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

Posted on in burglary

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 onsomeone 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. Call847-394-3200.


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