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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 33F: Illegal Use of Body Armor

When lawmakers prohibit unlawful use of body armor, what exactly do they mean by that term? Under Illinois criminal law, the phrase body armor refers to a military-style assault vest, soft protective armor worn under a shirt, or any casual clothing made of Kevlar, among other garments.

A person commits the crime of unlawful use of body armor when he or she wears body armor while carrying a dangerous weapon in the commission of any offense. Upon first violation, this crime is a Class A misdemeanor, but the classification is upgraded to Class 4 felony upon any further offenses.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been arrested for illegal use of body armor in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 33F of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 33F

(720 ILCS 5/33F-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 33F-1)

Sec. 33F-1. Definitions. For purposes of this Article:

(a) "Body Armor" means any one of the following:

(1) A military style flak or tactical assault vest which is made of Kevlar or any other similar material or metal, fiberglass, plastic, and nylon plates and designed to be worn over one's clothing for the intended purpose of stopping not only missile fragmentation from mines, grenades, mortar shells and artillery fire but also fire from rifles, machine guns, and small arms.

(2) Soft body armor which is made of Kevlar or any other similar material or metal or any other type of insert and which is lightweight and pliable and which can be easily concealed under a shirt.

(3) A military style recon/surveillance vest which is made of Kevlar or any other similar material and which is lightweight and designed to be worn over one's clothing.

(4) Protective casual clothing which is made of Kevlar or any other similar material and which was originally intended to be used by undercover law enforcement officers or dignitaries and is designed to look like jackets, coats, raincoats, quilted or three piece suit vests.

(b) "Dangerous weapon" means a Category I, Category II, or Category III weapon as defined in Section 33A-1 of this Code. (Source: P.A. 91-696, eff. 4-13-00.)

(720 ILCS 5/33F-2) (from Ch. 38, par. 33F-2)

Sec. 33F-2. Unlawful use of body armor. A person commits the offense of unlawful use of body armor when he knowingly wears body armor and is in possession of a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm, in the commission or attempted commission of any offense. (Source: P.A. 93-906, eff. 8-11-04.) 720 ILCS 5/33F-3

(720 ILCS 5/33F-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 33F-3)

Sec. 33F-3. Sentence. A person convicted of unlawful use of body armor for a first offense shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and for a second or subsequent offense shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony. (Source: P.A. 87-521.)

(720 ILCS 5/Tit. IV heading) TITLE IV. CONSTRUCTION, EFFECTIVE DATE AND REPEAL

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DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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