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Criminal Law: Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapon, Not Guilty

Case Conclusion Date: 01.28.2013

Practice Area: Criminal Defense

Outcome: Not Guilty

Description: In the Cook County Criminal Law Case of The People of the State of Illinois v. C.D. a judge on January 29, 2013 found our client Not Guilty of Aggravated Unlawful Use of Weapons. As charged, under Illinois Statute 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6, the defendant was looking a mandatory minimum of 1 year in the State Penitentiary with a maximum penalty of 3 years. There were 2 witnesses that testified during the Bench Trial at 26th and California in Chicago's District One Courthouse. The allegations were that Chicago Police Officers were on a Theft from Motor Vehicles Mission on the 800 West Block of Huron when they were walking through parking lots looking for evidence of thefts. A police officer claimed that at approximately 4:00 a.m. while looking for evidence of vehicle thefts in the valet parking lot of a local nightclub he shined his flashlight into the defendant's unoccupied parked vehicle and observed the butt of a handgun protruding from the passenger side door panel. The officer then established a place of surveillance and waited for the owner of the vehicle to return. Sometime later a valet driver brought the vehicle back to the front of the nightclub where the officer waited for the occupants to enter the vehicle and start to drive away before curbing the vehicle and searching the occupants and the driver. Our client was that driver of the vehicle, which was a car rented from Avis, and allegedly gave an oral statement to the police admitting the gun was his. Our client testified on his own behalf and contradicted the statements of the police involved in his arrest. In his ruling the judge found both or client's version of events to be credible and also the officer's. In criminal law cases the standard of proof is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge ruled that not knowing exactly what occurred when both versions of events were logical and there were multiple people with access to the area where the firearm was allegedly recovered that he could not find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Our client expressed his gratitude to the court and is hopeful to get this arrest expunged from his record and continue with the small business he owns with his mother.

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