What Does UUW Mean?
UUW means Unlawful Use of a Weapon.
Three Elements to Unlawful Use of a Weapon:
There are three elements to establish the charge. The first element a person must have is to “knowingly” perform an act. “Knowingly” means that a person actually was aware of the fact based upon the circumstances.
The next element is that the individual must either manufacture, purchase, possess, or carry a weapon. The word “weapon” is not only limited to a gun. Here the statute includes: sling-shot, sand-club, metal knuckles, throwing star, switchblade knife, dagger, billy, broken bottle, and stun gun. Furthermore, the statute also includes other types of weapons.
The last element is that the person must either carry or possess the weapon. However, “carry” and “possess” are broad terms. This includes having the weapon on one’s person or in one’s vehicle.
Defenses to UUW Charges:
The prosecutor/state’s attorney has to establish all three elements of the offense. This means that they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt all three elements. For example, in a typical gun case, the prosecutor has to prove that you knew you had a gun in the car. The element that is most difficult to prove is the “knowingly” element.
Example Strategy on a Gun Case:
Additionally, as an Attorney, I file a motion to exclude the evidence even prior to getting to the question of guilty or not guilty. This means, if it is a gun case, I file a motion to not allow the gun as evidence at trial. The motion is titled, “Motion to Quash Arrest and Suppress Evidence.” By filing this motion, I am able to present testimony before getting to a trial. Furthermore, I am able to test the witnesses stories and try to prove to the judge that the police officer searched the vehicle without proper consent. Therefore, the evidence obtained as part of the illegal search should be excluded.
Unlawful Use of a Weapon is Class 4 Felony. More information about a Class 4 Felony is located HERE.
You can read the Statute for Unlawful Use of a Weapon HERE.