Illinois Residential Burglary

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/19-3

A person commits residential burglary when the person knowingly and without authority enters or remains within the dwelling place of another, or any part thereof, with the intent to commit therein a felony or theft. This offense includes the offense of burglary as defined in Section 19-1.

A person commits residential burglary when he or she falsely represents himself or herself, including but not limited to falsely representing himself or herself to be a representative of any unit of government or a construction, telecommunications, or utility company, for the purpose of gaining entry to the dwelling place of another, with the intent to commit therein a felony or theft or to facilitate the commission therein of a felony or theft by another.

Residential Burglary, in Section (a), involves going into the “dwelling place” of another. The State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the person charged was present “with the intent to commit a felony or theft”. As is the same with the charge of burglary, there are many factors which go to show this intent, and also many factors which go to show that the person’s intent was NOT to commit a felony or theft. Each case is different and the facts of each case are different. Of course, the State has the burden of proving every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

Success Story: We successfully defended a client charged with residential burglary when he was apprehended inside of a single-family house that was boarded-up, and vacant. Despite there being no question that the building was a residence where people did live at some point, we successfully argued that it was not a dwelling – because nobody lived inside, and nobody had lived there for quite some time. Our client was found “not guilty” after trial.

Residential Burglary, as set forth in Section (a-5), deals with an act of deception to gain access to a dwelling place for the purpose of committing a felony or theft, or to aid in another committing a felony or theft. Examples include posing as a Commonwealth Edison worker, or a Comcast worker, to get into a dwelling for the purpose of committing a felony or theft. This applies even though the person is actually allowed into the dwelling by the owner or occupier – so, technically, the person entered with the authority of the owner – but it was under false pretenses. As is always the case, the State has the burden of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person charged committed all elements of the offense.

The Sentence

CLASS 1 FELONY – 4-15 YEARS

Probation Possible – Yes.

 

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