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Archive for the ‘trespassing’ tag

Are Tenants that Refuse to Leave Criminally Trespassing?

January 11th, 2019 at 9:58 pm

IL defense lawyerBeing a landlord in Rolling Meadows, regardless of whether it is of a single family home or a huge apartment building, is not easy. There is maintenance to worry about, collecting rent from tenants, and of course, possibly evicting them when they fail to make those payments. What happens though, when a tenant refuses to leave after being evicted? Can the landlord have them charged with criminal trespassing?

Illinois Statute 720 ILCS 5/21-3

The definition of criminal trespassing is outlined in Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/21-3. Essentially, the statute states that criminal trespassing has occurred when someone enters or remains on land after the owner or occupant has asked them to leave.

This sounds like it would cover a situation in which a tenant will not leave after being evicted, or asked to leave, by their landlord. However, it does not. The statute has some exceptions.

One of these is when the person being asked to leave is living on the land. Furthermore, anyone invited onto the land by the tenant that will not leave is also not considered to be criminally trespassing, even if the owner has asked them to vacate the premises. For these reasons, a person is most often charged with criminal trespassing when they have unlawfully entered, or refused to leave, a business or public area, not when they are in their home.

In the case of a person criminally trespassing, the property owner has to phone the police and have the person arrested. Police cannot simply show up and arrest tenants that refuse to leave. If they did so, they could be held liable for unlawfully evicting a person from their home.

Illinois Code of Civil Procedure

This does not mean that landlords do not have any options when it comes to removing unwanted tenants. It simply means that they must follow the civil, not criminal, procedures outlined in the Eviction Act. According to Illinois statute 735 ILCS 5/9-209, a landlord can notify a tenant of eviction if the tenant has not paid rent five days after it was due.

Of course, it is more time-consuming to follow the requirements set out in the Act. It is though, the only legal recourse a landlord has. The process of eviction in Rolling Meadows also is not one that takes as long as many people think. From the time notice is provided by the landlord to the time the eviction is final takes approximately one month.

Contact a Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

The idea of criminal trespassing, and all it encompasses, can become confusing. This charge is not always appropriate simply because someone is on someone else’s property, even if they have been asked to leave. For this reason, people are sometimes charged with criminal trespassing when they are not guilty of the crime.

If you have been charged with criminal trespassing, do not try to fight the charges on your own. Contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney that can help. The penalties for criminal trespassing if convicted can include up to one year in jail, in addition to the permanent mark on your criminal record. Our office offers a free consultation so call us today at 847-394-3200 so we can start reviewing your case.




Criminal Trespass in Illinois: The Basics

August 14th, 2017 at 7:00 am

criminal trespass, private property, Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers, trespassing, vehicle trespassLandowners and occupants in Illinois have the right to exclude people from trespassing on their property. Therefore, entering onto someone else’s private property without permission to do so can constitute a civil trespass as the trespasser violated the owner/occupant’s exclusive possession of the land.

However, in Illinois a trespasser can also be charged with criminal trespass under some circumstances. Three of the most commonly charged forms of criminal trespass in Illinois are outlined below.

Criminal Trespass to Real Property: Code Section 720 ILCS 5/21-3

Here in Illinois the crime of criminal trespass to real property is defined in section 720 ILCS 5/21-3 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes and states that an individual is guilty of criminal trespass when he or she:

  • Enters or remains in a building knowingly and without the lawful authority to do so;
  • Enters the property of another after receiving notice from the owner or occupants forbidding entry;
  • Remains on another person’s land after being told by the owner or occupant to depart;
  • Presents false documents or misrepresents his/her identity in order to falsely obtain permission to enter or remain on another person’s property;
  • Intentionally removes a posted notice from residential real estate early; or
  • Enters or remains in a field that could be used to grow crops, a fenced area or building that contains livestock, or an orchard in a motor vehicle after being told by the owner or occupant that doing so is forbidden.

Criminal trespass to real property is generally charged as a Class B misdemeanor in Illinois and is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Criminal Trespass to a Residence: Code Section 720 ILCS 5/19-4

Additionally, the Illinois Compiled Statutes also contains a more specific statute that criminalizes trespass to a residence. Under section 720 ILCS 5/19-4 an individual commits criminal trespass to a residence when he/she (1) knowingly enters or remains in a residence without the authority to do so, or (2) knowingly enters or remains in someone else’s residence without the authority to do so while knowing (or having reason to know) that at least one person is home.

Criminal trespass to a residence can be charged as either a Class A misdemeanor or as a Class 4 felony.

Criminal Trespass to Vehicles: Code Section 720 ILCS 5/21-2

Under section 720 ILCS 5/21-2 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes an individual commits criminal trespass to vehicles when he/she knowingly enters a vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, or snowmobile without the authority to do so.

