How Are Robbery And Burglary Defined In Illinois?
Burglary, by definition, is that you knowingly and without authority entered into the dwelling, car, boat or building of someone else without his or her permission, with the intent to commit any theft or any other felony. This is a fairly wide-ranging definition. Burglary can be split into a regular burglary, which would be into a shack, car, or a boat, as compared to residential burglary, where you’re allegedly breaking into a house without authority to do some felony or theft. Regular burglary has a much different penalty than residential burglary. Residential burglary is a Class I felony here in Illinois, which carries 4 to 15 years in the Department of Corrections, and is a non-probation offense. If your case can be reduced to regular burglary, you would be looking at probation.
That’s something that a good attorney will be able to do. Because all cases are unique, it depends if people were hurt, how much damage was done, and how much of it can be replaced or repaired, or if the person could be made whole. There are a lot of different variables at play. The first part is you’re entering without authority. Let’s say someone’s going into a jewelry store commit a theft. They are walking into a public place for sale, so of course they are walking in with authority. If the judge determines that you entered the store solely with the intention of shoplifting, then in fact you are not entering with authority, because the store does not authorize people to come in and commit thefts or felonies within their building. The store is only open for a business, and for normal business activities. It is the same thing if you break into somebody’s car. If you break into somebody’s car and just steal part of a radio, it’s burglary. If you break into someone’s tool shed, it certainly would qualify as a burglary.
For a burglary to be considered as residential burglary, it must be a building where people are living or have been living. It can be completely abandoned, but the important aspect is the residence, the house. The judge is going to say that you were clearly entering someone’s residence. An attached garage counts as part of the residence as well. A detached garage, which is not attached to the house, would not be considered a residential burglary. Instead, it would be considered a regular burglary. Regular burglary in Illinois is class II felony, which means you could receive probation. You could also get 3 to 7 years in the penitentiary, and up to a $50,000 fine. There is a big difference between the two on those burglary charges.
Robbery is where you take property by the use of force or the imminent threat of force from someone. If you walk up to someone and you tell them to give you all their money while you are holding a gun pointed at them, that’s an armed robbery. This changes the charges into a class X felony instead of a class III felony. You are looking at 6 to 30 years without any probation, and you’re going to go to prison. A regular robbery is usually a Class III felony, which would be 2 to 5 years in prison, with the possibility of getting probation, depending on the circumstances of the robbery.
Even if you point a gun at someone while telling him or her to give you their money, the threat or force was there, despite the fact you didn’t fire the weapon. In another example, if you have your fist pulled back and you tell the person to give you their wallet or you will punch them in the face, that’s the threat of the imminent use of force, and that is also a robbery. This is unlike theft. With theft, you don’t need to have to have any intent to use force, or the threat of force, to take property from someone else, you just steal it. If you steal somebody’s wallet and they don’t know you took it, that’s a theft. If you steal the wallet while you tell them to hand it over or be shot, that’s robbery.
When you’re using any kind of a weapon, that’s armed robbery, which makes things quite a bit different. Your penalty will depend on the weapon you’ve used. If you are doing it with a knife, it’s different than with a gun, but it’s still armed robbery. The more serious weapon you’ve used, the more serious the penalties for the offense.
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