Illinois Burglary Laws
Although the terms theft, burglary, and robbery are sometimes used interchangeably in casual conversation, these are three different criminal offenses under Illinois law. A burglary occurs when someone enters a property with the intent to steal something or commit another felony criminal offense.
If you or a loved one were accused of burglary, a skilled trial attorney can help. You could be facing life-changing consequences, including significant jail time and you will want to have a trial attorney versed in these types of offenses by your side.
Potential Consequences of a Burglary Charge
Burglary is considered a very serious offense in Illinois. The penalties associated with the offense depend on the type of property that was entered. At a minimum, burglary is a Class 3 felony punishable by up to five years behind bars and steep fines. Most of the time, burglary is considered a Class 2 felony, which carries a prison sentence of three to seven years. If the alleged burglary took place in a home, church or other place of worship, school, or daycare, the charge could become a Class 1 felony with a prison term of four to 15 years.
Elements the Prosecution Must Prove to Secure a Burglary Conviction
To secure a burglary conviction, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant entered a vehicle, building, or other type of property without permission or entered with permission but stayed on the property after the permission had expired
- The defendant entered the building with the intent to commit a felony crime
A criminal defense lawyer may be able to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and use these to secure an acquittal. The most obvious example is whether the prosecution can place you at the scene of the crime, as most Burglary arrests occur hours or days after the alleged crime has occurred.
Where appropriate, an experienced criminal defense lawyer may also be able to help a criminal defendant get a plea bargain in order to lessen the charge and to avoid jail time.
Contact Will County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack L Zaremba
If you or a loved one have been accused of burglary, the stakes are high and it is important to get experienced legal counsel. Joliet criminal defense lawyer Jack Zaremba represents clients in Will and Grundy County who have been charged with burglary and other criminal offenses. He understands that each case is different and will fight for the best possible outcome for his clients. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.