Archive for the ‘burglary’ tag
April 3rd, 2017 at 8:14 am
If 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.
January 25th, 2017 at 9:12 am
Theft is one of the most commonly committed crimes in Illinois. Theft in the broadest sense involves someone knowingly taking property that belongs to another without permission and with no intention of giving the stolen property back to its proper owner. There are a number of criminal offenses that stem from theft, including:
- Petty theft. Petty theft is also known as misdemeanor theft. Petty theft occurs when the item that was stolen has a value of $500 or less.
- Shoplifting or retail theft. Shoplifting occurs when a person knowingly takes an item from a merchant without paying full price for the stolen item.
- Receipt of stolen property. Receipt of stolen property occurs when someone knowingly accepts property that he or she knows to be stolen.
- Stealing a motor vehicle. Stealing a motor vehicle arises when a person takes a vehicle belonging to another without permission.
- Robbery. Robbery occurs when a person takes property belonging to someone else by the use of force. Robbery can become aggravated robbery if a weapon was used as the threat of force.
- Burglary. Burglary occurs when a person knowingly breaks into a building belonging to another without permission to be there with the intention of committing theft of some other felony offense.
In many theft scenarios, law enforcement arrests whomever stands accused of committing the theft crime, and then the state prosecutor presses charges against the accused. Oftentimes, the state prosecutor will look at the evidence surrounding the alleged crime and will bring charges for every crime that might have been committed. To be sure, criminal defendants often face multiple charges for a single alleged crime.
Each theft-related crime has its own unique elements that must be proven by the prosecution in order to obtain a conviction. A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney will demand that the prosecution prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the theft crime with which he or she has been charged.
You deserve fair treatment under the law and fair trial, and your criminal defense attorney should fight for your rights and on your behalf.
Knowledge and Intent Are Key Elements of Theft Crimes
A common thread shared by all theft-related crimes is that knowledge and intent are key elements to establish that the crime was committed.
- Knowledge means that the person who allegedly committed the crime knowingly did so.
- Intent means that the person who allegedly committed the crime has no intention of returning the property that he or she has taken from the rightful owner without permission.
The elements of knowledge and intent are often the prosecution’s weakest arguments, and a seasoned criminal defense attorney knows this. Many criminal cases turn on whether the criminal defendant had knowledge that he or she was stealing or whether the criminal defendant had no intention of returning the property that he or she had taken.
Call The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
Anyone who is facing theft-related criminal charges needs to consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows theft attorney immediately. Do not hesitate to reach out to us today for professional help with your case.
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.
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 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.
February 17th, 2015 at 10:12 am
“I got robbed.” This is a statement that is used very often in our contemporary society. While sometimes it is applied metaphorically, such as when complaining about a call in a sporting event, we usually mean it to imply that someone stole something from us. However, like many areas of criminal law, the common understanding of this term and the legal definition are not the exact same. Not all victims of theft are robbery victims and not all thieves are robbers. Instead, robbery is a very specific type of theft.
What is Robbery in Illinois?
In Illinois, the offense of robbery is defined by statute. As one would assume, robbery requires one person to take property from another person. This can be any property except for certain motor vehicles, which are covered by a separate law. What differentiates robbery from mere theft is that in order for a taking of property to be a robbery, the robber must either:
- Use force; or
- Threaten the imminent use of force.
There is also another difference between mere theft and robbery. In order for a taking to be a robbery, the property has to be taken either directly from the victim or from the victim’s presence. If, for example, one were to break into a store at night when no one was there and steal the cash register, that person would not have committed a robbery. While the natural response of the store owner might be to say “I’ve been robbed!” that is not technically accurate, and the thief could not be prosecuted for robbery; instead, the thief could be prosecuted for other crimes like burglary.
Robbery is normally a Class 2 felony, unless the victim is over 60 years old, the victim is a physically handicapped person, or the crime is committed at certain places like schools, churches, or child care facilities. In those cases it is a Class 1 felony.
What is Aggravated Robbery?
Some robberies are worse than others in the eyes of the law. Because of this, Illinois law includes another offense called “aggravated robbery.” Aggravated robbery is a Class 1 felony. There are certain ways to turn a robbery into an aggravated robbery. These include:
- Indicating through your words or actions during the robbery that you have a dangerous weapon, even if you do not have such a weapon; or
- Taking the property by administering a controlled substance to the victim without his or her consent.
What is Armed Robbery?
Armed robbery is robbery where the robber has a dangerous weapon or a firearm during the act. There are also versions of this crime that deal specifically with discharging a firearm during the robbery and with seriously injuring someone by discharging the firearm. These are all Class X felonies, but in cases where a firearm is involved there are substantial add-ons of prison time in addition to the regular sentence.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
When you are charged with robbery or any other crime, you need a fierce litigator in your corner. That is why you should contact experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney Christopher M. Cosley. Call the office at (847)394-3200 today to learn how we can 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.