Burglary Attorney Serving the Greater Chicago Area
Why You Need an Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney to Defend Against your Burglary Charges
Being represented immediately after an arrest or as soon as possible is crucial to properly defending against burglary charges. Burglary charges are taken very seriously by Illinois prosecutors and in some cases, understandably so. Burglary can involve the invasion of privacy and a violation of the safety one feels in one’s own home. On the other hand, many cases that are charged as burglary are really nothing more than trespassing and/or theft charges. These offenses carry lower penalties and the proper legal presentation to prosecutors, judges and juries can mean the difference between felonies and misdemeanors, thousands of dollars in fines and months or years in jail or prison.
That’s why it is critical to get organized and represented if you have been charged with burglary. If you are charged with burglary in Illinois, you may be facing felony charges and face up to 7 years in prison.
Attorney Purav Bhatt can provide a legal analysis and challenge your burglary charges. For instance, the prosecution must establish intent as a basic element of committing a burglary. Burglary oftentimes involves a person entering another’s property or residence and taking something. What most people don’t realize is that under the burglary statute (720 ILCS 5/19-1), you can be charged with burglary for entering or remaining, without permission, within a building, house-trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, or railroad car with intent to commit therein a felony or theft.
If a person enters a home and commits a felony or theft they will be charged with residential burglary under 720 ILCS 5/19-3. Residential burglary is a very different situation and the law is much more harsh on those charged with residential burglary. A person charged with residential burglary will be facing a Class 1 felony, punishable by between 4-15 years in prison. Residential burglary is also a non-probationable offense which means a prison sentence is mandatory unless the charges are amended or reduced. The logic for the severity of the punishment is to protect the sanctity and safety of a person’s home. If that space is violated, the punishment is greater.
You could be charged with burglary even if a crime was not committed. For example, if the owner walked in before the crime was committed if you entered someone’s car and simply moved personal belongings around. In my experience, burglary cases are very nuanced and there are numerous factors that can be highlighted, argued and challenged to mitigate, reduce and dismiss charges. Some of these factors include: whether drug or alcohol addiction is involved or whether mental illness played a role. Was the intent to find a warm place to sleep on a cold Chicago night? These are just a few issues that must be explored and analyzed when handling a burglary case.