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Archive for the ‘burglary charges’ tag

There Are Defenses to Burglary in Illinois

February 26th, 2019 at 5:53 pm

Illinois defense lawyerRecently, burglaries occurred on the same day at two different businesses in Chicago. As of this writing, the police had not yet released much information, including whether or not the two incidents are related. They had released basic information about the suspects and are asking for the public’s help in finding them.

Facing burglary charges is extremely difficult, and may seem like a hopeless situation. It is not. A burglary lawyer in Rolling Meadows can help those accused build a strong defense and retain their freedom.

Elements of Burglary in Rolling Meadows

According to 720 ILCS 5/19-1, a person commits burglary when they enter into a building or structure without the permission of the owner or occupier. In order for burglary charges to apply, this breaking and entering must be done with the intent to commit a crime.

The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that all three elements of the crime existed in order for a court to convict those accused. Refuting these elements will be a strong defense to any case, as this will create reasonable doubt in the minds of a judge or jury.

Defenses to Burglary in Rolling Meadows

Claiming innocence is a very common defense used against burglary charges. Defenses that include strong alibis, a lack of forensic evidence, and no eyewitnesses can all help build a strong defense of innocence.

While a situation may look bad, and like someone is committing a crime, that is not always the case. Someone may have permission to enter a building and therefore, there is no unlawful entering. Even when the owner or occupant has not given explicit consent, if the defendant believed they had permission to enter the building, this can provide a very strong defense.

In order for burglary to occur, a person has to have the intention to commit a crime, even if they have entered a building or structure unlawfully. It is for this reason that defenses such as voluntary intoxication are often very successful in burglary cases. A person cannot be convicted of burglary as long as they were simply too intoxicated, but had no intention to commit a crime.

Entrapment is a very challenging defense to prove, but it is still sometimes used. If someone encouraged the defendant to commit a crime when they otherwise would not have, they cannot be convicted of burglary. There needs to be evidence that the defendant tried to refuse, but was eventually convinced.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Burglary Lawyer for the Best Defense

Many defenses for burglary charges exist, but those accused should not try to argue them on their own. A skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer can build a much stronger case based on evidence and refuting the prosecution’s case. If you have been charged with burglary and you need the best defense, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at 847-394-3200. We are dedicated to defending your freedom and will aggressively explore defense strategies with you. We offer free initial consultations, so call today and we will start reviewing your case.

 

Source:

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

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/burglaries-reported-at-2-ravenswood-businesses-police/

Types of Burglary Charges in Illinois

June 8th, 2018 at 6:13 am

burglary charges, Class 2 felony, home invasion, residential burglary, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneysWhen someone thinks about burglary, he or she may think of a person breaking into a building, or home, to steal something valuable. While that is burglary, there are other instances in which a person can face burglary charges and not even realize it.

If you are facing charges for burglary in Illinois, it is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately. To be sure, a skilled lawyer can help protect your rights throughout each stage of the criminal process.

Types of Burglary in Illinois

The following includes various types of burglary charges in Illinois, all of which require the assistance of a skilled attorney.

Burglary

According to Illinois statute, burglary is committed when a person “knowingly enters or without authority remains within a building, house trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof, with intent to commit therein a felony or theft.” Burglary is considered a Class 2 felony in Illinois and carries a potential sentence of three to seven years.

Residential Burglary

Residential burglary is considered more serious than the burglary of a building or other structure. A residential burglary is similar to the definition of burglary, but residential burglary is entering the dwelling of another with the intent to commit a felony. For a residential burglary conviction, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a person intended to commit a felony. This is a Class 1 felony.

Home Invasion

Home invasion is very similar to a residential burglary. However, it is made more serious and is considered a Class X felony. A home invasion occurs when an individual enters the home of another and knows that the residents of the home are present. Additionally, one of the following factors must be present:

  • The defendant possesses a weapon;
  • The defendant fires a gun;
  • The defendant threatens to fire a gun;
  • The defendant assaults a resident or threatens force; or
  • The defendant sexual assaults a resident, or commits some other form of abuse.

Criminal Trespass

Criminal trespass involves an individual entering the property of another without authority, but without the intention to commit a felony. Criminal trespass can either be a Class A misdemeanor or Class 4 felony. It is a felony when the residents of the property are present at the property; it is a misdemeanor when the residents are not present.

Possession of Burglary Tools

Even possessing burglary tools in Illinois is a crime; it is a Class 4 felony. However, a person must also have the intent to commit a felony with said tools. There are several items that could be considered burglary tools; however, common ones include lock picking kits, a crow bar, explosives, or even just a screwdriver. The intent to commit the felony determines the possession of burglary tools charge.

Contact Us Today for Help

With all the potential burglary charges possible in Illinois, you need an attorney who is well versed in all of the possibilities. Our passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley can assist you throughout each step of your case. Contact us today to set up a consultation to find out how we can 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/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-3

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

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

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