The statute governing burglary charges can be found at 720 ILCS 5/19-1. This statute requires the State's Attorney to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following elements in order to sustain a conviction:

  • Enters or remains, without authority;
  • Any building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car, or any part thereof;
  • With intent to commit therein a felony or theft.

It is this final element, that the person have the intent to commit a felony or theft prior to going into the property, that is often the most litigated and disputed. It has proven to be the single most attacked element of burglary charges and upon most defenses are built.

Charges of burglary are very serious and you need an attorney who has the experience and ability to make sure your rights are protected. These charges are prosecuted by the State's Attorney's Officec very aggressively and you need an ad vocate to present your side in a similar manner. 


In general, the statute commands that a burglary charge, where no damage was done, be charged as a class 3 felony. If damage was done to the property, then the charge is elevated to a class 2 felony. Special properties, such as schools, day care facility, place of worship, and  a few others, raise the offense to a class 1 felony. 

As you can see, the consequences of a conviction for burglary is not to be taken lightly. Impacts on a convicted person's ability to obtain or retain public housing or other benefits, to own a firearm, and the catastrophic inability to find employment are all at stake. A qualified defense attorney should be retained immediately. 


After years of experience defending against charges brought in McHenry County, we have developed a system to achieve the best possible outcome on behalf of our clients. There is no secret to our approach, but it is time consuming, a lot of work, and involves imput from our clients. For this reason, many attorneys fall short.

It all begins by making a free consultation. Once you and an attorney sit down to review the facts and surrounding circumstances, a strategy can be discussed. Possible defenses will be raised, expenses discussed, and a potential client will be able to ask their questions. In many cases, the information derived from these conversations proves vital to getting the case dismissed altogether or to getting a reduction to a less serious offense. 

Once certain "areas of interest" have been identified, it is our job to begin searching for the relevant facts and e vidence supporting our theory of the case. Often, this involves interviewing witnesses, sending subpoenas to obtain copies, or utilizing our private investigator. After collecting everything that is out there, we sit down with the client, spread everything over our conference table, and review it together. Many attorneys dodge phone calls from clients, but we actively encourage the communication because it always results in a better outcome.