man using tool to break into car

What Are the Penalties for Vehicle Burglary in Peoria, Illinois?

For many, cars offer a sense of pride over the owner’s ability to save up for and purchase their vehicle. Not only are these expensive, but for many, this is the only way they can travel to work, run errands, or bring their children to school. As such, individuals may be devastated to find their car broken into and items taken. The consequences of vehicle burglary in Illinois are often taken very seriously. If you have been charged with burglary to an automobile, understanding the penalties you can face for this offense is crucial. The following blog explores the details of this crime and how a Peoria theft lawyer can examine the circumstances of your charges to help you.

When Does Vehicle Burglary Occur?

In general, there is much confusion between robbery and burglary. Robbery occurs when someone uses threats of violence or physical assaults to take someone’s belongings, such as an armed individual forcing a store cashier to open the register and hand over the bills. Burglary, on the other hand, happens when an entity breaks into and enters a property without permission from the owner with the intent to commit a crime.

As such, any time someone enters a vehicle without the permission of the owner with the intent of stealing items or things of value, they can face vehicle burglary charges. This is different from auto theft, as the car itself is not being stolen; the burglary occurs the act of forcing their way into private property and taking items inside.

Generally, thieves will look for unlocked vehicles to rummage through. However, if a thief can see a wallet, purse, expensive CD player, or another valuable item in the car, they may use force to break the window to gain access to the vehicle.

What Consequences Can Someone Face for This Crime?

In Illinois, those charged with vehicle burglary can face intense consequences for these crimes. Even if the burglar did not cause damage to the vehicle before entering and stealing something, they can face a Class 3 felony charge. If the thief damages the vehicle, it increases the charges to a Class 2 felony.

In general, a Class 3 felony carries two to five years in prison, while a Class 3 felony can warrant three to seven years behind bars.

How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me if I’m Facing Charges?

If you are arrested for alleged involvement in a vehicle burglary incident, knowing how to proceed is vital. The first thing you should do is remain silent. Unfortunately, many make the mistake of trying to convince the police of their innocence but accidentally let information that can be used against them slip out. As such, you should invoke your right to remain silent.

When under arrest, the only thing you should say to the police is that you want an attorney. It is your right to legal representation as a criminal defendant. Your lawyer will examine the circumstances of your case to help determine the best course of action to help you achieve the best possible outcome.

At Giraudo Law, we understand how complex and anxiety-inducing these matters can be. As such, our dedicated team will do everything possible to fight for you during these challenging times. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.

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