What is the Difference Between Burglary, Robbery and Theft in Illinois?


You do not have to take or attempt to take another person’s property in order to be charged with burglary. A person can be charged with burglary under Illinois law simply for entering another person’s property with the intent to commit a felony or theft. The property can by any building, house trailer, watercraft, aircraft, motor vehicle or railroad car. However, if a person enters a property without permission without the intent to commit a felony or theft, that person may only be charged with trespass or criminal trespass.

Generally, burglary is a Class 2 felony and is punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000. If the burglary took place at a business such as a daycare, or at a place of worship, then it can be elevated to a Class 1 felony, which is punishable by 4 to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000. If it is a residence, a mandatory minimum sentence of four years applies.


Robbery is defined under Illinois law as taking property from the presence or immediate possession of another by using force or the threat of force. You can be charged and convicted of robbery without ever having touched anyone; merely the threat of force is enough.

Robbery is usually considered a Class 2 Felony, punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. There are, however, exceptions to this. For example, if a robbery occurs in a daycare, place of worship or against someone who is over the age of 60 or handicapped, it is considered a Class 1 Felony, and face 4 to 15 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

Armed robbery is committed when you are armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon. There are many factors that go into determining how this will affect your potential sentence. It is a Class X Felony charge and can add a significant number of years to your sentence. You could potentially face an additional 15 years to life in prison.

Aggravated robbery is defined as committing a robbery while indicating to the alleged victim that you are armed with a weapon or by drugging the victim without his or her consent. It is classified as a Class 1 Felony charge which carries 4 to 15 years in prison.


Theft in Illinois is the taking of another person’s property without their consent or to do so through the use of deception. You can also be charged with theft for knowingly receiving stolen property.

Illinois classifies theft offenses based on the dollar value of the items taken. Petty theft and shoplifting crimes are often charged as misdemeanors. A Class A misdemeanor in Illinois is punishable by less than one year jail time, and no more than $2,500 in fines for each offense. Additionally, you may be required to pay restitution.

As the dollar amount of the items stolen increases, so do the penalties. For example, Class 3 felony theft in Illinois places the dollar value of items between $500 and $10,000 and is punishable by two to five years in prison and fine of up to $25,000, plus restitution.Theft from a person or other circumstances can increase the offense classification and the penalties.

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