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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Downers Grove weapons charges defense lawyerFirearm safety and gun laws are hot-button topics in America due to the high number of shootings that have occurred over the last couple of decades. Though many are advocating for the tightening of gun regulations across the nation, it is difficult to accomplish this when gun laws differ so significantly from state to state and situation to situation. Firearm owners should be sure to understand their gun rights as an Illinois resident or non-resident in order to avoid the possibility of facing weapons charges

Resident Rights

Obtaining the ability to legally carry and use a gun in Illinois is a fairly lengthy process. Residents planning to own firearms must acquire a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. This is issued by the Illinois State Police after completing the application process and a required course. After receiving a FOID card and purchasing a gun, there is a 72-hour waiting period in order to earn possession of the firearm. 

Having a FOID card does not allow Illinois residents to walk around public areas while carrying guns. A concealed carry license is necessary in the state of Illinois. This is another process that requires the completion of a 16-hour training course. Applicants must be at least 21 years old. After obtaining a concealed carry license, Illinois residents must abide by the following regulations:

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IL defense lawyerAlthough assault and battery are two different charges, the two are very similar and can often be confused. Both crimes require intentional harm towards another person but they have different outcomes. The results of the two charges are also very different. Knowing the legal definition of the two charges can mean a world of difference if you have been involved in a violent crime.

Assault

The word “assault” can be deceiving to those not well-versed in the law. Being charged for assault is much different than most people think. No one has to actually be physically harmed in the process. Assault is all about intent, which can occur through words or actions. If something you said caused someone immediate fear of being harmed, you can be charged with assault.

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IL defense lawyerHearing your child is on the path to juvenile detention can be a parent’s worst nightmare. Juvenile detention may be the adolescent alternative to incarceration; however, it does not make the situation any less concerning. Research has found that many offenders in juvenile detention have minor offenses and mental health issues, thus complete separation from their families and community is often ineffective and unnecessary. In order to avoid placing all youths into juvenile detention, diversion programs have been created as an alternative.

What Are Diversion Programs?

The purpose of diversion programs is to redirect youthful offenders from the justice system through programming, supervision, and supports. This is a way to avoid taking children away from their family and school community which often offers more help to individuals than being removed from their comfort zone. Diversion programs are often utilized by those who committed minor offenses. The idea is that becoming involved in their community, along with guidance from others, can help them learn how to become a positive addition to society.

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Posted on in Burglary

IL defense lawyerRobbery and burglary are two theft crimes that are sometimes spoken of interchangeably, but in reality, they are very different, at least under Illinois law. One is generally charged more highly than the other, but there are always exceptions. Either way, it is important to understand that each charge has very specific criteria that must be met if you are to be convicted. By knowing this, it may be possible to focus your efforts (that is, your attorney’s) on attacking specific pillars of the relevant charge.

Burglary Basics

Burglary is defined as someone entering into or remaining “without authority” in a building or vehicle (many types of vehicles qualify under the statute, including automobiles and boats, among others) with the intent to commit a theft or felony therein. The statute was just modified in recent years to include more areas than simply buildings (previously, only buildings were implicated in the law explicitly). It is important to keep in mind that while it is not enumerated in the law itself, the courts recognize residential burglary as somewhat more serious due to the nature of the crime, which is why it is usually charged as a Class 1 felony, while regular burglary is a Class 2 felony, which can in some cases be pled down to probation.

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IL defense lawyerEven as the status of some types of drugs, such as cannabis, has changed with advances in medical science, possession, and use of most street drugs remains a serious crime. Illinois, in particular, has raised the sentences for drug possession and distribution in recent years, which means that if you find yourself charged with such an offense, it can mean serious penalties upon conviction.

The Elements Are Clear

There are three major elements to a charge of drug possession in Illinois. Possession can be charged if one is caught with either the listed drug or a controlled substance analog, which has a chemical composition similar to any listed controlled substance (such as certain designer drugs, for example). The elements are: 1) establishing the substance in question as controlled; 2) showing the defendant knowingly possessed that substance; and 3) the substance was in that person’s possession (either actual or constructive possession qualifies).

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