Understanding Illinois Property Crimes: Burglary Charges

burglary, property crimes, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyProperty crimes can be prosecuted under a number of different charges in Illinois, depending on the circumstances of the case. Many of them, such as theft, robbery, and burglary may seem relatively similar to those unfamiliar with their distinctions. While charges related to any of these offenses can be extremely serious and carry severe potential penalties, it is important to understand what makes them different under law. Over the next several weeks, this blog will address some of the more common Illinois property crimes.

The Offense of Burglary

Illinois criminal code defines burglary as entering or unlawfully remaining on another’s property with the intent to commit a felony or theft. In situations in which a perpetrator picked a door lock or otherwise forced entry into the property, the act of burglary may be referred to as “breaking and entering.” Property included in the statute regarding burglary includes:

  • Buildings, such as homes or offices;
  • Housetrailers or mobile homes;
  • Boats and watercraft;
  • Aircraft;
  • Railroad cars; and
  • Motor vehicles

It is important to note that the law does not require the act of theft or other felony to actually occur in order to bring charges of burglary; the intent of the act can be enough. This means that a homeowner returning to find an intruder in his home who has not yet stolen anything could still result in burglary charges to the intruder.

In addition, the possession of burglary tools is a prosecutable offense as well. Burglary tools include any instruments, devices, or explosives “suitable for breaking into a building” or other property with the intent to enter and commit theft of other felony.

Prosecuting Burglary Offenses

Statutorily, burglary is considered a Class 2 felony, with certain exceptions. A burglary committed in a school, church, childcare center, group home, or day care home may be prosecuted as a Class 1 felony. As a Class 2 felony, a conviction would carry between 3 and 7 years in state prison and fines of up to $25,000. Class 1 felony conviction can result in up to 25 years in prison in addition to the fine.

Possession of burglary tools is slightly less serious. Such a charge is considered a Class 4 felony and if convicted, an individual faces up to 3 years in prison, and a $25,000 fine.

Get Help with Your Case

If you or someone you love has been charged with burglary or related offenses, understanding the situation is vital to building a qualified defense. Contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney today to schedule a free consultation. Our team has helped hundreds of clients and is prepared to provide you with the legal representation you deserve.

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