Does Combined Possession Weapons and Drugs Creates a Separate Offense ?
In People v. Williams, 302 Ill. App. 3d 975, 707 N.E.2d 980, 236 Ill. Dec. 642 (1999), the defendant was arrested during a traffic stop because of a warrant for his arrest.
During the arrest, the arresting officer found a gun and a baggie containing nine rocks of cocaine in the car seat.
Defendant was convicted of and sentenced to concurrent terms of 18 years' imprisonment for armed violence based on possession of a controlled substance and 10 years' imprisonment for unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.
The second district found that the two convictions were borne out of the common act of a felon possessing a gun and drugs simultaneously.
"In one instance the gun is combined with possession of a controlled substance to constitute armed violence, and in the other it is combined with the act of a convicted felon status to create a separate offense." Williams, 302 Ill. App. 3d at 978, 707 N.E.2d at 982.
Accordingly, the court reversed the separate conviction for unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and vacated the sentence. Williams, 302 Ill. App. 3d at 978, 707 N.E.2d at 982.