Many people are unaware of the severe and far-reaching consequences that can accompany a DUI conviction. Jail time and loss of your driving privileges are potential penalties. Additionally, if you’re a hunter, you could lose your ability to own and carry a firearm.
If you’re facing DUI charges of any kind, it’s important to talk with your lawyer about this common complicating factor, which often gets overlooked.
Firearms during probation
First-offense and misdemeanor DUIs generally do not result in the automatic loss of your gun rights. However, the terms of your probation will likely prohibit you from carrying a firearm during the probationary period. Violating that restriction can result in harsher penalties.
Federal firearm prohibitions
The biggest firearm restrictions come from federal law, as certain convictions – including felony offenses – impose a lifetime ban on gun ownership and possession. If you’re a convicted felon and get caught carrying a gun, you could face additional felony charges at the federal level.
If you’re facing a felony-level DUI charge, it’s all the more important to work with an experienced DUI defense attorney. They may be able to negotiate a plea agreement that preserves your gun rights.
State hunting and gun laws
Legally hunting in Illinois requires a gun license. You must obtain a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) through the Illinois State Police. Having a criminal record can complicate your ability to get that license.
It is important to clear any intentions of hunting with an attorney to determine whether you can legally carry a gun. The potential firearm restrictions will vary based on the number and nature of your convictions.