A home invasion is a violent criminal offense under the Illinois Criminal Code. These offenses typically involve breaking and entering or using false pretenses to cause or attempt to cause physical harm. Any person who commits home invasion in Illinois will face severe consequences, including imprisonment and criminal fines.
What Qualifies as a Home Invasion in Illinois?
720 ILCS 5/19-6 provides the Illinois laws against home invasion. There are two major requirements for this offense. First, knowing or having a reason to know that people are or will be present, the perpetrator must intentionally:
- Enter the residence of someone else without authorization;
- Enter the residence of someone else without authorization and remain there; or
- Represent him or herself falsely as a government agent, utility worker, or similarly positioned individual to gain unauthorized access.
Second, in the course of committing a home invasion, the perpetrator must also:
- Use force or the threat of force while armed with a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm;
- Cause intentional injury to any person within the residence;
- Use force or the threat of force while armed with a firearm;
- Discharge a firearm during the offense;
- Cause serious physical harm, disability, disfigurement, or death by discharging a firearm; or
- Commit a sex crime during the offense, such as criminal sexual assault or abuse.
Section 19-6 does establish an affirmative defense to home invasion charges. This defense applies if the perpetrator entered and remains in the residence of someone else. Once other people are present, the perpetrator immediately leaves or surrenders, without causing or attempting to cause serious bodily injury to any innocent bystanders.
How Does Illinois Punish Home Invasion?
Section 19-6 also details the Illinois punishment for home invasion offenses. Under this section, home invasion is a Class X felony. If convicted on these charges, the perpetrator can expect to face criminal fines up to $25,000 and imprisonment for six to 30 years. Illinois does not offer probation or conditional discharge for Class X felonies.
Additionally, Section 19-6 establishes heightened penalties for home invasions that also involved firearms. These offenses remain Class X felonies but include increased confinement periods. For example, if during a home invasion the perpetrator:
- Possessed a Firearm — Then the prison sentence increases by 15 years;
- Discharged a Firearm — Then the prison sentence increases by 20 years; or
- Caused Injury/Death with a Firearm — Then 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 email@example.com or by completing an online form.