Most of the time defendants feel that they are overcharged and many times they are right. Other times, clients feel that their conduct was not as “bad” as the charge sounds. One example of this is burglary.
In Illinois, Burglary is charged as 720 ILCS 5/19-1. 720 ILCS 5/19-1(a) provides, “A person commits burglary when without authority he or she knowingly enters or without authority remains within a building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof, with intent to commit therein a felony or theft. This offense shall not include the offenses set out in Section 4-102 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.”
Burglary is also a very serious felony. Burglary is a Class 2 Felony and burglary committed in a school, day care center, day care home, group day care home, or part day child care facility, or place of worship is a Class 1 felony, except that this provision does not apply to a day care center, day care home, group day care home, or part day child care facility operated in a private residence used as a dwelling.
How does a criminal defense attorney begin to attack the prosecution’s case? One way to start is with the statute 720 ILCS 5/19-1. A conviction cannot be sustained unless all essential elements of burglary have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, the State must show that that defendant entered a building belonging to another, without authority, and the requisite intent. Not only must entry be proved in these cases, but also the intent to commit a felony or larceny.
If you are charged with Burglary you should consider looking up the statute online and speaking with a criminal defense attorney. The state will be required to introduce witnesses, documents, video evidence and other records to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that committed each and every element of the crime of Burglary.
To read the statute check out: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K19-1