Archive for the ‘burglary’ Category
January 2nd, 2017 at 9:49 am
The word burglary often brings to mind a masked person stealing money from a bank, breaking into a car, or stealing money, jewelry, or other property from a home. However, under Illinois law, burglary can occur in many other places. To limit your understanding of the crime of burglary to only homes and cars would be overly narrow and inaccurate.
Elements of the Crime of Burglary
It is considered burglary to break into and enter a place without permission, such as trailers, buildings, and motor vehicles. But burglary also includes other transportation vehicles, such as watercraft and aircraft, with the intent to commit theft of any other felony offense. When the location that is broken into is a home or other dwelling, i.e., a place where someone sleeps, it is considered residential burglary.
Burglary is not limited to physical breaking into a new building or vehicle. You do not have to force open a lock or break a window to gain access to a building or vehicle in order to constitute an entering for the purposes of burglary. Other ways of gaining entry into a building or vehicle may include:
- Sneaking into the vehicle or building;
- Further opening a cracked door or window so that you can get inside;
- Lying or using trickery to gain access to the building or vehicle; or
- Remaining inside a building or vehicle after you have been asked to leave, i.e., after a store has closed or after you were told to leave.
Burglary Charges Can be Upgraded
Burglary is a felony offense. As if a burglary charge is not bad enough, there are several circumstances where the charges can be upgraded to a more serious felony. For instance:
- If the burglary is committed in a day care or child care facility, an elder care center, a school, or a place of worship, the burglary charge becomes a Class 1 felony;
- If the burglary is committed on a residential dwelling while someone is home;
- If you used a weapon during the commission of the burglary; and
- If you cause injury to someone during the commission of the burglary.
Burglary charges are serious criminal offenses, and any person who is suspected of committing a burglary in Illinois needs to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Intent to commit a felony or theft is a required element of burglary in order to be convicted. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will know how best to fight your charges, whether it is through a defense that you had permission to enter the building, vehicle or dwelling, or that you lacked the requisite intent to commit a crime or theft.
Let Us Help You Today
Since burglary is a felony criminal offense there are serious consequences for a conviction, which include—at the minimum—years of prison time, massive fines, and a criminal record.
When you are faced with burglary or residential burglary charges, please do not hesitate to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office for help.
November 11th, 2016 at 11:33 am
What happens to a person who was caught in the middle of committing a burglary? If the burglary was never completed, meaning you never had the chance to get away with anything you stole or were planning to steal, are you still charged with burglary?
Intent is All That is Required
In Illinois, there is no difference between attempted burglary and burglary, because under the law, all you need to have is the intent to steal from, or commit a felony in, a place where you are not authorized to be. You do not actually have to take anything, nor do you even have to attempt to take something from someone else’s property, in order to be charged with burglary. Simply having the intent to steal something, or to commit a felony, is enough.
Many criminal defendants wonder how intent can be proven. If you did not take anything, and you do not flat out admit that you were there to steal something, how will the police know that you ever had intent to take something? Police take burglary very seriously, and will investigate the scene of the crime to look for clues that indicate you may have had the intent to steal something before you were caught.
Intent is Often Established with Circumstantial Evidence
Often times, police will conduct interviews with you, with the owners of the burglarized property, and with your friends or associates to get a better understanding of what you were doing on someone else’s property without permission. Between these interviews and evidence at the scene of the crime, police can often put together enough circumstantial evidence to arrest you and charge you with burglary.
Circumstantial evidence is evidence that requires an extra step of thought, i.e., an inference, to arrive at a conclusion of fact or is used to support the truth of an assertion. In the case of burglary, circumstantial evidence is used to support the assertion that you were at the property with the intent to steal something or commit a felony.
For instance, if there is evidence at the scene of the burglary that you tried to pry open locked chests and drawers, or that you left fingerprints on drawers where it is likely that valuables would be stored, this circumstantial evidence could be used to establish your intent to steal something from the scene of the crime.
Defenses Can Help Reduce or Dismiss Charges
Circumstantial evidence is one of the weakest forms of evidence because it requires an inference to arrive at some conclusion about what the evidence suggests. If you have a valid reason for why the circumstantial evidence exists that defeats the inference, it is possible to beat your charges.
Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
When you are faced with burglary charges, please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. We are eager to help you today. Call 847-394-3200.
September 29th, 2016 at 12:11 pm
Illegal drug deals can take many forms, but nearly all drug deals have something in common: they are all transactions. At their core, all drug transactions are the same – they are an exchange where each party gets something that they want. Drug transactions involve a recipient party (i.e., the drug “buyer”) providing something to a drug dealer in exchange for the drugs. A majority of the time, drugs are traded for money.
