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Is Burglary a Felony in Illinois?

Unfortunately, many underestimate the severity of burglary charges because stealing is often associated with teenage rebellion. However, when you enter the home of another to steal or commit crimes, you may find that the consequences you can face for this are incredibly intense. If you have been charged with burglary, understanding what you can face if convicted is critical. Because there is uncertainty surrounding these circumstances, it’s in your best interest to connect with a Peoria theft lawyer. The following blog explores what you should know about this offense.

What Warrants a Burglary Charge in Illinois?

Many are unaware of the differences between burglary, theft, and robbery. However, it’s essential to understand these are not interchangeable. Additionally, there are many types of burglary charges. Generally, burglary is charged to someone who unlawfully enters a structure with intent to commit a crime or theft. Residential burglary occurs when the structure involved is a home or dwelling, while “burglary” generally refers to breaking and entering into a car, building, or warehouse.

It’s important to understand that if you enter a building, even if the door is unlocked but you are there unlawfully, it is still considered burglary. Additionally, the second aspect of a charge is the intent to steal an item of any value once you are inside the location or commit another felony, like felony assault or arson.

Is a Felony Conviction a Consequence?

If charged or convicted of burglary, residential or not, you will be charged with a felony. Residential burglary is a Class 1 felony, carrying a four to fifteen-year prison sentence. Breaking and entering to steal in any other structures warrants a Class 2 felony. However, if the property is damaged in the process, this can elevate this to a Class 2 felony.

Even if you have the tools to commit a burglary, but the state cannot prove you had the intent to commit a crime, they may still pursue a criminal trespass charge. Though less intense, this can still warrant a Class 4 felony charge.

Is It Possible to Defend a Burglary Charge?

If you’ve been charged with burglary, understanding what potential defenses you have is critical. One thing many rely on is proving they had permission to enter the structure at one time. If their consent was never explicitly revoked by the home or building owner, they may be able to prove they didn’t know they were breaking and entering.

Additionally, you may have had a lack of intent to commit a crime on the property. The prosecution may be unable to prove that you were going to commit a felony inside the building, meaning they will not be able to prove one of the two elements of the crime.

At Giraudo Law, we understand that facing these charges can be overwhelming. That’s why our team is committed to doing everything in our power to assist you through these complex matters. Connect with our team today to learn how we can help you through these matters.

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