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Burglary in the State of Illinois

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2019 | Criminal Defense |

There are a variety of burglary charges that defendants may encounter depending on the circumstances of their arrest. Let’s review a few of the most common types of burglary charges that individuals face in Illinois and how a criminal defense attorney can help you fight these charges in a court of law.


According to Illinois law, an individual commits burglary when “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 is the most common example we think of when we think of this crime. An individual entering a building and taking something that does not belong to them. This type of burglary is considered a Class 3 felony if there is no damage done to the property, but the severity of the felony is increased to Class 2 if damage is caused. The severity can also increase if the theft takes place in a school, daycare center, or place of worship.

Possession of or Unlawful Sale of Burglary Tools

Individuals commit Possession of Burglary Tools when they have in their possession “any key, tool, instrument, device, or any explosive, suitable for use in breaking into a building… or any depository designed for the safekeeping of property…with the intent to enter that place and with intent to commit therein a felony or theft.” These might include crowbars to pry open doors or lock picks or bolt cutters to bypass or destroy locks.

Possession of or the unlawful sale of these types of burglary tools is a Class 4 felony in the state of Illinois.

Residential Burglary

Similar to a Burglary charge, Residential Burglary is also about entering a building without authority with the intent to commit a felony or theft. The difference is that Residential Burglary occurs when that building is “the dwelling place” of another person. These means homes, apartments, condos, trailers, etc. Any building that someone lives in is considered a residence.

Residential Burglary is a Class 1 felony in the state and can carry a sentence of 4 to 15 years in prison.

Home Invasion

Home Invasion is a more severe charge and is a Class X felony in Illinois. The factors of Residential Burglary are present as well as at least one of the following:

  • A defendant possesses a weapon
  • A defendant fires a gun
  • A defendant threatens to fire a gun
  • A defendant assaults a resident or threatens to assault a resident
  • A defendant sexually assaults a resident

Home Invasion can carry a sentence of 15 years to life in prison depending on the details of the case.

Defensive Strategies

An experienced criminal defense attorney will examine the details of your case and craft the strongest defense possible. Depending on the circumstances and the evidence, he may argue that a defendant entered a building, but that they had no intent to commit a felony or theft once inside. It may also be pertinent to review a defendant’s authority to enter a building or vehicle at the time of the incident.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one are charged with Burglary, Possession of Burglary Tools, or Home Invasion, you are encouraged to contact a criminal defense attorney who can help reduce or beat the charge. Contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates, LLC for a free consultation.