The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


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Is Breaking and Entering the Same as Burglary in Illinois?

 Posted on May 13, 2024 in Criminal Defense

Kane County burglary defense lawyerIn Illinois, breaking and entering is not a term mentioned in the law. Instead, Illinois classifies what people generally think of as breaking and entering, which is entering property unlawfully with the intent to commit a felony or a theft, as burglary.

If there is no intent to commit a crime once unlawfully inside a property, this action may instead be considered trespass or criminal trespass. Intent to commit a crime must be proven in these kinds of cases for a burglary conviction to be handed down. It is important to have an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer on your side if you find yourself facing burglary charges after unlawfully entering a home, vehicle, boat, or other property.

What Is Burglary in Illinois?

When facing burglary charges in Illinois, it is important to understand what the state considers burglary. Despite many people thinking you can only be charged with burglary if you steal something, this is not generally the case in Illinois.

Illinois considers entering property unlawfully, with the intent to steal items or commit a felony crime, a burglary charge. Regardless of whether or not you steal items once you enter the property, you might still be facing a burglary charge.

Carrying burglary tools with you into a property after entering unlawfully, or while having the intent to enter a property without permission, can result in a more severe burglary charge, as this shows intent to commit a crime. Intent makes the defense of a burglary charge more difficult to navigate, as Illinois bases burglary charges on the intent to commit a crime.

What Are the Penalties for Burglary?

Burglary charges in Illinois are felonies. Unlawfully entering a property without stealing any items and without damaging the property upon entry is a Class 3 burglary felony in the state, punishable by a jail sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $25,000.

If damage is done to the property upon entry or items are stolen, this charge increases to a Class 2 felony, which carries a fine of up to $25,000 and a maximum jail sentence of up to seven years.

The burglary charge increases again to a Class 1 felony if the property is a school, place of worship, or a daycare facility, and the associated jail sentence increases to a maximum of 15 years with a fine of up to $25,000.

Contact a Kane County, IL Burglary Defense Lawyer

Burglary is a difficult charge to face. Defending against accusations of intent to commit a crime in this kind of case is essential, and you will need a skilled Elgin, IL burglary defense attorney to do this. Attorney Brian J. Mirandola, former Assistant State’s Attorney, can work to advocate for your rights and minimize the charges against you.

Call The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola at 847-488-0889 for a free consultation.

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