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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 21: Trespassing Crimes

Although when prompted with the term "trespass" one might picture a building or home, one can also be charged with trespass in many other situations. This portion of the Illinois Criminal Code enumerates different charges that relate to trespassing on the property of another person.

The first crime listed in this section is criminal trespass to vehicles. As one might expect, this crime occurs when a person enters or operates any motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft. In a similar vein, a person has committed criminal trespass to real property when he or she has unlawfully entered a building. It should be noted that one can also faces criminal charges of trespass to real property for other transgressions, such as removing notices placed on residential real estate and entering a field used for growing crops after having been told to leave. Both of these crimes can carry Class A misdemeanor status at most.

Other similar crimes included in this section are criminal trespass to state-supported land, criminal trespass to a safe school zone, criminal trespass to a nuclear facility, and criminal trespass to restricted areas at airports, the details of which can be found in the excerpt of the Illinois Criminal Code below.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been charged with trespassing in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 21 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 21

Sec. 21-2. Criminal trespass to vehicles.
    (720 ILCS 5/21-2)

Whoever knowingly and without authority enters any part of or operates any vehicle, aircraft, watercraft or snowmobile commits a Class A misdemeanor. (Source: P.A. 83-488.)

Sec. 21-3. Criminal trespass to real property.
    (720 ILCS 5/21-3)

(a) Except as provided in subsection (a-5), whoever:

(1) knowingly and without lawful authority enters or remains within or on a building; or

(2) enters upon the land of another, after receiving, prior to such entry, notice from the owner or occupant that such entry is forbidden; or

(3) remains upon the land of another, after receiving notice from the owner or occupant to depart; or

(3.5) presents false documents or falsely represents his or her identity orally to the owner or occupant of a building or land in order to obtain permission from the owner or occupant to enter or remain in the building or on the land; commits a Class B misdemeanor. For purposes of item (1) of this subsection, this Section shall not apply to being in a building which is open to the public while the building is open to the public during its normal hours of operation; nor shall this Section apply to a person who enters a public building under the reasonable belief that the building is still open to the public.

(a-5) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, whoever enters upon any of the following areas in or on a motor vehicle (including an off-road vehicle, motorcycle, moped, or any other powered two-wheel vehicle) after receiving, prior to that entry, notice from the owner or occupant that the entry is forbidden or remains upon or in the area after receiving notice from the owner or occupant to depart commits a Class A misdemeanor:

(1) A field that is used for growing crops or that is capable of being used for growing crops.

(2) An enclosed area containing livestock.

(3) An orchard.

(4) A barn or other agricultural building containing livestock.

(b) A person has received notice from the owner or occupant within the meaning of Subsection (a) if he has been notified personally, either orally or in writing including a valid court order as defined by subsection (7) of Section 112A-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 granting remedy (2) of subsection (b) of Section 112A-14 of that Code, or if a printed or written notice forbidding such entry has been conspicuously posted or exhibited at the main entrance to such land or the forbidden part thereof.

(c) This Section does not apply to any person, whether a migrant worker or otherwise, living on the land with permission of the owner or of his agent having apparent authority to hire workers on such land and assign them living quarters or a place of accommodations for living thereon, nor to anyone living on such land at the request of, or by occupancy, leasing or other agreement or arrangement with the owner or his agent, nor to anyone invited by such migrant worker or other person so living on such land to visit him at the place he is so living upon the land.

(d) A person shall be exempt from prosecution under this Section if he beautifies unoccupied and abandoned residential and industrial properties located within any municipality. For the purpose of this subsection, "unoccupied and abandoned residential and industrial property" means any real estate (1) in which the taxes have not been paid for a period of at least 2 years; and (2) which has been left unoccupied and abandoned for a period of at least one year; and "beautifies" means to landscape, clean up litter, or to repair dilapidated conditions on or to board up windows and doors.

(e) No person shall be liable in any civil action for money damages to the owner of unoccupied and abandoned residential and industrial property which that person beautifies pursuant to subsection (d) of this Section.

(f) This Section does not prohibit a person from entering a building or upon the land of another for emergency purposes. For purposes of this subsection (f), "emergency" means a condition or circumstance in which an individual is or is reasonably believed by the person to be in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or in which property is or is reasonably believed to be in imminent danger of damage or destruction.

