What Are the Differences Between Home Invasion and Burglary - Chicago Criminal Defense


Home invasion is different from burglary under Illinois law – and the penalties can be different, too. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are the Differences Between Home Invasion and Burglary?

The main differences between home invasion and burglary are whether someone is in the home at the time the crime occurs, whether the accused person has a weapon and threatens or injures people, and whether the accused person entered the home with the intent to commit a crime.

What is Home Invasion?

Home invasion, according to Illinois law, is when a person knowingly goes into a home that he or she knows the owner or tenant is in, or when he or she waits there for someone to arrive. It also applies to people who falsely represent themselves in order to gain entry. It’s home invasion if the person:

  • Is armed with a dangerous weapon (other than a firearm) or a firearm and uses force or threatens to use force
  • Intentionally injures people inside the home
  • Uses or threatens to use force and discharges a firearm
  • Commits sexual assault or sexual abuse

What is Burglary?

Burglary is the act of entering a building or vehicle without permission but with the intent to commit a theft or felony. There’s also a difference between burglary and residential burglary – you commit residential burglary in a home.

The key with burglary is the intent to commit a crime. If you were to enter a home without permission but you were doing so to take shelter from a tornado, for example, the prosecution would have to prove that you intended to commit some kind of crime inside the home (and not just take shelter from a tornado) in order for the court to convict you.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Home Invasion vs. Burglary?

If you’ve been charged with home invasion or burglary, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 847-920-4540 right now for a free case review. We’ll answer your questions and start building a solid defense that gets you the best possible outcome.