Criminal trespass to vehicles is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois.

Contact Us for Help Today

If you have been accused of criminal trespass in Illinois contact the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley without delay. Our team of experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers defend both adults and minors against criminal trespass charges as well as a wide array of other criminal allegations across Illinois.


When is Trespassing a Crime?

May 15th, 2017 at 9:04 am

trespassing, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerAs a youth , sneaking into a movie theater or a pool after hours may seem like good fun; however, making a choice such as this can turn into a criminal trespassing arrest or conviction.

Illinois law sets out what kind of activity is considered criminally liable trespassing. Those elements include but are not limited to the following:

  • A person knowingly, without lawful authority, enters or remains within or on a building;
  • A person enters land owned by another, and the owner gave notice that entry was forbidden;
  • A person remains upon the land of another after receiving notice that entry was forbidden;
  • A person falsely gains access to premises for which general public entry is forbidden; and
  • A person intentionally removes notice that entry is forbidden.

What Are the Penalties for Criminal Trespassing?

This is a question for your Rolling Meadows, Cook County criminal trespassing defense attorney. The penalties will vary depending on the circumstances of each crime. Generally, criminal trespassing in Illinois is a misdemeanor. Therefore, a conviction will likely encompass a fine; however, it can also land you in jail for up to a year. There are different categories of criminal trespassing, and include:

  • Criminal trespass to vehicles;
  • Criminal trespass to real property;
  • Criminal trespass to state supported land;
  • Criminal trespass to restricted areas;
  • Criminal trespass to a nuclear facility; and
  • Criminal trespass to a place of public amusement.

Each variation of trespassing can give you a varying penalty, or be used in conjunction with another crime which can also affect the sentence handed down. It is important that you speak with a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney about the potential repercussions you may face as well as map out a strategy for your defense.

What Defenses Are Available?

The type of trespassing you are charged with will drive the defenses that you have available to you. For example, a common defense to the trespass of land is arguing that there was not sufficient notice to forbid entrance. It may also be argued that the land you were trespassing on was open to the public and therefore you did not break the law by being present on it. Ignorance of the law or mistake of fact are typically not defenses to trespass.

Been Arrested for Trespassing?

If you or a loved one has been charged with a trespassing crime, then it is crucial that you get the dedicated and insightful representation you deserve. Attorney Christopher M. Cosley has nearly two decades of standing up for his clients rights and providing criminal defense every step of the way for his clients. Contact our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer at 847-394-3200, 24 hours a day, to schedule your consultation. Do not face these charges alone.


The Difference Between Trespassing, Home Invasion, and Burglary in Illinois

March 9th, 2016 at 8:23 am

trespassing, home invasion, burglary, Illinois Criminal Defense LawyerIllinois law takes a firm stance on protecting a person’s home and property from the unwanted intrusion of others. Indeed, Illinois has a number of laws intended to protect people from others. Specifically, Illinois law provides for criminal charges for trespassing, home invasion, and residential burglary. The consequences associated with each of the above crimes are serious, and criminal defendants who are facing these charges need to have a thorough understanding of what the differences are between these crimes.


Trespassing occurs when a person knowingly enters the property of another without permission. When someone enters or remains in another’s home, it is considered criminal trespassing to a residence, under 720 ILCS 5/19-4. Trespassing can occur by entering another’s yard or property, and residential trespassing could occur if someone entered the home of another or overstayed his or her welcome as a guest.

Home Invasion

A home invasion, under 720 ILCS 5/19-6, occurs when someone enters or remains in an inhabited dwelling without permission and causes injury or threatens to cause injury to the inhabitants. It can be considered home invasion if the invader has a gun or other weapon that he or she uses to threaten the inhabitants of the home. It can also be considered home invasion if the invader commits a sexual crime against an inhabitant of the home.

The inhabitants of the dwelling must be home at the time of the crime in order for it to be a home invasion. If the inhabitants are not home, the charges could be different if the person is caught, based on what he or she does in the home upon entry. If he or she simply leaves after learning that no one is home, the charges could be reduced to trespassing. However, if he or she intends to commit a felony or to steal something, then the person could be charged with residential burglary.

Residential Burglary

Residential burglary, under 720 ILCS 5/19.3, occurs when a person knowingly and without permission enters a dwelling of another with the intention of committing a theft or a felony. Breaking into a home where people are living in order to steal something rises to the level of a residential burglary. But a residential burglary can quickly turn into a home invasion if the burglary goes awry and one of the inhabitants of the dwelling is in the home at the time of the burglary. If the inhabitant confronts the burglar and the burglar causes injury or threatens the inhabitant, the crime can quickly change from a residential burglary to a home invasion.

