However, the homicide rate in Chicago continues to rise despite these efforts.
The result of stricter laws against owning, possessing, carrying, or using firearms is a confusing system in which gun owners may think they’re complying with the law but end up facing serious weapons charges for having a gun in the wrong place at the wrong time.
For example, Illinois allows a gun owner to transport a weapon that is unloaded, inside a case, and when they have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, or FOID. So if you have a gun in your vehicle or on your person that is loaded — because you’re carrying it for personal protection — you can be charged with a serious criminal offense in Illinois.
If you’re convicted of an Illinois firearm offense, your life may be affected in many negative ways.
- You may serve time in jail or prison
- You may have to pay expensive fines and fees
- You may lose your right to own or possess firearms in the future
- You’ll acquire a permanent criminal record that can affect your job or career
- You may lose or be denied a professional license to work as a teacher, doctor, lawyer, nurse, pharmacist, or other licensed professional
- Your immigration status may be affected and you may lose your visa or green card, be denied citizenship, or be deported to your native country
When you’ve been charged with a firearm offense, you need the help of an experienced Chicago weapons lawyer who knows the details of the state’s firearms statutes and will fight to protect your rights in court.
Experienced Defense For Your Chicago Firearms Charge
Michael O’Meara is a Chicago weapons lawyer with extensive trial experience in a wide variety of criminal matters. He has more than a decade of experience in criminal defense litigation, as well as several years as a Cook County assistant state’s attorney prosecuting various types of crimes.
O’Meara’s experience on both sides of the process gives him a unique understanding of how the criminal justice system works. He understands how prosecutors in Chicago and the surrounding area build cases — which means he also understands how to make strong arguments against them and effective ways to approach negotiations to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
O’Meara strongly believes in justice and in your rights as a criminal defendant. He works tirelessly on behalf of people charged with crimes to see that each person’s rights are preserved and his or her side of the story is told in court.
Common Types of Illinois Weapons Charges
Illinois has numerous statutes regarding the use, possession, and carrying of weapons and firearms. Michael O’Meara is a skilled Chicago weapons lawyer who is prepared to handle any type of firearm charge you might face. These are some of the most common types of firearm charges.
- Unlawful Use of Weapons — This is a complex offense that encompasses a number of different actions related to firearms and other weapons, including selling, manufacturing, purchasing, and possessing. Unlawful use of weapons can be a misdemeanor or felony in Illinois, depending on the circumstances of your alleged offense. Learn more about the various ways you can be charged with unlawful use of weapons, the possible penalties, and how a criminal defense lawyer can help.
- Reckless Discharge — Reckless discharge of a firearm involves shooting a weapon in a way that endangers the physical safety of others. Reckless discharge of a firearm is a felony offense in Illinois. Learn more about this offense and what you might face if you’ve been charged.
- Aggravated Discharge — Aggravated discharge of a firearm can involve shooting into an occupied building, at a person, or at an occupied vehicle, among other scenarios. Aggravated discharge of a firearm is a serious felony offense in Illinois that carries harsh penalties if you’re convicted. Learn more about what it means to be charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and the possible penalties.
- Unlawful Possession of Firearms — It’s illegal in Illinois for certain people to possess firearms, including people under 18 when the firearm is concealed, drug addicts, people who have been hospitalized for mental health issues, and people under 21 with a prior misdemeanor conviction or who were delinquent as juveniles. Learn more about the ways you can be charged with unlawful possession of firearms and what you might face if convicted.
If you’ve been charged with a weapons or firearms offense, don’t hesitate to contact O’Meara Law LLC at 312-909-0706 to learn your options for a defense. O’Meara understands that when you’re facing a criminal charge, your freedom, and your future are on the line, but with his help you may be able to fight the charge and avoid the serious consequences of a conviction.