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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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property crimeWhen you think of “property,” your mind likely goes straight to your house, apartment, or land. Keep in mind that there are actually two types of property: personal property and real property. Real property is anything that is attached in a permanent state to land, while personal property is everything else. Personal property can be tangible, i.e. a cell phone, or intangible i.e. securities (stocks and bonds).

The Felony Class System in Illinois

Regardless of whether the crime committed involves real or personal property, being convicted of these crimes can have severe consequences. For example, in Illinois, a residential burglary conviction is a Class 1 felony. which requires a sentence between four and 15 years. The class system in Illinois provides for four “classes,” plus a fifth, “class X,” which was recently added to the system. Class X is considered the most severe, followed by Classes 1, 2, and 3. Class 4 is the lowest level felony, meaning it carries the shortest sentences. However, it is still a felony, which means it can have a significant impact on one’s future personal and professional life.

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