Archive for the ‘burglary’ Category

Accused of Burglarizing a Store? Get a Criminal Defense Lawyer

May 3rd, 2017 at 8:10 am

burglarizing a store, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerBurglary in Illinois involves someone knowingly entering a building without permission, and with the intent to commit a theft or a felony. One of the most common targets for acts of burglary are stores and shops.

From large retailers to small mom-and-pop type stores, virtually any type of store can be the target of a burglary or an attempted burglary. The main reason why a person commits a burglary of a store is usually to steal some piece of merchandise or to steal money. But what is interesting about the crime of burglary is that a burglar does not actually have to steal anything in order to commit the crime. Simply breaking into the store with the intent to steal something is enough to warrant a conviction for burglary.

Burglary is a Different Charge Than Theft or Shoplifting

Burglary is often charged when a person breaks into a store with the intent to steal something when the store is normally closed. Burglary could also be charged if a person remains in an open store after being asked to leave, or remains in a store in an off-limits area—in either case while having the intent to steal or commit a felony. Still, burglary is a different offense than theft or shoplifting.  

As a general rule, someone who is charged with burglary is not also charged with shoplifting, even if the person steals something during the burglary. Rather, he or she may be charged with burglary and theft, but each situation is unique and the exact charges will depend on the circumstances of the offense.

Shoplifting, on the other hand, is charged when someone steals merchandise from a store, alters the price of the item, or attempts to buy an item for less than its ticket price due to some sort of trickery (e.g., price tag swapping, or trying to trick the self-checkout scanner at the store). Shoplifting is usually associated with theft that occurs during normal business hours of the store’s operation.

Why You Need to Fight Your Criminal Charges

Whether you are facing burglary, theft, of shoplifting charges, it is important that you fight your criminal charges. If you are convicted of burglary, it is a Class 2 felony. If you are convicted of theft, it can be either a misdemeanor or a felony level offense. Similarly, depending on the circumstances surrounding the shoplifting, you could be convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony level offense.

A conviction will leave you with a criminal record, which can follow you around for many years, making it difficult to get some forms of employment or to rent an apartment. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer to fight for you will give you your best chance of defending yourself against the charges.

If you did commit the crime, then it is important to try and get the charges reduced, or dropped, and you will want to have a lawyer on your side to make sure that you receive fair treatment under the law.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

Burglary, theft, and shoplifting charges are nothing to be taken lightly. You need the help of an experienced and talented criminal defense lawyer with years of experience to fight the charges that are pending against you. Contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office for assistance with your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

Burglary of a Vehicle: Is it Considered a Break in if the Car Was Unlocked?

May 1st, 2017 at 8:20 am

burglary of a vehicle, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerIt is not unheard of for people to get arrested for breaking into unlocked vehicles in Illinois. In these situations, the individual involved can be charged with a number of different criminal offenses based on the circumstances surrounding their activities.

Anyone who has been arrested and charged with a crime for entering an unlocked vehicle without the owner’s permission needs to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Your rights are in jeopardy and you need to take steps promptly to protect yourself.

Burglary of a Vehicle

One of the crimes that people who enter an unlocked vehicle without the owner’s permission often face is burglary of a vehicle. When a person knowingly enters a vehicle that he or she does not have permission to enter, and the perpetrator does so with the intent to commit a felony or a theft, it can constitute the offense of burglary of a vehicle. Many times, a vehicle is broken into in order to steal something valuable inside. Sunglasses, music players, cell phones, cash, and airbags are all common items that are stolen from unlocked vehicles. Burglary of a vehicle is a felony.

Regardless of the fact that the vehicle may have been unlocked, if you entered the vehicle without the owner’s permission and removed something from the vehicle with no intention of giving the removed item back to its rightful owner, you will likely face criminal charges of burglary of a vehicle.

  • You could have viable defenses that you could bring up at trial. For instance, perhaps you had permission or believed you had permission from the owner of the vehicle to enter the unlocked vehicle.
  • Perhaps you accidentally opened the vehicle and got inside because it was the same make and model as your own vehicle and you were mistaken that the vehicle was in fact not your own.
  • Maybe you had no intention to commit a felony or to steal anything when you entered the unlocked vehicle belonging to someone else.

You should discuss the facts of your particular situation with your lawyer to determine what defenses you may have available to you.

