Illinois Burglary Offenses

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Criminal Defense

burglary, property crimes, Illinois Criminal Defense LawyerWhile often associated with similar-sounding and related property crimes, offenses pertaining to burglary in Illinois are handled as a separate classification under law. Television and movies have promulgated the image of a burglar as an individual who breaks into a home or business to steal money or personal belongings. While such portrayals are not entirely inaccurate, they also do not tell the whole story. Burglary charges can be much more nuanced than many may realize.

Burglary Basics

Illinois law specifies that burglary is committed when, without proper authority, an individual “knowingly enters or without authority remains within a building” or other property intending to commit a theft or other felony. The law also indicates that a burglary can take place in any home, commercial building, housetrailer, boat or watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, or railroad car.

The theft of property or other felony is not necessary for a burglary charge to be made. Intent to commit such an act is sufficient. While theft is most commonly associated with burglary charges, other felonies such as destruction of property or arson may also create scenarios in which burglary charges may be considered.

The lesser charge of criminal trespass is related to burglary, but involves entering or remaining within a residence without proper permission or authority. Criminal trespass is different from burglary in that the intent to commit a theft or felony is not required.

Residential Burglary

While burglary can be committed in just about any building or on any property, such action in a home is known as residential burglary. In addition to breaking and entering, residential burglary is also committed when an individual poses as government agent or representative from a utility or construction company to gain access to the dwelling with the intent of committing theft or other felony.

Prosecution of Burglary

Charges of burglary, like many offenses, are dependent on the circumstances of the alleged acts. Burglary in a non-residential setting is prosecuted as a Class 2 felony. If the offense is committed in a school, daycare center, or place of worship, the offense is a Class 1 felony. Likewise, residential burglary is a Class 1 felony.

Criminal trespass is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, unless it occurs with the knowledge that another person is present in the residence. In such cases, it may be charged as a Class 4 felony.

If you have been charged with burglary, criminal trespass, or any other property crime, you need the help of a skilled defense lawyer. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney today at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. We offer a free initial consultation so that we can review your case and answer your questions. Call now and put our team to work for you.

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