When people think of a weapon used in threatening someone or committing a crime, they likely think of a gun. Today, more often than not, a robbery, burglary, or kidnapping is reported along with the threat of using a gun. However, under the law, guns are not the only weapons that can be used in an unlawful manner. In fact, the possession or use of a variety of other, less well-known weapons may lead to criminal unlawful weapons charges. It is important for Illinois residents to understand unlawful weapons laws because the charges that accompany such conduct are very seriously prosecuted and can lead to a variety of severe penalties and consequences.
A news story out of Skokie, Illinois, demonstrates the unlawful use of a weapon other than a gun. According to the Chicago Tribune, 53-year-old P. Alan Luche Corro was charged with multiple felony crimes after he allegedly threatened police officers with a knife. Mr. Corro allegedly began his evening by involving himself in an alleged battery, which led to police notification. Mr. Corro boarded a bus, and when he arrived at his destination decided to confront a business owner. When police arrived on the scene, Mr. Corro lunged at them with a knife. Police ordered Mr. Corro to put the knife down, but he refused to do so, and continued to hold the knife despite police efforts to take him down with a baton and pepper spray.
Finally, a police officer shot Mr. Corro in the leg, which caused him to let go of the knife. Mr. Corro was arrested and charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault, one count of unlawful use of a weapon, and simple assault, among other charges. Mr. Corro is currently held in the Cook County Jail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on September 24.
The number and type of non-firearms weapons that fall under ILCS 5/24-1, the Unlawful Use of Weapons statute, with regard to possession or carrying, may surprise many people. Under that statute, it is unlawful for a person to knowingly sell, manufacture, purchase, possess, or carry a variety of weapons including a bludgeon, metal knuckles, sand-club, throwing star, switchblade knife, or ballistic knife. Under the statute, it is also unlawful to carry or possess with the intent to use a variety of weapons, including a dangerous knife, broken bottle, dirk, and dagger. While violation of the unlawful weapons laws with regard to this conduct is generally a misdemeanor charge, it is important to note that if the crime is committed on a school property, the crime can be charged as a felony.
Unlawful weapons charges involving weapons other than guns may generally lead to misdemeanor charges. However, the charge of unlawful use of a weapon is often accompanied by charges for felony crimes committed along with that unlawful use. If you have been charged with a felony crime, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Goldman & Associates today for a confidential consultation.