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Understanding Illinois Criminal Trespass Charges

 Posted on May 31,2024 in Criminal Defense

Will County criminal defense lawyerIn Illinois, trespassing charges can be handled on a criminal or civil basis. Civil trespassing charges typically end up in civil court with a lawsuit, while criminal trespassing charges can leave you with misdemeanors on your record. Criminal trespassing cases are more severe than civil trespassing cases, and it is important to consult a knowledgeable Illinois criminal defense lawyer if you find yourself faced with a criminal trespass charge.

What Is Criminal Trespass in Illinois?

The Illinois Criminal Code defines criminal trespass as entering a building illegally, entering onto private property after having been told to stay away, including by a sign, or remaining on private property after you have been asked to leave.

This differs from civil trespass, which typically occurs in conflicts between landlords and tenants. For instance, if a renter fails to pay rent and remains on a property even after being evicted, he or she risks being sued in court for civil trespass.

Examples of actions that may be considered criminal trespass include:

  • Ignoring signs that state “no trespassing” and entering onto a private property anyway
  • Remaining in someone’s house or at a party or event held on private property, even after being asked to leave
  • Entering an abandoned or vacant property without permission

Penalties for Criminal Trespass in Illinois

In general, criminal trespass in Illinois will be charged as a misdemeanor. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the criminal trespassing actions, the charges may be a Class A or a Class B misdemeanor.

Class A misdemeanors carry penalties of up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2,500, while Class B misdemeanors carry penalties of up to six months in jail and fines of up to $1,500.

If criminal trespass occurs at someone’s residence and the residence is occupied, the charge may be upgraded to a Class 4 felony, with charges of between one and three years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

Contact a Will County, IL Criminal Defense Lawyer

Even though most criminal trespassing cases result in misdemeanors, dealing with a charge like this can permanently affect your criminal record and put you at a disadvantage when applying for jobs or qualifying for other opportunities.

If you are facing criminal trespassing charges in Illinois, the best thing to do is contact an experienced Naperville, IL, criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can investigate your case and advocate for your rights during the criminal conviction process, working to minimize any charges against you.

Contact Law Office of Patricia Magaña, LLC at 630-448-2001 for a free consultation. Attorney Patricia Magaña has extensive experience with criminal defense and speaks Spanish to better help a wide range of clients.

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