Tag Archives: burglary

St. Charles robbery burglary defense attorneyContext is important in almost any situation. A word or phrase that is used interchangeably in everyday conversation cannot necessarily be used in the same way in the legal system. One such example of this is the use of the words theft, robbery, and burglary. Though many people use these terms to mean the same thing during personal conversations, these refer to separate criminal charges when used in legal situations. There are specific differences between the three crimes, and they each come with their own punishments. This is why it is important to know the differences if you have been charged with any of these crimes. 


According to the Illinois Criminal Code, a person commits theft when he or she:

  • Obtains unauthorized control over property; or
  • Uses threat or deception to obtain control over property; or
  • Obtains control over property, knowing the property was stolen; and
  • Intends to permanently deprive the owner of the use or benefit of the property

Sentencing for a theft charge depends on the situation surrounding the theft, how much the stolen property was worth, and whether or not the property was taken directly from a person. Charges can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class X felony.

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Naperville criminal defense attorneys, burglary, theft, robberyBurglary and robbery are both forms of theft, but they typically carry much more severe penalties than a simple theft conviction. You are likely to serve a significant period of incarceration for either a burglary or robbery conviction, both of which are felony crimes under Illinois law. Due to the severe repercussions of a burglary or robbery conviction, your first step following your arrest should be to an experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer at our firm for professional assistance.

Defining Burglary Under Illinois Law

Burglary occurs when you knowingly enter and remain in a building, trailer, watercraft, aircraft, or motor vehicle, without consent, and with the intent of committing a felony or a theft. Typically, Illinois law classifies burglary as a Class 2 felony. A conviction for a Class 2 felony can result in three to seven years in prison. In some cases, however, burglary is a Class 1 felony. This is the case if the burglary occurs in a daycare or a place of worship. Likewise, if you commit a residential burglary or one that occurs at another person’s home or dwelling place, the offense is a Class 1 felony. A Class 1 felony conviction can carry a prison sentence ranging from four to 15 years. Another less serious felony involves possession of burglary tools, which include keys, tools, instruments, explosives, or other devices that could be used to commit a burglary. This criminal offense is a Class 4 felony that could land you in prison for one to three years.

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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal law, stealing, Not all theft-related crimes are created equal. At the most basic level, when a person takes something from another person without his or her permission with the intention to not return it, they can be charged with theft. There are several other ways by which a person can commit a theft in Illinois. If a person does certain other things in addition to simply taking something or trying to take something, they can be charged with either robbery or burglary. For some people, the difference between robbery and burglary may not be clear.

What is Burglary

A burglary has a lot to do with the location of the crime. Under Illinois law, a burglary occurs when a person knowingly enters a building, a boat, a car, or one of several other structures or parts of them, and remains there without permission and with the intention to commit a theft or another felony. Note that while a theft is explicitly mentioned in the statute, it is not the only qualifying crime that can turn entering into a building without permission into a burglary; any felony qualifies. For instance, if a person breaks into another person’s house without permission, with the intention of sexually assaulting the house owner, then the person breaking in may be charged with burglary.

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