But in some situations, a drug dealer might accept something other than money as payment for drugs. Sometimes a dealer will want certain services (e.g., the dealer may want the drug “buyer” to commit a crime, or perform some act in exchange for the drugs) in exchange for drugs, or the dealer might want property or valuables instead of cash. Sometimes the dealer may want the drugs to be paid for in stolen goods, like a stolen car or stolen jewelry, watches or electronics. The dealer might even encourage a buyer to commit burglary in order to get the drugs.
Burglary Is Serious Business
There are a number of reasons why people commit burglary; one common reason is to sell the stolen goods for money in order to pay for drugs or to trade the stolen goods directly with the dealer for drugs. Entering someone else’s home or other property without permission and taking things that do not belong to you is a form of theft known as burglary. The Illinois burglary statute covers unauthorized access into a building, dwelling, house trailer, boat, motor vehicle, or airplane. Stealing anything from one of these locations, or intending to commit a felony in one of these locations, is considered to be burglary under Illinois law.
Getting Charged With Multiple Offenses
Getting caught paying for drugs with stolen goods can land you in trouble with the law. Committing a burglary is a serious enough crime on its own, but then using stolen goods to finance a drug transaction makes your situation significantly worse when you are caught by law enforcement. Not only can you, as the drug purchaser, be charged with theft and the burglary, but you can also be charged with the drug transaction and drug possession charges as well. If the drug dealer is caught along with you, he or she could be charged with receipt or possession of stolen property, as well as criminal charges for selling or trafficking the drugs.
Caught Trading Stolen Goods For Drugs? Call A Lawyer
Burglary charges and drug offenses are not matters that should be taken lightly. You can face serious penalties, such as jail time and harsh fines. If you are in trouble with the law, you should contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to obtain guidance on what to do in your particular situation.
July 19th, 2016 at 11:46 am
Some crimes in Illinois are referred to as “specific intent” crimes. These crimes require that the criminal defendant have the specific intent, or a particular state of mind, to do something in order to make a conviction of a criminal defendant for the crime. To think of this another way, the criminal defendant must have had a specific state of mind, or purpose, that was the reason behind committing the crime. The specific requisite intent is often defined in the criminal statute that governs over any particular specific intent crime that a defendant is charged with.
The good thing about specific intent crimes is that the prosecution has the burden of showing that the criminal defendant had the requisite state of mind that is needed to commit the alleged crime. Proving the necessary specific intent for a crime is often the prosecution’s weakest link in their case against the criminal defendant, as it is difficult to prove a person’s state of mind. Sometimes the prosecution’s whole case will turn on proving the requisite intent element of a crime, and the prosecution may only have circumstantial evidence to support its position. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can fight the prosecutors by attacking the weakest aspects of their case.
What Are Some of the Specific Intent Crimes in Illinois?
There are several specific intent crimes under Illinois law. Indeed, these types of crimes include:
- Theft: In order to obtain a theft conviction, the criminal defendant must have the specific intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property of possession or use of the item that is stolen.
- Theft by deception: The criminal defendant must have the intent to defraud or steal from the victim through an act of deception.
- Burglary: For a burglary conviction, the criminal defendant must have the intent to carry out a felony or theft upon knowingly entering or remaining in a dwelling or building without authorization to be there.
- Residential burglary: Again, the criminal defendant must have the intent to carry out a felony or a theft inside a dwelling where he or she is not authorized to be.
- Battery and aggravated battery: The criminal defendant has to have the intent to cause serious bodily harm to the victim of the battery.
- Attempt of committing a crime: Attempt charges require that the criminal defendant had the intention of committing a crime, but either failed or was unable to successfully commit the crime.
When the prosecution is unable to demonstrate that the criminal defendant had the requisite specific intent that is necessary to be convicted of the crime, the charges will be dismissed. It is important to work with an experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer who knows how to attack the specific intent aspect of criminal charges in your defense.
When You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Anyone who is facing criminal charges in Illinois, for theft, burglary, battery, or any other crime should get in touch with a seasoned and experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. Our attorneys are eager to assist you with your case today.
July 14th, 2016 at 10:47 am
Some criminal defendants find themselves facing possession of burglary tools, under 720 ILCS 5/19-2, perhaps in addition to burglary charges, and do not understand why they are being charged with this crime. Sometimes they may not have even committed a burglary, and yet they still will be charged with possession of burglary tools. This can be confusing and distressing for the defendant, since the defendant is facing felony criminal charges, with serious consequences, such as loss of their freedom, if they are convicted. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you fight burglary and possession of burglary tools charges.
A conviction for the crime of possession of burglary tools does not require that the prosecution show that the criminal defendant had the specific intent to break and enter into a building or dwelling. Rather, possession of burglary tools is a general intent crime, i.e., the mere possession of burglary tools implies that the defendant had a general intent to use the tools for their intended purpose, which is for breaking and entering a building. Possession of burglary tools merely requires that the criminal defendant knowingly possessed tools that are used for the purpose of committing burglary or breaking and entering.
