Being charged with any criminal offense can be a scary matter. But when you know you are facing prison time and the label of a convicted felon, things can be even more frightening. Fortunately, a criminal charge is not the same as a criminal conviction. In other words: you still have options.
In Illinois, the burglary laws are strict and they are complex. Our local criminal defense lawyers can help you determine the best course of action for your case, in an effort to minimize the potentially life changing consequences.
Illinois Burglary Laws and Penalties
Under Illinois law, burglary is defined as: knowingly entering or remaining within a building, trailer, watercraft, aircraft, or motor vehicle, without consent with the intent to commit a felony or a theft.
In general, burglary is classified as a Class 2 Felony, carrying 3 to 7 years in prison upon conviction. However, if the burglary was committed on a daycare or a place of worship, it can be elevated to a Class 1 Felony, which carries 4 to 15 years in prison.
As with most laws, there are exceptions. The facts of your case will determine the exact charge you face and your potential penalty.
If you are accused of committing a burglary upon the residence or dwelling place of another, you could face charges of a Class 1 Felony, and up to 4 to 15 years in prison.
Possession of Burglary Tools
There are several objects that are considered to be “tools of the burglary trade.” If you are caught in possession of these tools, you could face Class 4 Felony charges and 1 to 3 years in prison. Burglary tools are defined as:
Any key, tool instrument, device, or any explosive, suitable for use in breaking into a building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle as defined in The Illinois Vehicle Code, railroad car, or any depository designed for the safekeeping of property, or any part thereof, with intent to enter any such place and with intent to commit therein a felony or theft…
Ref: 720 ILCS 19-2
Burglary offenses are treated as serious matters in the local courts. If you are found guilty of an offense like this, you can expect to be penalized severely. But, you do have options.
The vast majority of criminal cases in Illinois are resolved in a plea bargain. This means you agree to plead guilty in exchange for a lenient sentence. Your attorney can help you determine if this is the best solution given your circumstances or if there are other routes that could help you avoid a sentence altogether.
Contact us today to discuss your case with a local criminal defense attorney.