To be convicted of reckless discharge of a firearm, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you 1) recklessly discharged a firearm 2) endangering the bodily safety of an individual. If either of those elements is missing, the state cannot prove its case.

In a recent Illinois appellate case, the court held that that an endangered individual must be someone other than yourself. In People v Grant, the defendant was charged with recklessly discharging a firearm by accidentally shooting himself in an empty room. The court rejected the state’s argument that the defendant was an individual and thus he could be charged because he endangered himself.

Reckless discharge of a firearm is a Class 4 felony, punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison. If the shooting is from a car, the driver of the car may also be charged for the shooter’s actions.

If you are charged with an Illinois offense, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case to determine your best defense. Can the state prove all the elements of the offense? Did the police act lawfully when they made your arrest? Was any search for a weapon legal? If not, an attorney can petition the court to suppress any evidence that was illegally taken.

Even if the police acted properly and the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

See also: Reckless Discharge of a Firearm Statute.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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