Archive for the ‘felony offense’ 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 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 4th, 2016 at 7:00 am
Shoplifting is one of the most frequently committed theft crimes in Illinois. Shoplifting involves knowingly taking merchandise from a store without the intention of paying retail price for the item that is stolen. Shoplifting can take many forms, including taking physical possession of a retail item and removing it from a store without payment, altering or swapping out labels or price tags to get a desired retail item at a cheaper price, and swapping a retail item’s packaging for the packaging of another, less expensive item. If you have been charged with retail theft, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge, you need to get in touch with an experienced retail theft criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
When Retail Theft Rises to the Level of a Felony
Many people who engage in retail theft do not think that the charges associated with their offense will be very serious. But this is a misconception. Even as a first-time offender, stealing something from a store that has a full retail value of more than $300 can result in a class 3 felony charge for retail theft.
Stealing something that is expensive, but small, leads to a felony level retail theft charge. It does not matter if the item is a phone, other electronics, jewelry, a watch, or designer sunglasses. If it costs more than $300, you will face felony level charges if you are caught stealing.
Felony Level Charges for Those With a Record of Theft-Related Offenses
Illinois law is stricter on those who commit retail theft and have already previously been convicted of any other form of theft. For instance, if someone who has been convicted of a theft crime in the past steals an item from a merchant that has a retail value of less than $300, he or she can be charged with felony retail theft, under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(2). Similarly, second time offenders who get caught stealing retail merchandise by using a theft detection shielding device can be charged with a felony under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(1). Or, second time offenders who get caught stealing retail merchandise by darting out an emergency exit door can be charged with a felony under 720 ILCS 5/16-25(f)(2).
Individuals who have a criminal history involving theft-related offenses, or who presently face retail theft charges, need to consult with an experienced attorney. Second-time theft offenders face a tough road when they are charged with retail theft and should not go down that road alone. An experienced criminal defense attorney will make sure that you are treated fairly under the law.
Let Us Help You With Your Retail Theft Charges
Retail theft charges are serious. Please do not delay and contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for help.