Champaign Burglary Defense Lawyers
Were you or a loved one charged with burglary in Champaign? If so, the experienced attorneys of the Bruno Law Offices are ready to help you fight against the charges you face. Don’t wait until it is too late to take action to defend yourself and protect your freedom.
In Illinois, burglary is considered a serious property crime. While charges of burglary can be frightening, it is essential to know that prosecutors must prove that you entered the property with the intent to commit a crime, such as theft, to bring a successful burglary charge against you in court. If you merely entered the property without permission, or if you were initially invited onto the property but lingered past the expiration of that invitation, your charges may be downgraded to criminal trespass, and the potential penalties may be reduced.
At the Bruno Law Offices, our qualified Champaign burglary defense attorneys have the knowledge and skill required to help you protect your rights and your freedom. Time is not on your side, so make sure to contact us as soon as possible so that we can begin building a strong defense on your behalf. We are standing by, ready to defend you, so call us at (217) 328-6000, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live now.
Why Choose the Bruno Law Offices?
The Bruno Law Offices have been aggressively defending people in Illinois who have been charged with crimes including burglary, since 1980. Our team of experienced and aggressive trial attorneys is committed to protecting your rights, your reputation, and your freedom.
A charge of burglary is serious, and you will want to have an experienced attorney on your side. Don’t trust your case to an apathetic or inexperienced lawyer. Turn to a legal team that has a track record of successfully helping people like you get the charges against them reduced or dropped altogether. Contact the Champaign burglary attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices today for a free initial consultation by calling us at (217) 328-6000, filling out a contact form online, or starting an online chat now.
Facts About Burglary
According to 720 Illinois Complied Statutes section 5/19-1, a person commits burglary when, without permission, they knowingly enter or remain in a building, a house-trailer, a watercraft, an aircraft, a motor vehicle, a railroad car, or any part thereof, with the intent to therein commit a felony or a theft.
Under Illinois law, a burglary can be classified as a Class 1, a Class 2, or a Class 3 felony depending on where the alleged burglary was committed. For example, a burglary committed in, and without causing damage to, a watercraft, aircraft, railroad car, a motor vehicle, or any part therein is a Class 3 felony. Whereas a burglary committed in one of the above-listed places or in a building that causes damage is a Class 2 felony. A Class 1 burglary, which carries the harshest potential punishments, is one that is committed in a school, a day-care center, a day-care home, part-day child-care facility, or place of worship.
It is important to note which class the burglary charge falls under because the potential punishments vary depending:
- Class 1: Conviction of a Class 1 felony is punishable by four to fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
- Class 2: Conviction of a Class 2 felony is punishable by three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
- Class 3: Conviction of a Class 3 felony is punishable by two to five years in prison.
Additionally, each class of felony is subject to extended punishments if a judge finds that there were aggravating factors underlining the initial crime, such as prior criminal history. An extended punishment may add prison time to a sentence.
Defenses Against Burglary Charges
Establishing that an individual committed burglary can be challenging; to successfully prove a person committed a burglary, the prosecution has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- the accused had the mental state to be on the property without the owner’s permission;
- the accused had the mental state to commit another crime while on the property; and
- the accused was on the property without permission and did, in fact, commit another felony or theft crime.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help weaken the prosecution’s case in a number of ways, thereby possibly getting the charges dismissed or getting the charges lessened.
Some potential defenses to a charge of burglary can include the following:
- The defendant was on the property with permission
- The defendant did not intend to commit another felony or theft while on the premises
- The defendant was not in a building or structure but was in an open space such as a lawn or field
- The defendant was coerced or committed the act under duress
- The defendant was intoxicated at the time of the alleged burglary
If you have been charged with burglary, do not enter a plea or bargain with prosecutors without first knowing and understanding the charges against you, what a conviction can mean, and what your rights are. An experienced lawyer can evaluate your case and will build a strong case on your behalf.
If you or a loved one has been charged with burglary, contact the Bruno Law Offices today to tell us your side of the story. Just because you have been accused of a crime does not mean that all hope is lost. Let us help defend you and work to minimize the impact of these accusations on your life. The Champaign theft and fraud attorneys at the Bruno Law Offices have helped our clients get the charges against them dismissed or reduced for nearly four decades. We have practiced in Champaign since 1980, so we know the law and how to get results for our clients. Contact us by filling out an online contact form, chatting with us live, or by calling us at (217) 328-6000 to get help now.