In Illinois, you commit burglary when you knowingly and without authority enter or remain within a building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle railroad car, or any part thereof, with intent to commit a felony or theft. (See Illinois Burglary Statute).

Does a storage trailer fit the above categories? An Illinois Appellate Court says it does. In People v Harris, the defendant entered a 36-foot long enclosed trailer that the owner kept on a leased space in an open parking lot. Defendant argued that the trailer was not a building because it was not a permanent structure. The court rejected this argument stating that the law intended to protect the security of a wide variety of structures. The structure was not required to be permanent. Even a tent could fall under the law’s protection.

If you have been charged with burglary or another crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most offenses, the state must prove you guilty on all elements beyond a reasonable doubt. While you may have entered a building within the meaning of the law, perhaps you did it unknowingly or you had authorization.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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