Contact Us for Assistance

Trespassing, home invasion, and residential burglary are all serious criminal charges, and it is important that you fight any criminal charges that you are facing. Please contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss your case. Our dedicated attorneys are happy to help you today.


Overstaying Your Welcome Could Become Criminal Trespass

February 9th, 2016 at 7:00 am

criminal trespass, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense AttorneySometimes party guests find themselves facing criminal trespass charges when things get out of hand at the party. Maybe a guest becomes intoxicated and becomes belligerent, upsetting other guests, or even the host or hostess. The police are likely to be called.

Once a guest is asked to leave, if he or she remains on the property, he or she could be charged with criminal trespass. While the guest was initially invited to the property, as a guest, if he or she is later asked to leave and refuses to do so, it can constitute criminal trespass according to 720 ILCS 5/21-3.

Permission/Consent to be on the Property

The crime of trespassing largely revolves around whether the person who is committing the trespass has permission to be on the property in question. In the case of a guest who has outstayed his or her welcome, the guest may have started the party with the property owner’s (i.e., host or hostess) permission to be on the property, but that authorization was revoked during the guest’s stay on the property.

Having the owner’s consent to be on the property can be a defense to criminal trespass charges. Consent can be either expressly given, meaning the owner made it clear verbally or in writing that someone else may be on the property.

  • Verbal express consent could include the following phrase: “Hey I am having a party at my house. You are invited to join!”
  • Written express consent could include a letter or email asking, “Could you come over to my house and check the heating unit? I think it’s broken.”

All of these examples expressly consent to the recipient to gain access to the property of the owner.

Houseguests vs. Tenants or Co-Owner of the Property

Sometimes a domestic dispute gets out of hand and one partner in the relationship calls the police to report a criminal trespass against the other partner. However, if a person is a tenant or co-owner of the property, he or she may not technically be trespassing on the property. For instance, if a boyfriend and girlfriend are having a fight, and the girlfriend calls the police to report that the boyfriend is trespassing, without some other reason to remove the boyfriend (i.e., accusations of assault and battery, existing protection order, etc.), the boyfriend cannot be removed from the property if he is a tenant or co-owner of the property.

Contact Us for Assistance

Guests get booted from parties that they were invited to all the time, and sometimes the authorities are called and charges are pressed against a guest who is reluctant to leave when asked. If you are facing criminal trespass to real property charges, please do not hesitate to contact a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney at our office. We are available to assist you today.


Being Where You Should Not Be: Trespassing in Illinois

March 9th, 2015 at 6:03 pm

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, safe school zone,Trespassing, in a very basic sense, is being where you are not supposed to be. People often think of it as being on another person’s land without permission. But Illinois’ trespassing statutes actually prohibit much more than that. It is important to understand what constitutes trespassing because ignorance of the law is not a defense, and if you wind up trespassing you may find yourself in need of a criminal defense lawyer.

Criminal Trespass to Vehicles

Illinois statute prohibits what it calls “trespass to vehicles.” A person commits this crime when he or she knowingly enters or operates a vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or snowmobile without authority. This crime is a Class A misdemeanor.

Use of Electronic Tracking Devices

An electronic tracking device, for purposes of the trespassing statutes, is a device you attach to a vehicle that reveals the vehicle’s location through the transmission of electronic signals. One example would be the use of a GPS tracker on a car. Generally speaking, you are not allowed to use one of these on someone else’s vehicle without their consent, and doing so would be a Class A misdemeanor. There are exceptions for law enforcement, business owners who are tracking their employees’ use of a company car, state vehicles, and GPS systems that come installed as a feature on cars.

Criminal Trespass to Real Property

This is the action people normally think of when they think of trespassing. “Real property” means land or buildings. A person commits this offense when he or she does one of the following:

  • Knowingly enters or remains in a building without authority;
  • Enters another person’s land after he or she has been warned by the owner or occupant that he or she is not allowed to do so;
  • Remains on someone else’s land after that person tells him or her to leave;
  • Presents false documents to convince a land owner or occupant to let him or her stay on the land;
  • Removes certain real estate notices; or
  • Enters certain agricultural fields or buildings after being told he or she may not, or staying on such property after being told to leave.

Criminal Trespass to a Safe School Zone

A person commits this crime when he or she enters or remains in a safe school zone without lawful business and when as a student or school employee who has been suspended/expelled/dismissed for disrupting the operation of the school and as a condition of of the suspension/expulsion/dismissal he or she is denied access to the school. There are also more complicated ways in which one can violate this law that would, at a minimum, require entrance into a safe school zone after being served with a notice that the notice recipient is not allowed to be there.

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are charged with trespassing or any other crime, you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We will fight for you. Our phone number is (847)394-3200.

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