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Archive for the ‘burglary’ tag

Is Theft from a Garage Burglary?

December 12th, 2018 at 2:15 pm

IL defense lawyerBurglary is a serious felony offense, regardless of the value of the property taken, unlike theft, which is often a misdemeanor crime if the value of the property taken was low. For example, stealing a bike would be considered a misdemeanor of petty theft if the value of the bike was only $300, as per Illinois statute 20 ILCS 5/16-1. If that same bike was stolen out of someone’s residential garage, the crime would automatically be upgraded to a felony. Why is this? Burglary is considered a crime of violence, and the offense is punishable as such.

Types of Buildings, Structures, and Vehicles that Involve Burglary

Burglary is defined as knowingly entering, or without authority remaining, in any of the following:

  • Building;
  • House trailer (such as an RV);
  • Aircraft;
  • Watercraft; or
  • Motor vehicle.

The second element to burglary is that the defendant entered one of the above places or vehicles with the intent to commit any felony or any degree of theft. Examples of these felonies include arson, destruction of property, vandalism, assault, sexual assault, homicide, and more. Or, if any theft occurs or the defendant’s goal was to commit a theft, then burglary has occurred. As such, wandering into someone’s open garage to notify the owner that their car is being towed is not burglary. Breaking into their garage or entering it without permission to steal a bike or any other object is burglary.

Residential Burglary Is a Class 1 Felony

Committing burglary of a residential building, including a garage, is a Class 1 felony, punishable by four to 15 years in prison, as per Illinois 720 ILCS 5/19‑3.

Criminal Trespass Is a Class A Misdemeanor or a Class 4 Felony

Criminal trespass is a much lower level offense than burglary. The only elements that are different include that the defendant did not have any intention to commit, and did not commit, a felony or theft when the knowingly entered the residence of another person. Criminal trespass is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail if a defendant knowingly entered or remained in a residence (without intent to commit a felony or theft). If a defendant entered a residence and knew or had reason to believe that another person was in the residence, and the defendant remained in the home after knowing this, then the offense is raised to a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison.

Reach Out to a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

Theft, burglary, and criminal trespass are all three very different crimes, with burglary being the most serious. If you have been charged with an offense, an attorney may be able to reduce the charges against you, have the charges dropped, fight for a fair plea deal, or take your case to court and win. Call the Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today at 847-394-3200 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K16-1

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How to Fight a Burglary Charge in Illinois

August 6th, 2018 at 4:55 pm

burglary, burglary charge, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys, theft charge, burglary defenseFacing any criminal charge can be alarming and frightening. Most crimes are made up of different elements, levels, and a number of other factors that can be confusing. Burglary is no exception. In Illinois, there is more than one type of burglary. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged crime, a defendant could be charged with a Class 1 felony, which is the most severe type of felony possible for a burglary charge. Since a charge can be so serious, it is imperative to have an attorney who can provide the best defense possible. There are many strategies and defenses that can be employed to fight a burglary charge, as described in detail below.  

You Have an Alibi

One of the strongest defenses to burglary available is that you simply were not around to do it. Being able to prove your whereabouts, beyond just you saying you were not there to commit the crime, is a strong device. In order to establish an alibi, any number of things can be proved to show the defendant was doing something else at the time of the crime — video tape, cell phone records, credit card receipts, or even witness testimony.

There is No Proof

A strategy that is often effective in criminal cases is attacking every piece of evidence that the prosecutor is presenting to prove a defendant’s guilt. Poking holes in the credibility of the evidence, proving that police work or searches were illegal, and otherwise proving that evidence is lacking and insufficient can result in a not guilty finding.

Often times, properties will have surveillance cameras to monitor what is going on within a building. This footage, however, is not always of the highest quality. A grainy video surveillance system could provide doubt that it is the defendant that is the one committing the crime.

You Were Authorized to Enter the Property

There is a big distinction between burglary and theft. Burglary requires that a person entered the property of another with the intent to commit a crime. They must also not have the permission to enter. Theft, on the other hand, involves the taking of property from a place or dwelling that the defendant is allowed to be in. Therefore, if a defendant can prove that they had permission to enter a property, burglary is not an appropriate charge. While a burglary charge may be avoided, there is still the possibility for a theft charge.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have been charged with burglary, you need an attorney who has the strategy and capabilities to fight your case with fervor. The passionate Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley are here to help you. We understand that a criminal charge can have devastating effects on one’s life. Therefore, you need an attorney you can trust to obtain the best result possible. Contact us today for a consultation.

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=072000050K16-1

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Home Invasion: An Illinois Crime Commonly Charged in Connection With Burglary

December 19th, 2017 at 9:02 am

burglary, home invasion, Illinois crime, residential burglary, aggravated batteryEarlier this month, a 56-year-old man was sentenced by Illinois Judge Thomas Berglund to serve 30 years in prison in connection with a home invasion that the offender confessed to committing earlier this year, reports The Register-Mail.

