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Archive for the ‘misdemeanor offense’ tag

Burglary of a Vehicle: Is it Considered a Break in if the Car Was Unlocked?

May 1st, 2017 at 8:20 am

burglary of a vehicle, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerIt is not unheard of for people to get arrested for breaking into unlocked vehicles in Illinois. In these situations, the individual involved can be charged with a number of different criminal offenses based on the circumstances surrounding their activities.

Anyone who has been arrested and charged with a crime for entering an unlocked vehicle without the owner’s permission needs to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Your rights are in jeopardy and you need to take steps promptly to protect yourself.

Burglary of a Vehicle

One of the crimes that people who enter an unlocked vehicle without the owner’s permission often face is burglary of a vehicle. When a person knowingly enters a vehicle that he or she does not have permission to enter, and the perpetrator does so with the intent to commit a felony or a theft, it can constitute the offense of burglary of a vehicle. Many times, a vehicle is broken into in order to steal something valuable inside. Sunglasses, music players, cell phones, cash, and airbags are all common items that are stolen from unlocked vehicles. Burglary of a vehicle is a felony.

Regardless of the fact that the vehicle may have been unlocked, if you entered the vehicle without the owner’s permission and removed something from the vehicle with no intention of giving the removed item back to its rightful owner, you will likely face criminal charges of burglary of a vehicle.

  • You could have viable defenses that you could bring up at trial. For instance, perhaps you had permission or believed you had permission from the owner of the vehicle to enter the unlocked vehicle.
  • Perhaps you accidentally opened the vehicle and got inside because it was the same make and model as your own vehicle and you were mistaken that the vehicle was in fact not your own.
  • Maybe you had no intention to commit a felony or to steal anything when you entered the unlocked vehicle belonging to someone else.

You should discuss the facts of your particular situation with your lawyer to determine what defenses you may have available to you.

Criminal Trespass to a Motor Vehicle

You could also be charged with criminal trespass to a motor vehicle. Criminal trespass of a motor vehicle occurs when someone knowingly enters or operates a vehicle belonging to another without permission. It is a misdemeanor offense.

It is not uncommon for criminal defendants to adopt a defense strategy of getting their charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense. For someone who is charged with burglary of a motor vehicle, it might be a good strategy to try and get the charges reduced to criminal trespass to a motor vehicle instead. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with your criminal defense lawyer.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

You could be charged with a crime if you enter a vehicle without the owner’s permission, even if the vehicle was left unlocked. If you are facing criminal charges for breaking into an unlocked vehicle, you need to consult with an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K21-2

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