Are Brass Knuckles Legal in Illinois?

UUW-300x221Earlier this week, I met with a client who was pulled over by the State Police for driving 38 miles an hour over the speed limit on the Tollway. The client did not realize that driving 38 miles an hour over the posted speed limit in Illinois is a crime. He did not realize that he could be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor for driving at such an excessive speed. He did not know that he was facing the possibility of being sentenced to one-year in County Jail and fined up to $2,500.

When the State Trooper spoke to my client, he smelled an odor of burnt cannabis and observed a bowl, which the client had used to smoke marijuana, in the center console of my client’s vehicle. The State Trooper pulled the client out of the vehicle and placed him under arrest. When the State Trooper asked my client if there was anything in the vehicle that he wanted the Trooper to be aware of, the client told him that he had a pair of brass knuckles in the center armrest of his vehicle. The State Trooper found the brass knuckles and charged my client with Unlawful Use of a Weapon (720 ILCS 5/24-1) because of the brass knuckles. My client told me that he’s had the brass knuckles since he was a teenager and had no idea that he could be charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon by simply possessing a pair of brass knuckles.

When it comes to the possession of brass knuckles, Illinois has very strict laws and rules that make the mere possession of brass, or metal knuckles, a crime. Not only is it against the law to possess brass knuckles in Illinois, it is against the law to possess jewelry, or items that look similar to brass knuckles. Brass knuckles are considered a deadly weapon in Illinois, just like a knife or a gun. If you are caught with brass knuckles, you will be charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon, a Class A Misdemeanor. If you are caught with a pair of brass knuckles, you could be facing up to a year in county jail and a fine up to $2,500. Illinois Law places brass knuckles in the same category as a gun or a knife. From experience, even though the criminal charges for the possession of brass knuckles is the same as the possession of a firearm, criminal defendants charged with possessing brass knuckles are generally not treated as harshly in Court as criminal defendants who are charged with a possession of a firearm. You are more likely to get Probation or Court Supervision for the possession of brass knuckles as opposed to the possession of a firearm. Of course, every case is different so you should consult with an experienced Unlawful Use of Weapon criminal defense attorney about your specific case.

You can also be charged with a Class 4 felony for possessing brass knuckles. If you are caught with brass knuckles at a place that is licensed to sell alcohol, or at any place that has received a government license to have a public gathering, or any place that charges people a fee, you could be charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries a possible prison sentence of 1 to 3 years.

James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, UUW lawyer. James Dimeas has been handling UUW and brass knuckle cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County, for over 26-years. Recently, Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas, the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois.” The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois.” The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys named James Dimeas a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” The American Society of Legal Advocates named James Dimeas a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois For the Years 2018 and 2019.” James Dimeas was named a “Best DUI Attorney” and a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago” by Expertise. The National Trial Lawyers named James Dimeas a ‘Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer.” AVVO rates James Dimeas as “Superb”, the highest rating possible for any UUW lawyer in the United States.

If you are being charged with a UUW, you can always contact James Dimeas for a free and confidential consultation. You can speak to James Dimeas personally by calling him at 847-807-7405.

Additional Resources:

720 ILCS 5/24-1, Unlawful Use of Weapons.

Additional Blogs:

2019’s Changes to the Illinois Gun Laws, Chicago Criminal Lawyeer Blog, by James G. Dimeas, January 5, 2019.

Can I be Guilty of a UUW by Just Having a Gun in My Glove Compartment, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, by James G. Dimeas, May 2, 2017.