Chicago Burglary Lawyers

Burglary Lawyers In Chicago

Arrested for a Property Crime in Chicago?

Contact Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Josh Adams if you have been arrested for a burglary or property crime in Illinois.


Illinois lawmakers have enacted laws criminalizing

  • burglary (entering a building intending to commit a crime inside)
  • home invasion (entering an inhabited dwelling and causing injury or using or threatening force while armed)
  • Trespass (entering a person’s property without permission).
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Joshua Adams

Chicago Burglary Attorney

Free Burglary Case Consultation

Differences Between Robbery, Theft & Burglary:

Burglary: In Illinois, burglary is defined as entering a building, vehicle, or other enclosed space with the intent to commit a felony or theft.

This crime can be committed even if no theft or felony occurs, as long as the intent was present at the time of entry.

Examples may include breaking into a home to steal valuables or entering a store after hours to steal merchandise.

Robbery: Unlike burglary, robbery involves the use of force or the threat of force to take property from another person. In Illinois, robbery can be classified as “armed” or “aggravated” if a weapon is involved, while “simple” robbery does not involve a weapon.

Examples of robbery may include using a weapon to hold up a convenience store or forcibly taking someone’s purse on the street.

Theft: Theft is a more general term that encompasses a range of property crimes, including larceny, embezzlement, and fraud.

In Illinois, theft occurs when a person knowingly takes or exercises unauthorized control over another person’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of its use or benefit.

Examples may include stealing a bike from a neighbor’s garage or using someone’s credit card without their permission.

What is Chicago Burglary

Burglary vs. Robbery vs. Theft in Illinois

Traditionally, a burglary was defined as breaking and entering into a home at night with the intent to commit a felony inside.


Today, most states have done away with these requirements and a person commits burglary by entering into any building without permission with the intent to commit a crime inside.


In Illinois, a person commits the crime of burglary by entering or remaining in a building or vehicle (or any part of a building or vehicle) without permission with the intent to commit theft or a felony (a crime punishable by a state prison term).


Burglary is punished more severely if the building is a:

  • School
  • Daycare center, or
  • Place of worship.

(720 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-1.)

Chicago Residential burglary

Illinois also has a law criminalizing residential burglary, which is entering or remaining in someone else’s dwelling without permission in order to commit theft or a felony inside. A person who breaks into a home intending to steal a television commits residential burglary.

Residential burglary and burglary are mutually exclusive offenses, which means that a defendant commits one or the other, based on the nature of the burglarized building. The offense can also be committed by someone pretending to be an employee of the government, a construction company, or a utility company, in order to commit a crime inside a dwelling.


A dwelling is a house, apartment, mobile home, trailer, or other place in which a person lives or soon intends to live. For example, vacant and uninhabitable buildings are not dwellings, but an RV in which a person lives is a dwelling, as is a new home ready for occupancy. (720 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5/19-3.)

Intent to commit a crime

In order to convict people of burglary, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they entered the building with the intent to commit a crime inside. In most cases, the defendant’s illicit intention can be inferred from the circumstances, and the prosecutor is not required to establish exactly what was going through the defendant’s head.


For example, if two people break down the door of a home and take a television and laptop, the jury could infer that the people entered the home to commit a crime.


Even if police stopped the people before they escaped with the stolen goods, they could still be convicted of burglary (and attempted theft). The crime of burglary occurs as soon as the defendant enters into the building or vehicle with the illicit intent, even if the intended felony or theft never occurs.

Contact a Burglary Lawyer

Law Offices of Joshua Adams
900 w Jackson Blvd, Suite 7E

Chicago, Illinois 60607

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Chicago Burglary & Theft Pages:

⚖️ Burglary Definitions and Laws in Chicago: Detail the Illinois statutes on burglary, home invasion, and related offenses.

⚖️ Burglary vs. Robbery vs. Theft: Clarify the distinctions between these terms and how they’re prosecuted differently.

⚖️ The Legal Process for Illinois Burglary Cases: From arrest to trial, explain each step in understandable terms.

⚖️Potential Defenses in Burglary Cases: Discuss common defenses such as mistaken identity, lack of intent, or consent.

⚖️ Penalties and Sentencing: Breakdown potential sentences, fines, and other consequences of a burglary conviction.

⚖️ Free Consultation with Chicago Robbery Lawyer: Fill out online contact form to setup a FREE phone call with a Chicago Robbery Attorney.

⚖️ Arrested for Robbery? Contact Chicago Robbery Attorneys: Call Chicago Robbery Attorney Josh Adams today.