Reportedly, the homes invasion took place last spring when the offender entered the home of an 83-year-old man and hit the resident over the head with a metal desk lamp. The elderly victim suffered great bodily harm and was discovered by a neighbor two days after the incident occurred.

After admitting that this was in fact the course of events that took place, a negotiated plea agreement was reached in which two other charges (residential burglary and aggravated battery causing harm to someone over 60 years of age) were dismissed and the prosecution continued ahead with the home invasion charge for which the offender is now serving time.

The Crime of Home Invasion Under Illinois Law

Home invasion is a criminal offense that often goes hand in hand with burglary in Illinois. Under Illinois law, a burglary is committed when an individual remains in or enters a building or a vehicle which he or she does not have permission to enter or remain in with the intent to commit theft or a felony therein. However, if a burglar enters a dwelling and causes injury or threatens the use of force against someone therein, then he or she may have also committed the crime of home invasion.

Under section 720 ILCS 5/19-6 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes, the crime of home invasion is committed when a person (who is not a police officer doing their job) knowingly and without the authority to do so enters or remains in the dwelling of another while knowing, or having reason to know, that someone is in the dwelling and:

  • Has a dangerous weapon (that is not a firearm) that they use or threaten to against any person(s) present in the dwelling,
  • Intentionally injures any person(s) present in the dwelling,
  • Is armed with a firearm, uses or threatens force upon any person(s) present in the dwelling,
  • Uses or threatens to use force upon any person(s) present in the dwelling while personally discharging a firearm,
  • Personally discharges a firearm that causes permanent disability, great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or death to someone within the dwelling, or
  • Commits criminal sexual assault or criminal sexual abuse against any person(s) present in the dwelling.

However, it should be noted that under Illinois law anyone charged with the crime of home invasion has an affirmative defense if he or she immediately surrendered or left the premises upon realizing that one or more people were present in the dwelling that the alleged offender unlawfully entered or remained in.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you have been charged with home invasion in Illinois be sure to contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today. Under Illinois law home invasion is an extremely serious offense. In fact, home invasion is a Class X felony that carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 6 to 30 years. To discuss your legal options with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, contact our office today.

Source:

http://www.galesburg.com/news/20171211/burlington-man-receives-maximum-in-home-invasion-beating

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Crimes Against the Elderly Carry Increased Penalties in Illinois

November 10th, 2017 at 7:37 am

burglary, crimes against the elderly, criminal offender, Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, sexual assaultA man accused of committing a series of crimes on both sides of the Illinois-Indiana border is facing various charges for which, if convicted, he will likely receive increased penalties because he targeted the elderly during his crime spree. The Chicago Sun Times reports that the alleged offender is being held in jail on multiple charges of sexual assault, burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, and burglary resulting in bodily harm. The victims of these alleged crimes were predominantly elderly men and women and included a 97-year-old-woman and a 73-year-old man who were robbed outside of their home, and an 81-year-old woman who was robbed and sexually assaulted, among others.

Crimes Against the Elderly

Under Illinois law, crimes committed against the elderly (or the disabled) are considered to be more morally egregious than those committed against other people, and therefore are often punished more severely. In fact, when a crime is committed in Illinois against an elderly adult, the maximum prison sentence permissible for the crime committed can be extended. In some instances, prison sentences are doubled.

However, it is important to note that during the sentencing phase of a criminal case the victim’s age is only one aggravating factor that the presiding judge will consider when determining the offender’s sentence. During this process the judge will also give weight to additional aggravating factors that favor an increased sentence as well as to mitigating factors that weigh in favor of a reduced sentence.

The other aggravating factors that Illinois judges take into consideration when sentencing a criminal offender are listed in code section 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2(23) and include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The offender was paid to commit the crime,
  • The offender has a criminal history, and
  • Punishing the offender is needed in order to deter other people from committing the same offense.

Furthermore, the mitigating factors that sentencing judges in Illinois consider are contained in code section 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.1 and include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The offender did not threaten or cause serious physical harm to his or her victim,
  • Based on his or her attitude and character, the offender is unlikely to commit a crime again in the future, and
  • The offender has a mental disability.

Charged With a Crime in Illinois? Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, it is critical that you consult with a local criminal defense attorney about your legal options without delay. Regardless of whether or not you committed the illegal acts that you are accused of, it can make a world of difference having an experienced criminal defense attorney fighting to protect your legal rights.

To find out what a top tier Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can do for you, contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley today. One of our experienced attorneys would be happy to discuss your case with you during a free initial consultation.

