Discharge of Firearm Lawyer Chicago
If you have been charged with either reckless discharge of a firearm or aggravated discharge of a firearm in Chicago, it is crucial to seek the help of an experienced lawyer who specializes in firearms law. Recklessly discharging a firearm is a serious offense that can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.
What Is Reckless Discharge of Firearm?
In Illinois, the law defines reckless discharge of a firearm as the act of firing a gun in a reckless manner that endangers the lives of others. Criminal charges dealing with reckless discharge of a firearm are enumerated in Section 720 ILCS 5/24-1.5. This means that you can be charged with this crime if you demonstrate a complete disregard for the safety or well-being of those around you while handling and discharging a firearm. One common example of reckless discharge is the dangerous practice of celebrating the New Year by shooting into the air, which puts innocent bystanders at risk.
It's important to note that not only the person who fired the weapon can be held accountable for this offense. If the reckless discharge occurs from within a vehicle, such as shooting out of a moving car, both the shooter and the driver can face legal consequences. This highlights the seriousness with which Illinois treats this offense and its commitment to holding all parties responsible for their actions.
Reckless discharge of a firearm in Illinois is a Class 4 felony and is punishable by jail time of 1-3 years and can carry a fine of up to $25,000.00
However, it's essential to understand that certain circumstances may exempt individuals from prosecution under this statute. Law enforcement officers or members of military units who fire their weapons in accordance with their official duties are generally protected from facing charges under this law. Nonetheless, when a weapon is discharged towards an individual or group intentionally or recklessly, especially when there is knowledge that there could reasonably be people present in buildings or vehicles, this is a crime.
What Is Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm?
According to the Illinois Criminal Code, Section 720 ILCS 5/23-1.2, a person commits aggravated discharge of a firearm when they knowingly or intentionally discharge a firearm in the direction of another person or at a building, vehicle, or structure that they know to be occupied. It is important to note that discharging a firearm is never a misdemeanor and need not cause any harm or injury for someone to be charged with this offense. The recklessly firing of a gun alone is sufficient to warrant criminal charges.
The penalties for aggravated discharge of a firearm in Illinois vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offense. Generally, this offense is classified as a Class 1 felony, which carries a potential prison sentence of 4 to 15 years. However, aggravating factors can lead to increased penalties if the discharge occurs from a moving vehicle, in the direction of a school, or toward a police officer. In that case, the offense becomes a Class X felony, which carries even harsher penalties, including a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.
Difference Between Aggravated Discharge and Reckless Discharge of Firearm
In the State of Illinois, reckless discharge of a firearm is a criminal offense that involves the reckless and careless discharge of a firearm that endangers the bodily safety of an individual. These are less serious offenses and carry a lesser penalty than the aggravated discharge of a firearm, which can carry a Class X felony conviction. Collateral consequences of a conviction for reckless discharge can include loss of gun rights, difficulty finding employment, and damage to one's reputation. It is important to note that the specific circumstances and consequences for these offenses may vary depending on the specific facts of each case and the judge's discretion.
On the other hand, aggravated discharge refers to the act of knowingly and intentionally discharging a firearm in the direction of a person, a vehicle, a building, or another specific target, and as a result of the discharge, someone is injured, or the property is damaged. Aggravating factors that could impact sentencing include the use of a firearm in the commission of a gang-related crime or the discharge being in the direction of a school, park, public housing, or a peace officer.
Importance of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney for Reckless or Aggravated Discharge of Firearm Charges in Chicago
Gun crimes, especially reckless discharge of a firearm, are taken very seriously in Chicago. Conviction for this offense can result in severe penalties, including hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences. The difficulty of convincing prosecutors to dismiss or reduce charges makes hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney imperative.
The potential consequences of a conviction for reckless discharge of a firearm are dire. Aside from the immediate legal repercussions, a conviction can also lead to a tarnished reputation, difficulty finding employment, and loss of certain rights and privileges.
Given the gravity of these charges, it is crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the complexities of Chicago's legal system and has a proven track record of successfully defending clients against firearm charges. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can navigate the legal process, build a strong defense strategy, and advocate for the best possible outcome for the accused.
In light of the serious nature of gun crimes and the challenging legal landscape, hiring a criminal defense attorney for reckless discharge charges in Chicago is essential to protect one's rights and future.
If you or someone you know is facing a felony charge for either reckless discharge of a firearm or has a criminal case for aggravated discharge of a firearm, it is time to call the Chicago Premier Attorney, who has years of extensive experience.