If you were charged with a misdemeanor in your juvenile court case, send a follow-up letter to ISP with a certified copy of the Petition and certified copy of the dispositional order. They must issue your card with 30 days.
If you still do not have your card issued, you can, in some circumstances, petition the county circuit court in the county in which you live. You should plan on being aggressive, as ISP is notorious for delays and playing judge and jury when it comes to FOID cards. I have successfully challenged ISP in numerous occasions to reinstate FOID card privileges when they said it wasn't possible to issue the FOID card. Don't let a non-attorney ISP officer tell you what your rights are. Hire an attorney.
This response is being provided for information purposes only and does not constitute an attorney client relationship. Furthermore, I am only licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. While there are oftentimes similarities between States' laws, there can also be large differences. You should not rely on this response as legal advice and are highly encouraged to speak to an attorney licensed in your State for an accurate legal answer.
I agree with Counsel Thomas, you have to protect your legal rights aggressively. The rule of thumb is that any Illinois resident over 21 without any felony convictions is eligible for an FOID issuance. The arrest for retail theft is NOT an evidence of guilt or conviction from any legal standpoint.
Please secure a certified court disposition of that matter from 11 years ago in the court which had jurisdiction of that case at the time. I would suggest meeting with a criminal defense attorney to draft a strong letter to the ISP with all the bona fide proofs of ABSENCE of any precluding felony or misdemeanor convictions (like domestic battery, for instance). No one could expire your Constitutional rights capriciously for any reason if you eligible, that is why still keep the U.S. a free country.
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