Source:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/elderly-woman-sexually-assaulted-during-robbery-in-lansing/

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Burglary: The Elements of the Offense in Illinois

September 13th, 2017 at 7:18 am

breaking and entering, burglary, burglary crime, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer, Illinois criminal defenseBurglary is generally defined as the breaking and entering into the house of another for an unlawful purpose. However, it is important to note that burglary is one of those crimes that is defined slightly differently in each state.

In Illinois, breaking in is not a required element of burglary and there are several different listed entities beyond homes and structures that can be burgled. 

Illinois Statutes Section 19-1: Burglary

According to section 19-1 of the Illinois Statutes, an individual commits the crime of burglary when, without the authority to do so, he or she knowingly enters or remains within a building, watercraft, house trailer, aircraft, railroad car, motor vehicle, or any part thereof, while intending to commit theft or a felony therein. This statute can be broken down into the following key elements:

  • Knowingly Entering or Remaining: Some people mistakenly believe that an offender must physically break something to gain access (for example, a window) in order to commit the crime of burglary. However, in Illinois this is not the case. No physical breaking in is necessary. Instead, the offender must only knowingly enter or remain without the authority to do so. For example, if a teenager intentionally remains in a department store after closing, a court would likely find that he or she knowingly remained in a building without the authority to do so and has therefore fulfilled the knowingly enters or remains requirement of burglary.
  • Intending to Commit Theft or a Felony: This element of burglary is often the most difficult for the prosecution to prove as it speaks to the intent of the offender. In order to satisfy this element, the offender must have entered (or remained) in the building (or watercraft, house trailer, aircraft, etc.) while intending to commit theft or a felony while inside. For instance, if the teenager from the example above remained in the department store with the intent to steal merchandise, then a court would likely find that this second element of burglary has been satisfied.

But how can the prosecution prove that an alleged offender intended to commit theft or a felony? How can anyone know what was in the alleged offender’s mind at the time? For example, how do we know that the teenager intended to steal merchandise and was not just looking for a safe place to spend the night?

Proving criminal intent can be tricky but is generally established via either a confession or circumstantial evidence.

Reach Out to Us For Help

If you have been charged with burglary in Illinois, then the prosecution will need to prove each element discussed above in order to convict you. Therefore, it is critical that you retain an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer who is prepared to aggressively and skillfully defend you against each allegation put forth by the prosecution. Attorney Christopher Cosley, the sole attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, is just such an attorney and would be happy to discuss your legal options with you.

Source:

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

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Is it Burglary, Theft, or Robbery?

May 10th, 2017 at 8:54 am

burglary, theft, robbery, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerBurglary, theft, and robbery are serious crimes, and each one has distinctive characteristics. Illinois law is very specific in how it defines these crimes and it takes a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows defense lawyer to explain how the laws differ and what the difference means moving forward in your case.

  • Burglary is defined by Illinois law as entering the property of another, knowingly, and without permission, and with the intent to commit a theft or a felony once inside the property.  It is a common misconception that the property needs to be a home. Boats, cars, railroad cars, even airplanes can be burglarized.
  • Theft, as defined by Illinois law, is the unlawful or unauthorized taking of property from another person with the intent to permanently deprive that person of the property.
  • Robbery is the most serious of these three offenses and generally carries the most severe punishments. The reason for that is the violent nature of the offense. Robbery is basically theft accomplished through the use of force, or the fear of force.

Can a Theft Turn into a Robbery?

This is a question you will want to ask your experienced cook county criminal defense lawyer. Generally, the short answer is yes. Theft can turn into robbery the moment the victim is physically harmed or is put in fear of harm. A common example is a purse snatching incident. If a woman sets her purse down on a table and someone whisks by and takes it, a theft has occurred. However, if that person snatches the purse off of the same woman’s arm, it is likely to be charged as a robbery.

Does a Theft Have to Occur for a Burglary Charge?

The short answer is no. A burglary can occur without the actual theft of property. While most burglaries that are committed involve a theft of some sort, it does not have to happen in order for burglary to have happened in the eyes of the law. For example, if someone breaks into his or her neighbor’s home, sneaks in the kitchen, and makes pot brownies, among other crimes they have also committed a burglary.

Facing Criminal Charges?

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, the first step you should take is to contact your experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer. Attorney Christopher M. Cosley has years of experience defending his clients rights when they have been charged with crimes. The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley is equipped with the resources necessary to minimize the damage of any criminal conviction and ensure that your rights guaranteed by the constitution are honored by the prosecution. Contact our Rolling Meadows office at 847-394-3200, 24 hours a day, to speak with our dedicated and relentless criminal defense lawyer.

Source:

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=072000050K16-1

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=61900000&SeqEnd=62600000

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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

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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

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Theft Crimes in Illinois Require Knowledge and Intent

January 25th, 2017 at 9:12 am

theft crimes, Rolling Meadows Theft AttorneyTheft 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.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=61900000&SeqEnd=62600000

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

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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

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