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The Differences Between Burglary, Residential Burglary, and Home InvasionBurglary is a criminal charge that involves unauthorized access to a private property with the intent to commit a crime. People often associate burglary with theft, but the offender could also attempt to commit an assault or destroy property. Unauthorized access without criminal intent could be a lesser charge of criminal trespassing. It is also illegal to possess or sell burglary tools, even if you are not caught using them. There are three types of burglary charges in Illinois, all of which are felonies.


The standard burglary charge is when someone knowingly enters private property without authority and with the intention of committing theft or a felony. The suspect may have broken into the property or remained inside without the owner’s permission. The criminal code states that properties may include:

  • Buildings;
  • Trailers;
  • Motor vehicles;
  • Railroad cars;
  • Watercraft; and
  • Aircraft.

A burglary conviction is a Class 3 felony if the offender did not damage the property in the entry process. Burglary with property damage is a Class 2 felony. Burglary committed at a school, daycare center, or place of worship is a Class 1 felony.

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