What Are Some Examples of Burglary Tools?
There are a number of tools that could be considered burglary tools for the purposes of a possession of burglary tools charge. For instance, a few common tools that have been found to be burglary tools include:
- Stolen keys;
- Unauthorized copies of keys;
- Keys that are designed for lock bumping;
- Lock picking instruments;
- Lock picking devices;
- Glass cutting tools;
- Explosives; and
- Other tools suitable for breaking into a dwelling or building.
Are There Defenses to Possession of Burglary Tools Charges?
There are legitimate defenses to possession of burglary tools charges. For instance, certain people have a legitimate reason for possessing the kinds of tools, instruments, and devices that can be used to break into a home, safe or vehicle. For instance, there are a number of professionals who regularly need these types of tools to do their job.
- Locksmiths. A locksmith’s entire job revolves around being able to open locks.
- Security officers. Security officers often have in their possession tools that can be used for breaking and entering, in the event that staff loses their keys.
- Law enforcement. Sometimes law enforcement officers need to break and enter into a building, vehicle or safe, presumably with a valid warrant, and thus law enforcement may have these types of tools in their possession.
- Auto mechanics. Some auto mechanics that offer car unlocking services for vehicle owners who have locked their keys in the car may have tools that are used to break into locked cars.
- Private detectives. Private detectives are often hired to investigate, and their investigation may involve an authorized breaking and entering (e.g., a wife might hire a private investigator to determine if her husband is cheating, and she might authorize the private detective to break into her husband’s locked desk in their shared home).
Reach Out to Us for Help
There are valid reasons why certain people may possess tools that are capable of being used for breaking and entering. If you are facing burglary or possession of burglary tools charges, please contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney as soon as you can for professional assistance with your case.
May 4th, 2016 at 8:46 am
When you are facing burglary or residential burglary charges, the first thing that you should do is to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. There are several possible defenses to these criminal charges that a criminal defendant can raise, depending on specific circumstances surrounding the alleged crime. Your lawyer can figure out if any defenses apply to your case after discussing the specifics of your alleged crime with you.
Potential Defenses to Burglary Charges
There can be a number of possible defense to burglary and residential burglary charges. Some potential defenses to criminal burglary charges can include:
- Consent was given. In order to commit burglary, the defendant must enter or remain in a building, house trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof without authority. If the defendant had permission from the property owner to enter or be in the property that was allegedly burglarized, then the defendant may have an affirmative defense to the burglary charges.
- Lack of intent. The defendant must have had the intent to commit a felony or theft in order to be convicted on burglary charges. If the defendant lacked the requisite intent, the defendant cannot be convicted of burglary. It is possible that the defendant committed a lesser crime, but not specifically burglary.
- The property that was allegedly burglarized is not a “building or structure” or a “dwelling.” Under 720 ILCS 5/19-1(a), the “building or structure” must be one of a building, house trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, or railroad car. Under 720, ILCS 5/2-6, a “dwelling” must be a building, tent, vehicle, or other enclosed space where a person lives. If the location that was allegedly burglarized is something other than one of the buildings, structures, or a dwelling, as specified under the law, then the burglary charges could be dropped or reduced to a lesser offense.
- Mistaken identity. In a situation where a witness “identified” you as the alleged perpetrator of the burglary, you might be the unfortunate victim of a misidentification. If you are misidentified as the culprit, you may in fact be actually innocent of the alleged crime. If you have been misidentified, your criminal defense lawyer will work diligently to collect and present evidence to demonstrate your innocence.
Let Us Assist You with Your Case
If you are convicted on burglary charges, it can result in a felony conviction, which is a serious matter. Whatever the circumstances might be behind the allegations that you or a loved one committed burglary, it is important to talk with a skilled criminal defense lawyer who can help fight those burglary charges. Please do not hesitate to contact a compassionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately if you are facing burglary or residential burglary charges in Illinois. Our attorneys are eager to help you.
March 11th, 2016 at 8:44 am
Individuals who find themselves facing burglary charges may encounter serious consequences if convicted. Burglary charges come in two varieties: burglary and residential burglary. Burglary is a lesser included charge of residential burglary—all of the elements of the crime of burglary are included as elements of the crime of residential burglary. However, in either case, burglary charges are serious—both burglary and residential burglary are felony charges.
What Constitutes Burglary in Illinois?
In Illinois, under 720 ILCS 5/19-1(a), a person commits a burglary when he or she knowingly enters or remains without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft in a:
- Motor vehicle;
- Aircraft; or
- Railroad car.
Burglary committed in a school, daycare, or place of worship carries harsher consequences than burglary of any other building. You can also get into trouble if you are caught in possession or for selling burglary tools, such as keys, instruments, or other devices that can be used to break into any of the places identified above.
