Getting Your Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon Charge Vacated
In 2013 the Illinois Supreme Court declared part of the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) statute to be facially unconstitutional in a case called People v. Aguilar. As such, convictions under that law are eligible to be vacated!
The LawIn 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a charge under 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A) is unconstitutional. A charge under that statute alleged that a person carried an uncased, loaded firearm within a vehicle and that the firearm was immediately accessible.
How the Law Helps Those Who Have a ConvictionWhen a court decides that a statute is "facially unconstitutional," the law becomes void ab initio. "Void ab initio" means that the law will be treated as though it had never existed in the first place.
As a result, the ruling not only stops any future prosecutions under the unconstitutional section of the statute, but it always work backwards to help those who were previously convicted under the statute.
If you have been convicted under the unconstitutional portion of the aggravated UUW statute, your attorney can petition the court to have that conviction vacated. Having the charge vacated would remove it from your record.
Why Get the Conviction Vacated?So long as the conviction stays on your record, prosecutors can use it to enhance any charges and/or sentences that you may receive in the future. Illinois courts have made it clear that, unless you get the conviction vacated, a prosecutor is free to use that conviction against you in subsequent cases.
Note that you must go into court to have this unconstitutional conviction vacated, it will not happen automatically.