Common Defenses against Burglary

 Posted on April 13,2018 in Felonies & Misdemeanors

Illinois defense lawyerBurglary occurs when a person knowingly enters an enclosed dwelling, such as a house or school or a vehicle, such as a car or an aircraft, without authorization, and with the intention of committing a crime. A burglary charge is very serious, but there are some defenses that may be available to an accused person.

Potential Defenses Against Burglary:

  • Lawful entry - In this defense, a person had permission to enter the premises, so it can be argued that no breaking and entering occurred.
  • Lack of intent - The prosecution will try to prove that a person knowingly entered a building with the intent to commit a crime, and not for some other purpose. If intent cannot be proven, charges may be dropped.
  • Coercion - A person may be forced into committing a burglary by verbal or physical threats from another person. In some situations, coercion to commit burglary can be an act of domestic violence.
  • Incapacitation - Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can impair a person’s judgment and awareness and lead them to commit a crime. A person can normally use this defense only if another person drugged them or caused them to be intoxicated.

Lengthy Jail Sentences

A burglary conviction can result in a felony charge and a jail sentence lasting for years. The length of the prison sentence depends on the nature of the burglary charge. Non-residential burglaries with property damage can lead to three to seven years in jail. If, however, a burglary takes place in a school or place of worship, the alleged burglar can be charged with four to 15 years in jail.

Breaking into a structure where someone lives, such as a house or apartment, can result in a residential burglary charge which also carries a four to 15-year jail sentence. Possession of burglary tools like lockpicking keys or explosives can result in a jail sentence of one to three years.

It is important to talk to a lawyer to avoid the maximum sentence and try to get your charges dropped.

Contact an Arlington Heights Theft Defense Lawyer

Being charged with burglary can disrupt an individual’s life, from a felony conviction which shows up on background checks to years spent in jail away from loved ones. Fortunately, there are defenses which can be used against burglary allegations. Contact an Arlington Heights theft defense lawyer at Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law to represent you in court. Call 847-253-3400 today.



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