What Constitutes Residential Burglary in Illinois?
Residential burglary is outlined in 720 ILCS 5/19.3, and specifically addresses when a person commits a burglary of a dwelling of another. But the statute covering residential burglary does not specifically lay out what constitutes a “dwelling.” The definition of a dwelling is found in 720 ILCS 5/2-6, which indicates that the following places are considered to be dwellings for the purposes of residential burglary:
- A building, such as a house or an apartment;
- A mobile residence, such as a trailer or a mobile home; and
- Any other living quarters.
What if the “Dwelling” Was Not Occupied?
What happens if the place that was burglarized was not occupied at the time of the alleged burglary? Would the home still be considered a “dwelling” under Illinois law? When no one is specifically living in the dwelling, then it is quite possible that the dwelling does not meet the criteria of being a dwelling. Illinois case law requires that the home or dwelling needs to be inhabited by someone in order to be considered a dwelling for the purposes of residential burglary.
Often times, criminal defendants are charged with residential burglary and burglary, even though the place that was allegedly burglarized was not a “dwelling.” Proving that the place that was burglarized was not a dwelling can get the charges reduced from residential burglary to burglary. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help determine and argue whether the place that was burglarized constituted a dwelling under the law.
Let Us Assist You
Burglary charges are felony charges, and you should make every effort to have your charges reduced or dropped. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help. Please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately if you are facing burglary or residential burglary charges in Illinois. We are here to help.
January 21st, 2015 at 10:41 am
Thanks to police procedural shows and courtroom dramas, the public has a lot of ideas about what the law is and what it is not. Unfortunately, since every state has different laws and television writers are not bound to accurately represent any of them, sometimes these ideas about the law can be mistaken. This can be particularly problematic when it comes to criminal law. One example of a crime that is often misconstrued is burglary.
So What is Burglary?
Most people think of burglary as breaking into a house or business to steal something. And this is, in fact, correct: that would be a burglary. But in Illinois, the crime of burglary includes much more than those two possibilities. Like all state crimes in Illinois, burglary is defined by statute. According to the state statute:
A person commits burglary when without authority he or she knowingly enters or without authority remains within a building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof, with intent to commit therein a felony or a theft.
This means two things. First of all, burglary is not just about breaking into buildings. In Illinois one can commit burglary in planes, trains, automobiles, and a whole host of other areas. The other important thing that most people do not realize is that burglary does not have to be about stealing something. While intent to commit a theft is sufficient to make the crime a burglary, it is not the only way. An intent to commit a felony while one is unlawfully in one of the covered areas is also sufficient to make the crime a burglary. What, then, is a felony? A different Illinois statute defines a felony as “an offense for which a sentence to death or to a term of imprisonment in a penitentiary for one year or more is provided.” Thus, an intent to commit a serious crime is enough. For example, breaking into someone’s airplane to commit an aggravated battery would count as a burglary. It is important to note, however, that if the underlying crime is theft, the theft does not have to be a felony theft. Any sort of theft is enough to constitute a burglary.
There is a crime in Illinois called “residential burglary” that is closer to what people may commonly think of as burglary. This crime requires the unlawful entry into or remaining in the dwelling place of another in order to commit the theft or felony. One type of residential burglary occurs when a person falsely represents him or herself to be a government representative or utility worker to gain access to someone’s dwelling in order to commit a theft or a felony.
Call us Today
If you or a loved one is charged with burglary, or any other criminal offense, you will need the assistance of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. That is why you should call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. Our phone number is (847)394-3200
March 30th, 2013 at 1:44 pm
An Illinois man was recently accused of at least one burglary that occurred in a West Lafayette neighborhood.
At about 9:15 p.m. on Mar. 4, police were called to a home in the Arbor Chase neighborhood for a reported brick being thrown through the window. Along with the assistance from the K-9 unit if the Tippecanoe Co. Sheriff’s Office, the West Lafayette police officers set up a perimeter around the area.
The suspect was identified as 20-year-old Albert Goins, who was tracked down to the nearby Amberleigh Village subdivision, which was where he was arrested around 10:30 p.m. that same night
Goins has also been accused of burglarizing a home in Amberleigh Village on Jan. 30 along with throwing the brick through a window into a home in Arbor Chase of Mar. 4. According to Lt. Troy Harris from the West Lafayette Police Department (WLPD), Goins is not a resident of Amberleigh village. The address that Goins provided to the police is a University Park, Illinois address.
WLPD is also investigating four other burglaries that occurred in the Amberleigh Village neighborhood, one of which occurred on Jan. 30. The burglaries were reported first on Jan. 25 and the last one was reported in Feb.
There are detectives still working to determine whether or not Goins was involved in those other three incidents in the same neighborhood.