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How Can Burglary And Robbery Charges Be Enhanced?

Going from a regular burglary to a residential burglary can enhance burglary charges. That goes from a Class II felony, with possible probation up to 3 to 7 years, to residential burglary, which is a Class I felony, and carries a penalty of 4 to 15 years in the penitentiary. If you get caught on a residential burglary for a first time offense, even though you just busted into somebody’s house to steal a can of beer, you are going to prison for 4 to 15 years unless your lawyer does a good job for you. This is the same with robbery and armed robbery charges. Robbery, if not armed, is a probation-able offense. If it’s armed robbery, you’re looking at a class X felony, which is much more serious and doesn’t offer probation. Additionally, any aggravating factors such as a weapon, or the use of force, carry a much higher penalty.

What Kind Of Defense Strategies Can Be Used In These Cases?

There are several defense strategies that we can use. Maybe the prosecution can’t prove that you went in without authority, because it’s your friend’s house, and you come over on a regular basis. You didn’t plan to steal something, and you’re just stupid and you got the idea in your mind. Another example is, let’s say you went into a Wal-Mart and you had your regular grocery list. You’re buying everything and then all of a sudden, you see something expensive, you want to put in your cart and steal it. Now it’s become a matter of, did you actually enter with the intent to steal something, or did you just enter with the intent to buy stuff, and you saw something and stole it.

It wouldn’t be a burglary if you just grab that on a moment’s notice, as compared to a plan where you went in to steal something. It doesn’t matter what the cost is, it’s still burglary. It very much depends what your state of mind was—the state has still to prove it beyond the reasonable doubt that you entered without authority, with the intent to commit a theft or another felony therein. It just depends what your plan was when you entered, what your state of mind was when you entered the residence, building, car, or boat.

How Often Can You Get These Charges Dropped, Dismissed Or Reduced?

You very rarely are going to get these charges dismissed. The state’s attorney wouldn’t charge you unless they felt you were clearly guilty, and they were able to prove it. I remember from when I worked in the state attorney’s office, police officers would come in and want to work a case as a burglary. I would tell them that if they can’t prove intent, all we have is theft, so it might be worth it to try to get a statement from the suspect. This is a good reason why you really don’t want to talk to the police. You might think they are there to serve and protect you and they have to look after your best interest, but really they are trying to arrest you on bigger charges. They’re rarely going to give you a huge break when you’re over there.

Additional Information On Robbery & Burglary Charges

The lesser-known type of burglary can just be possession of burglary tools, which is also a felony. That’s kind of a subcategory, but anything can be a burglary tool. If you have a screwdriver and you’re prying a door open, that’s a burglary tool. Or instead of a screwdriver, you have a slim Jim, which is a metal piece they apply in the window. You sometimes see police trying to help people unlock their cars with these, so just possession of that slim Jim to get into someone’s car could be a felony for possession of burglary tools. If you’re using it for a legitimate purpose, for example you work in a car shop where people often lock their keys in the car, it’s okay to have one. Otherwise, this is a whole separate felony they can charge you with.

If you have setup blank keys for hotel rooms, it’s fairly clear that you’re going to doing that just to commit burglaries and thefts. There are a lot of things that can be burglary tools. Even one of those flash lights on your head can be used as a burglary tool, if they got a statement out of you saying that is why you have it. You’ve just admitted to another felony, which is another reason why you don’t want to talk to the police. Things you might think are innocuous turn out to be very hurtful for your case.

For more information on Enhancement Of Burglary & Robbery, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.

Barry Boches, Esq.

Get your questions answered - call me for your free phone consultation (847) 244-4636.

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