Illinois Criminal Law: Burglary vs. Residential Burglary

The Illinois Criminal Code includes specific provisions that prohibit any person from committing burglary or residential burglary. Even though these offenses might sound highly similar, they are categorized and punished separately. Under Illinois law, the potential prison sentence can increase dramatically for burglary offenses committed in another person’s residence. 


Illinois law at 720 ILCS 5/19-1 provides the definition of burglary. Under this section, a person commits burglary if they:

    Knowingly and without legal authority enters or remains in a building, house-trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle, railroad car; and Demonstrates an intent to commit theft or a felony crime. 

Any person who commits burglary in violation of Section 19-1 is guilty of a Class 3 felony. If convicted for this type of felony, the statutory punishment can include a prison sentence between two and five years as well as criminal fines up to $25,000. Probation or conditional discharge [...]

Former Police Officer Seeks Plea Deal for Illinois Felony Theft Crimes

A former officer who worked for the Normal Police Department is seeking a plea deal for theft crimes committed last year, according to an article by The Pantagraph

According to official reports, the former officer arrived at a residence in Normal in response to a 911 call on November 25, 2019. At some point thereafter, the former officer stole approximately $12,000 in cash from the residence. 

In response to reports of the missing cash, the Illinois State Police commenced an investigation. Based on that investigation, the authorities arrested and charged the former officer in December of 2019. 

While this former officer awaits further developments in their legal case, it seems like a good opportunity to review Illinois laws against and penalties for theft crimes. 

How Does Illinois Define Theft Crimes?

The Illinois definition of theft appears at 720 ILCS 5/16-1. Under this section, theft occurs when a perpetrator [...]

Robbery vs. Armed Robbery Under the Illinois Criminal Code

The Illinois Criminal Code features laws against and penalties for various illegal acts, such as robbery or armed robbery. In general terms, robbery is a theft crime where the perpetrator uses force or the threat of force to complete the offense. The corresponding punishment can vary depending on certain factors, including the type of victim and possession or use of a weapon. 


720 ILCS 5/18-1 of the Illinois Criminal Code establishes the rule against robbery. This section makes it unlawful for any person to:

    Knowingly steal anything from a property owner; Directly from the owner’s presence or person; and By using force or the threat of force. 

Section 18-1 does provide an important exception in this context. Robbery crimes do not involve motor vehicles. The Illinois Criminal Code has a separate statute that criminalizes the forceful theft of motor vehicles, which is referred to as carjacking. 

At a [...]

Approximately 30 Arrested After Recent Looting in Bloomington and Normal

Local law enforcement has arrested approximately 30 people after a rash of looting and thefts throughout Bloomington and Normal, according to an article by The Pantagraph. Many of these individuals face felony charges for looting, mob action, and various other offenses. 

These criminal incidents occurred after countless droves engaged in non-violent demonstrations in protest of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers. Taking advantage of overwhelmed law enforcement agencies, there was widespread looting and burglary at various stores and commercial businesses. 

According to official statements, law enforcement arrested more than 20 people in the immediate aftermath of the looting. More recently, law enforcement arrested another six people in connection with a specific looting incident. The authorities have already filed preliminary charges against many of these alleged criminal actors. 

Although the criminal charges vary greatly from person to person, two of the most common charges were looting and [...]