Burglary Charges in Illinois

In Illinois, burglary is defined by 720 ILCS 5/19-1 as the crime a person commits 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 a Class 2 felony in Illinois. A 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 more serious 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.

As the forgoing makes clear, burglary is a crime committed by entering or remaining in a structure or vehicle, rather than a crime of stealing. That means that a person can be charged with burglary in Illinois under much broader circumstances than a case where they enter to steal property. For example, burglary can be charged along with sexual assault when a person is accused of breaking in to a building or vehicle to sexually assault an occupant in Illinois.  Burglary is also sometime charged when a person shoplifts in Illinois, which can result in a felony charge if a person were to shoplift a $0.50 piece of candy from a store, since the entry into the store for the purpose of shoplifting is considered to be a burglary.

See also  Criminal Trespass to Real Property Charges in Illinois

People charged with burglary in Illinois are well advised to exercise their right to remain silent and seek an attorney at once. ¬†Properly handling a charge such as burglary is vital, since felony convictions can have a long-lasting effect upon a person’s employment, education, housing, and other aspects of life.