Zealous Advocate for Our Clients’ Rights and Freedom


When you are accused of burglary of a commercial or residential structure or vehicle in Chicago, the potential consequences of a conviction can be life-altering. Burglary is a serious criminal offense that can result in a term in state prison and a felony on your criminal record. Although these are serious consequences, a felony conviction for such a crime in Illinois can seriously impact one’s life even after the formal punishment has been served by limiting one’s options in terms of housing, loans, educational opportunities and employment.

Why Chicago defense attorney David L. Freidberg is the right choice to defend against burglary charges.

Illinois criminal defense attorney David L. Freidberg understands these potential consequences and works diligently to investigate the evidence and police procedures employed in his clients’ cases so that he can mount an aggressive defense to these serious criminal charges. Whether Mr. Freidberg is challenging forensic testing, the accuracy of witness identification, the credibility of police officers or the admissibility of evidence, he develops his criminal defense strategy with a commitment to providing the most persuasive case for acquittal or dismissal of the charges. When these are not realistic outcomes based on the specific circumstances of his client’s case, he will work diligently to weaken the prosecutor’s case and provide evidence of mitigation to support a favorable reduction in charges as part of a plea agreement.

Mr. Freidberg has more than 17 years of legal experience that he draws on when formulating factual and procedural defenses to burglary charges in Illinois. He also works closely with private investigators, forensic experts and others with specialized knowledge to expose problems in the prosecutor’s case and create reasonable doubt to support the acquittal of his clients. Because of our long tenure defending those accused of serious criminal felonies like these, we understand the common procedural mistakes made by law enforcement, such as improper searches and Miranda violations that often provide the basis for excluding critical evidence and providing an effective defense strategy.

Conduct constituting the criminal offense of burglary under Illinois criminal law.

Illinois law defines the criminal offense of residential burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-3) as including the following elements:

  1. The accused knowingly enters or remains;
  2. Within the dwelling of another person or any portion of the dwelling;
  3. With the intent to commit a theft or felony.

This offense is a specific intent offense, which means in this context that the prosecutor must prove that the accused had the specific intent to commit a felony or theft offense inside the residential dwelling. If the prosecutor cannot prove this specific intent, the prosecutor typically will be forced to settle for a potential conviction of Criminal Trespass to a Residence, which is a misdemeanor rather than a felony so court supervision is available as a potential sentence. When the evidence against our client is compelling, we negotiate tenaciously to obtain a reduction in the charge from Residential Burglary to Criminal Trespass or a charge that does not involve a residential dwelling.

Whereas Residential Burglary may result in a sentence from 4 to 15 years with no option for regular probation as a sentence, simple burglary that does not involve a residential structure is a Class 2 criminal offense that can result in a sentence of 3 to 7 years, but a 2 year term of probation is available as an alternative if the accused has no previous convictions of a Class 2 felony or greater during the prior 10 year period. There is also the possibility of TASC probation, otherwise known as drug probation, for residential cases where it is applicable.

Our Chicago criminal defense law firm also provides zealous defense to Possession of Burglary Tools.

Under Illinois law, a person may be charged with the related offense of Possession of Burglary Tools (720 ILCS 5/19-2) even if there has been no attempt to enter a residential or commercial building. Under state law, this offense entails the following conduct:

  1. Possession of any tool, key or other instrument that may be used to break into a building, mobile home, airplane, railcar, boat or property depository;
  2. Intent to enter such a location with the intent to commit a theft or felony.

As a practical matter, the offenses of Possession of Burglary Tools and other similar charges are often lumped together in the same criminal case. The Illinois criminal offense of Possession of Burglary Tools also is a Class 4 Felony, but probation is permissible rather than a term of incarceration.

While the specific defense strategy in your burglary criminal case will be based on its unique facts, Mr. Freidberg works diligently to establish the failure of the prosecution to prove every element of the criminal offense beyond a reasonable doubt. He also frequently moves to have incriminating evidence and statements excluded from the case based on violations of the Constitutional rights of his clients or as “fruit of the poisonous tree” when these violations lead to discovery of incriminating evidence. While Mr. Freidberg meticulously constructs his defense strategy to fit the specific facts of each case, some defenses that he may employ include:

  • Challenging the accuracy and reliability of witness identification
  • Exposing breaks in the chain of custody to prevent introduction of certain evidence
  • Violations of Miranda rights to have counsel present during questioning and against self-incrimination
  • Unlawful search and seizures based on lack of a warrant or valid exception to the warrant requirement
  • Searches that are improperly executed, such as exceeding the scope of the warrant
  • Establishing police misconduct that undermines the officer’s testimony
  • Revealing that the structure was not a residential dwelling
  • Proving lack of specific intent required to convict the accused of the crime
  • Exposing sloppy police investigative techniques when gathering forensic evidence that compromises the reliability of the evidence

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list of potential defenses, it provides an overview of the breadth of strategies that may be used to build a compelling defense to the Illinois criminal offenses of Burglary, Residential Burglary and Possession of Burglary Tools. If you are arrested for a such an offense in Chicagoland, including Cook County, DuPage County and other counties in the areas surrounding Chicago, you should immediately assert your right to remain silent and to have an attorney present before answering any questions or discussing the matter with the police in any manner.

The Chicago burglary defense law firm of David L. Freidberg, P.C. is dedicated to defending our clients’ freedom, rights and reputation. We will aggressively explore defense strategies to obtain dismissal of the charges or acquittal at trial while also pursuing diversion options to keep our clients out of jail and to maintain a clean criminal record. We offer a free consultation so that we can evaluate your situation and provide preliminary advice so call us at 312-560-7100 or email us to learn how we can help.

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