Criminal Trespass to a Motor Vehicle

You could also be charged with criminal trespass to a motor vehicle. Criminal trespass of a motor vehicle occurs when someone knowingly enters or operates a vehicle belonging to another without permission. It is a misdemeanor offense.

It is not uncommon for criminal defendants to adopt a defense strategy of getting their charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. For someone who is charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, it might be a good strategy to try and get the charges reduced to criminal trespass to a motor vehicle instead. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with your criminal defense lawyer.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

You could be charged with a crime if you enter a vehicle without the owner’s permission, even if the vehicle was left unlocked. If you are facing criminal charges for breaking into an unlocked vehicle, you need to consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K21-2

What Should You Do if You Are Charged with Burglary in Rolling Meadows?

April 3rd, 2017 at 8:14 am

burglary, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyIf you have been arrested and charged with burglary, you are most likely feeling scared and unsure about what you should do next. A few questions might run through your head, including:

  • What is going to happen to you?
  • Are you going to go to jail?
  • What will court be like?
  • Is there anything that you can do to fight your charges?

Being charged with a crime is overwhelming, and you likely do not have a background in criminal law. That is why you need an experienced burglary criminal defense lawyer to help you fight your charges. Your lawyer understands the criminal justice system and is familiar with what happens in criminal court. You need guidance and advice as you deal with your criminal charges, and a seasoned lawyer can help you.

What Constitutes Burglary and Residential Burglary in Illinois?

Under 720 ILCS 5/19-1, burglary is defined as when a criminal defendant enters property owned by someone else knowingly and without permission, and with the intent to commit a theft or a felony once inside the property. The property can include homes, garages, guest houses, apartments, sheds, and house trailers. However, it can also include vehicles like cars, boats, airplanes, and even railroad cars.

Breaking into someone else’s property to steal something or to commit a felony crime, like a sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, second domestic battery offense, or stalking, most likely constitutes burglary.

Burglary in and of itself is a Class 2 felony, which means that you will face felony level punishment for your felony level offense if you are convicted. But it is important to note that there is a distinction between burglary and residential burglary. Residential burglary involves the same elements as burglary except the property that is burglarized must be a home or dwelling and is codified under 720 ILCS 5/19-3. Residential burglary is a Class 1 felony.

Since burglary and residential burglary are felony offenses, it is critical that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you fight your charges. A conviction for burglary most likely means significant jail time and a hefty fine, and you will undoubtedly be burdened with a criminal record that can haunt you for years to come. That is why it is so important that you work with a criminal defense lawyer to fight your burglary charges.

What Can Happen if You Are Convicted?

If you are convicted for burglary, you will more than likely face jail time, although it could be possible to be placed under court supervision, which means you will not go to jail. It is critical to work with a criminal defense lawyer to present your strongest possible defense and mitigating circumstances to the court. While the goal is to get the charges dismissed, getting reduced charges or a reduced sentence could also be a good strategy for your criminal defense case.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

A burglary charge in Illinois is a serious matter. Do not go up against your charges without the help of a lawyer. Please do not hesitate to contact a passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately for help with your case.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

Homes and Cars Are Not the Only Places That Can be Burglarized

January 2nd, 2017 at 9:49 am

places that can be burglarized, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerThe 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.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-3

Is There a Difference Between Burglary and Attempted Burglary in Illinois?

November 11th, 2016 at 11:33 am

attempted burglary, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyWhat 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.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

Burglary For Drugs Charges In Illinois

September 29th, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Burglary For Drugs Charges In IllinoisIllegal 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.

Source
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

Specific Intent Crimes

July 19th, 2016 at 11:46 am

Specific Intent CrimesSome 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.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=36500000&SeqEnd=39200000

Understanding Possession of Burglary Tools Criminal Charges

July 14th, 2016 at 10:47 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal law statutes, Illinois criminal lawyerSome 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.

Source:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

Potential Defenses to Illinois Burglary Charges

May 4th, 2016 at 8:46 am

Illinois burglary charges, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/072000050K2-6.htm

What is a “Dwelling” When it Comes to Burglary in Illinois?

March 11th, 2016 at 8:44 am

burglary in Illinois, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneyIndividuals 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:

  • Building;
  • Housetrailer;
  • Motor vehicle;
  • Watercraft;
  • 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.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=62600000&SeqEnd=63400000

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2013/2ndDistrict/2110524.pdf