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Criminal Nuggets


Nov 15, 2019

Residential Burglary In Illinois

In Illinois residential burglary is class 1 felony. The crime is defined by statute this way:

A person commits residential burglary when he or she knowingly and without authority enters or knowingly and without authority remains within the dwelling place of another, or any part thereof, with the intent to commit therein a felony or theft. 720 ILCS 5/19-3(a).

See also the Illinois Crimes Index

Illinois Residential Burglary Sentence

Since the Illinois residential burglary statutes defines it as a class 1 felony that means the sentencing range is between 4 to 15 years. However see the below chart for more sentencing information.

Charge Statute Felony Range Extended Term Max  Fine
Residential Burglary 720 ILCS 5/19-3(a)   Class 1  4-15 yrs 15-30 yrs $25,000

The most important sentencing aspect to know about Illinois residential burglary is that it is considered a non-probationable offense. That means an individual who is convicted of residential burglary is by law required to be sentenced to prison time even if the individual has absolutely no criminal history or prior convictions in their record.

See the Illinois Sentencing checklist for more sentencing details.

General Burglary Statute In Illinois 

However, the Illinois burglary statute is a little more broad than just residential burglary. The more general form of the burglary statute provides the following:

Section 19-1(a) of the Illinois Criminal Code provides, in part, that…

“A person commits burglary when without authority he or she knowingly enters or without authority remains within a building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof, with intent to commit therein a felony or theft.” 720 ILCS 5/19-1(a).

General Burglary Sentence In Illinois

“Burglary committed in, and without causing damage to, a watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof is a Class 3 felony.

Burglary committed in a building, housetrailer, or any part thereof or while causing damage to a watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof is a Class 2 felony.” 720 ILCS 5/19-1(b)

Charge Statute Felony Range Extended Term Max  Fine
Burglary to watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railraod (no damage) 720 ILCS 5/19-1(a)   Class 3 2-5 yrs 5-10 yrs $25,000
Burglary to building, housetrailer, or damage to watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railraod 720 ILCS 5/19-1(a)   class 2 3-7 yrs 7-14 yrs $25,000

There Are 2 Ways To Commit Burglary

Thus, under the statute, there are two ways to commit the crime of burglary:

(1) By entering without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft, or 
(2) By remaining without authority and with the intent to commit a felony or theft. 

Correct Way To Interpret The Burglary Statute

In regards to a retail store, like Walmart, a person can only be guilt of burglary “remaining without authority with intent…” if the person lawfully enters a public building and then commits theft AND exceeds the physical scope of his authority.

In other words, burglary by remaining requires evidence that a defendant, with the intent to commit a felony or theft, is found in a place where the public is not authorized to be.

This section is not intended to apply to ordinary shoplifting scenarios.

Rather, it refers to situations in which a person lawfully enters a place of business, but, in order to commit a theft or felony:

(1) hides and waits for the building to close
(2) enters an unauthorized area within the building; or
(3) continues to remain on the premises after being asked to leave.

However, if the state can prove that a person enters with the intent to steal then a burglary under the first section can still be sustained because it is presumed that that a shopkeeper did not grant permission for someone to enter just to steal.

See Also