Allegedly, the Illinois man broke into a residence in Bloomington and inflicted physical harm to a person inside the structure. After his arrest, local authorities charged this man with:
- Home invasion;
- Aggravated battery;
- Domestic battery;
- Criminal trespass to a residence; and
- Criminal damage to property.
At this point, the Illinois man remains in police custody in McLean County. While this Illinois man awaits further legal proceedings, it seems like a suitable moment to review the Illinois laws against and penalties for the most serious charge at play — home invasion.
Illinois Laws Against Home Invasion
720 ILCS 5/19-6 establishes the Illinois laws against home invasion. There are effectively three elements to this offense. First, the perpetrator must knowingly enter another person’s residence or dwelling place, without authority or authorization.
The second element of home invasion requires the perpetrator to:
- Know, or have a reason to know, that people are inside the residence or dwelling place at the time of the offense;
- Lie in wait at the residence or dwelling place until knowing, or having a reason to know, that other people are present; or
- Pretend to be a utility or government worker to gain unlawful access to the residence or dwelling place in question.
The third element of home invasion requires the perpetrator to:
- Uses force or the threat of imminent force while in possession of a dangerous weapon, whether or not injury occurs;
- Causes any intentional injury to a person present in the residence or dwelling place;
- Uses force or the threat of imminent force while in possession of a firearm, whether or not injury occurs;
- Uses force or the threat of imminent force by discharging a firearm, whether or not injury occurs;
- Discharges a firearm and causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement, or death; or
- Commits a sex crime during the offense as well, such as standard/aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, or standard/aggravated criminal sexual assault.
Illinois Penalties for Home Invasion
Section 19-6 also furnishes the Illinois penalties for home invasion. Though the applicable punishment does change based on the circumstances of the offense.
At a minimum, home invasion is charged as a Class X felony. If convicted, the penalties can include imprisonment for six to 30 years and criminal fines up to $25,000. Probation is not available for Class X felonies in Illinois.
That being said, the penalties increase substantially for home invasion offenses that involved:
- Firearm Possession — The prison sentence increases by 15 years;
- Firearm Discharge — The prison sentence increases by 20 years; or
- Firearm Injury/Death — The prison sentence increases by 25 years to life.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.