UUW By a Felon-Cook County-Not Guilty Verdict After Trial
Not Guilty Verdict for Aggravated UUW Charges at 26th and California after trial.
People v R.W. - Chicago UUW lawyer, James Dimeas, obtained a Not Guilty verdict after a trial for a client charged with an Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon in Cook County, at 26th and California. The client had been convicted of a Possession of Cannabis felony charge 7 years earlier. As a result, he was considered a convicted felon. The UUW By a Felon charge is a Class 3 felony which carries a mandatory prison sentence between 2 to 5 years. If the client had been convicted of UUW by a Felon, probation would not have been available for him. A conviction would have carried a mandatory minimum of 2 years in prison.
The client spent roughly 7 months in Cook County Jail. The Bond Court had set a high Bond and the client was unable to post Bond. After 7 months, the family of the client hired Cook County criminal defense lawyer, James Dimeas, to represent the client. James Dimeas was able to file a Motion to Reduce the Bond so that the client could be released from Cook County Jail. The client was placed on electronic monitoring and was allowed to go home with his family.
At trial, the police officer testified that he received a call over his radio of a suspicious vehicle in a high crime neighborhood in Chicago. The officer and his partner arrived at the scene and observed the vehicle parked on the street. Inside the vehicle they noticed a driver and passenger in the front seat and a passenger in the rear seat of the vehicle. They saw the parked vehicle stopped for a few minutes on the side of the road and then observed the vehicle pull away. The officer testified that they followed the vehicle for a few minutes and then pulled it over. As the officer was pulling over the vehicle, he testified that he saw the front seat passenger and rear seat passenger making movements inside the vehicle. When the officer approached the driver's side of the vehicle, he noticed that the rear seat passenger was sitting on a long cardboard box which had the words "Cabela's" written on it. The officer testified that the box looked like it may contain a long rifle. Mr. Dimeas's client was the rear seat passenger that was observed sitting on the Cabela's cardboard box.
The officer and his partner requested that the occupants of the vehicle exit the vehicle so that they may search the vehicle. The officers opened the Cabela's cardboard box and found a loaded rifle with a scope Inside the box. On the rear floor of the vehicle, the officers testified that they found a loaded semi-automatic 9mm firearm. The officers testified that the 9mm handgun was located two feet from where the client was sitting. The officers also recovered a loaded firearm in the glove compartment in front of where the front seat passenger was sitting. When the police checked the client's identity, they discovered that he had a previous felony conviction and charged him with Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a Felon.
The client was originally represented by the Cook County Public Defender's Office. After a few months, the family hired a private attorney. The private attorney was trying to get the defendant to plead guilty to the UUW by a Felon charge and agree to serve 2 years in prison. The client was unwilling to plead guilty to something that he was not guilty of. The family retained Chicago UUW lawyer, James Dimes, to represent the client. James Dimeas has been handling UUW cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County, for over 25 years. Mr. Dimeas met with the driver of the vehicle who informed him that she had a valid FOID card and that the guns that were recovered by the police belonged to her.
At trial, Chicago UUW lawyer, James Dimeas, cross-examined the arresting police officer. Mr. Dimeas was able to get the arresting police officer to admit that the driver of the vehicle told him that the guns belonged to her after they were discovered. The arresting officer admitted that he determined that the driver possessed a valid FOID card and that the rifle was registered to her while both of the handguns we're not registered to anyone. The officer testified that the client never admitted to any knowledge that there were any guns inside the vehicle.
Chicago UUW attorney, James Dimeas, called the driver of the car to testify. The driver testified that earlier in the evening she went to a local shooting range with her boyfriend. After they left the shooting range they were driving home. Her boyfriend noticed her friend, the client, walking on the side of the road as they were driving home. She pulled over and let the client sit in the back of the vehicle. After about a minute, she pulled away and started driving. Almost immediately, she noticed that she was being followed by a police car and was pulled over by the police. The driver testified that all of the guns inside of her vehicle belonged to her. She produced a valid FOID card. She testified that she never told the client that she had guns inside of her vehicle. She testified that she told the police that the guns belonged to her and showed them her FOID card at the scene. She produced a receipt from a local gun shop showing that she had legally owned the rifle. She testified that the handguns belonged to an uncle who had given them to her by his family after he died.
After hearing all of the evidence and all of the arguments, the court found the client Not Guilty of UUW by a Felon. The court found that all of the witnesses were believable and that the state had failed to prove Mr. Dimeas's client guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The client had been given an opportunity to plead guilty and avoid the risks associated with being found guilty after a trial. If the client had accepted the two-year offer, it's possible that he would not have served any more time because of the credit for the seven months that he had already served in Cook County Jail prior to his bond being reduced. But since the client was adamant that he did not know that there were guns inside the vehicle, he refused to plead guilty to something that he was not guilty of.
James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, UUW attorney and published author. The National Trial Lawyers have named James Dimeas a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer." Expertise named James Dimeas a "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago." Mr. Dimeas has been named a "Best DUI Attorney." The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys have named James Dimeas a "10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction." Recently, the American Society of Legal Advocates named James Dimeas a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer In the State of Illinois For the Year 2018." AVVO rates James Dimeas as "Superb", the highest rating possible for any criminal defense lawyer in the United States.
If you are facing UUW charges in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, or Lake County, you can contact UUW lawyer, James Dimeas, anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can always talk to James Dimeas personally by calling him at 847-807-7405 for a personal consultation.