New Illinois Unlawful Firearm Use Sentencing Bill under Scrutiny

illinois-weapons-lawAccording to the Chicago mayor, the current Illinois unlawful weapon law and punishment is not strict enough to combat gun violence across the city. Right now, a charged individual can face a prison term of up to three years if caught using a weapon unlawfully. Some, however, only serve half that time, and others go through probation or boot camp as part of the sentence. Being charged with unlawful use of a weapon is a serious matter, and it’s recommended that you contact a criminal attorney as soon as possible after you are charged. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says that the current law includes the same penalties that a person might face for shoplifting, so that’s why he’s supporting a bill that would increase the sentence to a three-year mandatory sentence minimum. This new law would also require anyone found guilty to fulfill 85 percent of their time in prison. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy supports the measure, too. He argues that there are easily more than 100 examples of shootings and murders that could have been avoided if the bill were already enacted. The bill was also analyzed by the University of Chicago crime lab, where researchers determined that individuals on parole arrested for carrying a firearm illegally are four times more likely than other groups of convicted felons to be detained for murder. These individuals were also nine more likely to be arrested for a nonlethal shooting when compared with other convicted felons on parole. According to the crime lab, tougher sanctions can help to reduce incidences of crime and that this may be true for gun violence as well. Facing a weapons charge is a serious matter for individuals across the state. Consequences, including prison time, could change your life. Your future is important and how your case is handled can depend greatly on the attorney.  Trust your case to an experienced Illinois criminal lawyer today.