First Steps to Take After Being Charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and penalties for violating them can be severe. If you are caught violating concealed carry laws, punishments can range from a misdemeanor for a first offense to a class 3 felony for a subsequent offense, which can be punishable by five years in prison and a fine of $25,000.
Anyone arrested for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit or violating the terms of a concealed carry permit should seek the help of an attorney. The experienced Illinois gun violation attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., know Illinois gun control laws, the judges, the courts and the system, and we can protect your rights by defending you against firearms offenses, including concealed carry violations.
We offer a free consultation, so contact us online or call our offices today to discuss your individual firearms violation situation with a skilled attorney who understands your Second Amendment rights and Illinois gun laws.
Illinois Firearms and Concealed Carry Laws
In Illinois, residents must have a state-issued Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card in order to own and possess a firearm and must carry this card while handling a firearm outside their home.
Having a valid FOID card permits you to possess a gun, but that doesn’t mean you can carry it with you everywhere. For concealed carry, you must also obtain a Concealed Carry License (CCL), which you must have with you while carrying the weapon. You can be charged with a concealed carry crime if you do not have a CCL or it is not with you while carrying a firearm, even if you have a FOID card, or if you expose your weapon.
According to Illinois law, a CCL holder may:
(1) Carry a loaded or unloaded concealed firearm, completely or mostly concealed from view of the public, on or about his or her person, and
(2) Keep or carry a concealed firearm on or about his or her person within a vehicle.
What To Do If You Are Arrested
If you have been arrested for a concealed weapon violation, you should take the following steps to avoid making your situation worse:
- Stay calm and don’t argue with the police. There may be situations where you inadvertently exposed a weapon you intended to conceal, but even if you are within your legal concealed carry rights, arguing with the police can only get you in more trouble. Protest enough and you may even face the additional charge of resisting arrest. Cooperate with instructions and orders police give you, but know that you can refuse to consent to a search of your home, car or personal belongings.
- Know your rights. When you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent and the right to speak to an attorney. Anything you say to the police or to others that is overheard can all be used against you and to make you look guilty. You also have a right to speak to an attorney, and you should do so immediately to avoid making mistakes that will get you in trouble. Tell the police you will not say anything until you speak to your attorney. Once you make this request, the police should stop questioning you.
- Be prepared for an arraignment. An arraignment is a court hearing where you will enter a plea and bail will be set. Having an attorney at the arraignment will result in your making the right plea, most often Not Guilty. An attorney can help determine whether you should negotiate a plea agreement or go to trial and may get you lower bail or no bail at all.
- Make sure you understand the charges. Understand the actual charges being brought against you and the potential consequences. An experienced criminal attorney can make sure that you know exactly what you are facing. Remember, that the law says everyone is to be regarded as innocent until proven guilty.
- Work with your attorney. Tell your attorney the truth about what happened from your point of view, and work together to review the facts of the case and find evidence that can support your claims and provide the best defense against the charges.
- Follow Court Orders. Make sure you follow instructions and orders from the court and the advice of your attorney.
Defend Against Concealed Carry Violations — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. for Help
The rules surrounding carrying a concealed weapon are changing and subject to interpretation. If you have been accused of illegally having any concealed weapon or any other weapons offenses, the skilled and experienced Illinois gun crimes lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are here to defend you. In addition, we can help if your application for a concealed carry permit was denied.
We are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. We know the judges and the court system and understand how the state police, the Concealed Carry License Review Board (CCLRB) and other involved agencies operate. We know that many law-abiding citizens without a criminal record can violate concealed carry laws without intention, and we will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense.
Don’t delay — contact us online or call our offices for a free consultation today if you have been accused of any concealed weapons charges. We represent clients in DuPage County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove and Bolingbrook, Illinois.