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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Property and Theft Crimes in Illinois During the Holidays

Posted on in Burglary

Illinois holiday burglaries, DuPage criminal lawyerProperty crimes are on the rise, especially around the holiday season. With car break-ins reportedly increasing this season, it follows that home break-ins and other acts of theft are more frequent than usual as well. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that approximately 400,000 burglaries occur in residences throughout the country in the months of November and December alone.

Types of Property and Theft Crimes in Illinois

Big trees fill the windows of our neighborhoods around this time, surrounded by the brightly colored and meticulously wrapped gifts waiting to be opened. These gifts can entice burglars, even if their contents are unknown. Burglary is a legal term that, in Illinois, means knowingly entering or without authority remaining in a building, intending to commit a felony or theft within the building. This is a class 2 felony property crimes that may lead to a maximum of three to seven years in jail. Other similar, and often as serious, crimes include possessing burglary tools, unlawful sale of burglary tools, or residential burglary.

Theft crimes fall under their own category in the Illinois Code—these include general theft when someone takes possession or control over something that is not theirs, engages in acts of deception to obtain property, or obtains these items knowing the property has been stolen. The punishments and associated sentences vary depending on where the property was stolen, the value of the property, and whether weapons or violence were involved at all.

Tips for Avoiding Getting Burglarized

In order to keep your home, car, and personal items safe, there are many precautions you can take. Thieves are drawn to any number of things that could appear valuable, even if they, in fact, are not. Things such as car chargers, sunglasses, and other seemingly unimportant items may cause your vehicle to become a target for thieves. Leaving gifts in plain sight in your living room may entice burglars into your home, who may discover other valuable items such as jewelry, electronics, or heirlooms.

Many police agencies recommend implementing neighborhood watch programs, or stepping up the security in those neighborhoods that already have some a similar system in place.

DuPage County Property Criminal Lawyers

On the flip side of all of this, of course, are the individuals committing, or accused of committing, the crimes. If you or anyone you know has been accused of a property crime, it is critical to understand that you have legal rights. There are a number of defenses you may employ to prevent you from being convicted with the crimes you are charged with. Our DuPage County criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge necessary to navigate the criminal justice system and ensure you the most favorable outcome possible. If you have been wrongfully accused, you may be able to have the charges against you completely dropped, or significantly reduced. If you have already been convicted of a property crime, you may also be entitled to expungement. Contact Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. at 630-472-9700 today for help.

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