Generally, most are familiar with the idea of breaking and entering into another person’s property with the intent to steal. However, many are unaware this constitutes residential burglary and the consequences of this offense. As such, those charged with this crime may not understand the severity of getting in touch with an attorney to discuss their legal options. The following blog explores what you must know about this crime and how a Peoria theft lawyer can assist if facing criminal charges.
In Illinois, burglary is a two-part crime. Generally, to be charged with burglary, someone must enter another person’s property without permission with intent to commit a crime. Most commonly, the offense intended is theft or robbery. Residential burglary is when someone enters another person’s home without permission with the intent to commit a crime.
Though you may think of those who use crowbars and wear ski masks as burglars, this can also apply to anyone who misrepresents themself to gain access to your home. For example, if someone pretends to be a member of law enforcement or a utility worker when, in reality, they want access to your home to steal from you, they are also considered burglars.
The penalties for residential burglary in Illinois can be severe, as this is a very egregious offense in the eyes of the law. Burglary, in general, is always prosecuted as a felony charge. Residential burglary, in particular, is charged as a Class 1 felony, which carries anywhere between four and fifteen years, and you may face a fine of up to $25,000.
Though it may seem impossible, there are several defenses you may be able to employ to help you avoid facing charges. However, it is critical to note that it’s in your best interest to consult an attorney, as acting as your own defense may not have a favorable outcome for your situation.
You may be able to provide evidence that you had permission from the property owner to enter the premises, so there is no breaking and entering. Additionally, you may be able to prove that you had no intent to commit a crime when inside the home. This could be because of intoxication or mental illness.
However, you may also be able to prove that you are innocent and that the charges are because of a mistaken identity or laboratory mix-up. This can be challenging to prove without solid evidence or an alibi to help prove that you did not commit this crime.
At Giraudo Law, we understand how nerve-wracking it can be to face a Class 1 felony charge like residential burglary. That’s why our team is dedicated to doing everything possible to assist you through these challenging times. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help when you’re in legal trouble.