Bad Lawyers

Over 50 Guns Seized from Attorney’s Home
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Summary: A Crystal Lake attorney was cited for DUI while in possession of a loaded gun when he had already lost his concealed carry license and FOID card.

Police responded to a call of a potentially drunk motorist in the area of North Williams Street in Chicago to find Crystal Lake attorney Donald F. Franz in the driver’s seat. Franz was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol with a loaded gun in addition to his driver’s license, concealed carry license, and firearm owner’s identification card all having been revoked.


When police approached Franz, he became “uncooperative and combative with police.” With his license suspended, the officer went to arrest Franz but he pushed the arresting officer “in the body with both hands, resulting in an injury to her finger.” They found several rounds of ammunition in in the vehicle as well as a loaded handgun.

With a warrant in hand, police discovered 36 high powered rifles, assault rifles and shotguns and an additional 20 various handguns as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition from his home.

Franz was charged in multiple felonies for the unlawful possession of firearms without a FOID card, aggravated DUI, aggravated resisting a police officer, and aggravated battery to a police officer. The misdemeanor charges included unlawful possession of ammunition, a revoked FOID card, and a revoked concealed carry license.

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Franz has been licensed to practice law in Illinois since 1993. He is currently facing punishment from the state’s Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission resulting from a complaint from a client. The client claims that Franz “insulted his manhood and choice of automobiles” during a disagreement over a legal fee. Franz also called the client a crude name and challenged him to a duel.

Franz’s attorney claims the entire conversation was taken wrong. The email Franz sent the client states, “Can you please tell me where you would like to be served? Fee agreements are not required in these matters and not between men. My mistake, there is only one man involved between us. I challenge you to a duel, you pick the time, place and manner. I choose small claims court. See you very soon.”

However, once the investigation was opened into Franz’s conduct, he left several commission officials threatening voicemails. One voicemail stated, “When I get cancer, I am going to kill you with my bare hands.” Another voicemail stated, “I’m the attorney you are trying to murder. … So the day you suspend me, I’m going to stop taking my pills, I’m going to get my affairs in order, I am going to kill you. Have a nice day.”

The Commission has since moved his hearing to the Daley Center where additional security can be present from their typical Chicago headquarters. He posted $5,000 on a $50,000 bond and was released Saturday.

Franz was charged in April by Cook County for possession of ammunition and firearm without a valid FOID card. That case is still pending.

Do you think Franz should have been allowed to leave custody so easily when he has made so many threats against people? Tell us in the comments below.

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