Defining a Felony Burglary Charge in Waukegan, Illinois



In Waukegan, a burglary is defined as knowingly entering into an area without the authority to enter and/or remain and the intent to committing a crime thereafter. The area can be a building, house, watercraft, school or aircraft. Burglary is not the same as home invasion. In Illinois, home invasion is defined as entering an inhabited area with the intent to cause injury or using force while armed.

What a Prosecutor Must Prove to Convict of Burglary?

An individual accused of burglary cannot be automatically convicted. During the trial, prosecutors must show the person committed the crime beyond the show of any doubt. This means the jury or judge listening to the case is sure the person committed the crime. Burglary has specific elements they must show along with evidence to convict such as the accused:

1. Entered a building
2. They did not have the consent to enter and/or remain in the building.
3. They intended to commit a crime after ending the building such as a theft, assault, battery or kidnapping.

These three elements make a burglary crime different from any other property-related crimes such as home invasion or trespassing. Trespassing is the entering property owned by another individual without their consent.

Felony Burglary Penalties Depending the Building Burglarized

In Waukegan, the penalties for burglary depend on the building a person entered into such as a school or home. For instance, burglary is a Class 2 felony carrying three to seven years in prison if the building was a business. It is a Class 1 felony with four to 15 years in prison if the building was a place of worship or daycare.

Residential burglary occurs when a person enters into an area where someone lives such as an apartment or house with the intent to commit a crime thereafter. It is also a Class 1 felony, which carries about 15 years in prison, if convicted.

Defenses to Burglary in Illinois

An individual accused of burglary in Illinois can use a defense to challenge or negate the state’s case. The specific defense used depends on the fact of the case. For instance, criminal law Waukegan IL lawyer may suggest attacking the elements such as the intent to commit a crime thereafter. If they can successfully prove the accused entered the building, but committed no crime, they may be found innocent of the charge. Other defenses include an alibi and innocence.

The Dos and Don’ts to Protecting Legal Rights in a Felony Burglary Crime

Always call an attorney or have one called on behalf of the accused. Never provide police with information other than their name and address unless it is approved by a lawyer. Don’t say anything. Remain silent. A defense lawyer will do the talking on behalf of the client. Never agree to participate in a police identification lineup without the permission of a defense lawyer. It is vital to protect legal rights when accused of a crime of burglary.