Burglary charges have the potential to change your life, particularly when you are charged in a state like Illinois, where the penalties are severe and the courts are strict. No two burglary cases are the same, and while we can provide a general overview of the laws and potential penalties, discussing your case with a local criminal defense lawyer is the best way to know for certain what you are up against.
From the moment you are arrested for an offense like this, it can feel like no one is on your side, that not one really cares about your side of things. This feeling of isolation, paired with the potential prison sentence you are up against, can cause you some serious stress.
Knowing the possible penalties you are facing is the first step in determining the best course of action.
Illinois Burglary Laws
Burglary isn’t only a theft charge, it’s far more complex. Under Illinois criminal statutes, the offense is defined as “knowingly and without consent, entering or remaining within a building, trailer, aircraft, watercraft, or motor vehicle with the intent of committing a theft or a felony.
The facts of your case will determine your potential sentence.
Illinois Burglary Penalties
Usually, burglary charges are considered Class 2 Felony charges and carry 3 to 7 years in prison. But, if the offense was committed in a day care facility or similar business or in a place of worship, the charges can be elevated to a Class 1 Felony, carrying 4 to 15 years in prison.
When you commit a burglary on someone’s home, it is considered far more serious than when it is committed upon a business or similar building. This is always charged as a Class 1 Felony, again carrying a potential 4 to 15 years in prison.
Possession of Burglary Tools
There are certain tools that are considered related to the crime of burglary. Instruments, master keys, and tools designed to help you gain illegal entry all qualify as burglary tools. To own these tools is a crime. If you are caught with them, you will face charges of a Class 4 Felony and a potential 1 to 3 years in prison.
Burglary Defense Strategies
The best course of action to take in your case will depend on the facts of your offense, your criminal history, and a variety of other considerations. From challenging the evidence against you to working out a favorable plea agreement, your attorney can assist you in making the decisions that will minimize the effects of this case on your life.