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Posted on in Burglary

IL defense lawyerRobbery and burglary are two theft crimes that are sometimes spoken of interchangeably, but in reality, they are very different, at least under Illinois law. One is generally charged more highly than the other, but there are always exceptions. Either way, it is important to understand that each charge has very specific criteria that must be met if you are to be convicted. By knowing this, it may be possible to focus your efforts (that is, your attorney’s) on attacking specific pillars of the relevant charge.

Burglary Basics

Burglary is defined as someone entering into or remaining “without authority” in a building or vehicle (many types of vehicles qualify under the statute, including automobiles and boats, among others) with the intent to commit a theft or felony therein. The statute was just modified in recent years to include more areas than simply buildings (previously, only buildings were implicated in the law explicitly). It is important to keep in mind that while it is not enumerated in the law itself, the courts recognize residential burglary as somewhat more serious due to the nature of the crime, which is why it is usually charged as a Class 1 felony, while regular burglary is a Class 2 felony, which can in some cases be pled down to probation.

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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.

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