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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23212
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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On Sunday, my son (who just turned 21) was arrested for gun

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On Sunday, my son (who just turned 21) was arrested for gun possession. The gun was not his nor was it in his possession. He was talking to some acquaintances who showed him the gun and idiot that he is - he touched it and gave it back. Someone must have called the police and his so-called friends ran off as the police arrived. My son didn’t run because he hadn’t done anything wrong. However, the police did a search of the entire area/block and discovered the gun thrown in a bush. It appears that the one carrying the gun must have tossed it as he ran away. Since my son was the only one left in the area, they said it was his and he was taken into custody. I bailed him out on Monday and he has a court hearing next Monday (June 6).

He has never been arrested for such an offense. He’s had a couple of misdemeanors 2-3 years ago: trespassing (went near train tracks), disorderly conduct (was at the Puerto Rican Day Parade with some friends and one of his friends had some words with a police officer who arrested all of them).

We don’t know what we should do as we can’t really afford a lawyer. Your guidance/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

Here is the statute for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Illinois. As you can see, if the firearm is a handgun rather than a rifle, for example, this is a class 4 felony. The maximum penalty for a class 4 felony is 3 years of prison.

Your son will need a lawyer, and if he is unable to afford one, he should plead NOT GUILTY at his arraignment and ask the court to appoint him a public defender. Hopefully, he was not interrogated by the police as to what happened here and didn't sign any statement that he had this gun in his possession at any time. But one way or the other his lawyer may be able to bargain this down to a misdemeanor and a non-incarceratory sentence. It will just be much easier if there's no admission, since the gun was not found on his person.
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