(g) Paragraph (3.5) of subsection (a) does not apply to a peace officer or other official of a unit of government who enters a building or land in the performance of his or her official duties.

(h) A person may be liable in any civil action for money damages to the owner of the land he or she entered upon with a motor vehicle as prohibited under subsection (a-5) of this Section. A person may also be liable to the owner for court costs and reasonable attorney's fees. The measure of damages shall be: (i) the actual damages, but not less than $250, if the vehicle is operated in a nature preserve or registered area as defined in Sections 3.11 and 3.14 of the Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act; (ii) twice the actual damages if the owner has previously notified the person to cease trespassing; or (iii) in any other case, the actual damages, but not less than $50. If the person operating the vehicle is under the age of 16, the owner of the vehicle and the parent or legal guardian of the minor are jointly and severally liable. For the purposes of this subsection (h): "Land" includes, but is not limited to, land used for crop land, fallow land, orchard, pasture, feed lot, timber land, prairie land, mine spoil nature preserves and registered areas. "Land" does not include driveways or private roadways upon which the owner allows the public to drive.

"Owner" means the person who has the right to possession of the land, including the owner, operator or tenant.

"Vehicle" has the same meaning as provided under Section 1-217 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. (Source: P.A. 94-263, eff. 1-1-06; 94-509, eff. 8-9-05; 94-512, eff. 1-1-06; 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)

Sec. 21-4. Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property.
    (720 ILCS 5/21-4)

(1) Any of the following acts is a Class 4 felony when the damage to property is $500 or less, and any such act is a Class 3 felony when the damage to property exceeds $500 but does not exceed $10,000; a Class 2 felony when the damage to property exceeds $10,000 but does not exceed $100,000 and a Class 1 felony when the damage to property exceeds $100,000:

(a) Knowingly damages any property supported in whole or in part with State funds, funds of a unit of local government or school district, or Federal funds administered or granted through State agencies without the consent of the State; or

(b) Knowingly, by means of fire or explosive damages property supported in whole or in part with State funds, funds of a unit of local government or school district, or Federal funds administered or granted through State agencies; or

(c) Knowingly starts a fire on property supported in whole or in part with State funds, funds of a unit of local government or school district, or Federal funds administered or granted through State agencies without the consent of the State; or

(d) Knowingly deposits on land or in a building supported in whole or in part with State funds, funds of a unit of local government or school district, or Federal funds administered or granted through State agencies without the consent of the State, any stink bomb or any offensive smelling compound and thereby intends to interfere with the use by another of the land or building.

(2) When the damage to property exceeds $10,000, the court shall impose upon the offender a fine equal to the value of the damages to the property. (Source: P.A. 89-30, eff. 1-1-96.)

Sec. 21-5. Criminal Trespass to State Supported Land.
    (720 ILCS 5/21-5)

(a) Whoever enters upon land supported in whole or in part with State funds, or Federal funds administered or granted through State agencies or any building on such land, after receiving, prior to such entry, notice from the State or its representative that such entry is forbidden, or remains upon such land or in such building after receiving notice from the State or its representative to depart, and who thereby interferes with another person's lawful use or enjoyment of such building or land, commits a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) A person has received notice from the State within the meaning of subsection (a) if he has been notified personally, either orally or in writing, or if a printed or written notice forbidding such entry to him or a group of which he is a part, has been conspicuously posted or exhibited at the main entrance to such land or the forbidden part thereof. (c) Whoever enters upon land supported in whole or in part with State funds, or federal funds administered or granted through State agencies or any building on such land by presenting false documents or falsely representing his or her identity orally to the State or its representative in order to obtain permission from the State or its representative to enter the building or land; or remains upon such land or in such building by presenting false documents or falsely representing his or her identity orally to the State or its representative in order to remain upon such land or in such building, and who thereby interferes with another person's lawful use or enjoyment of such building or land, commits a Class A misdemeanor. Subsection (c) does not apply to a peace officer or other official of a unit of government who enters upon land supported in whole or in part with State funds, or federal funds administered or granted through State agencies or any building on such land in the performance of his or her official duties. (Source: P.A. 94-263, eff. 1-1-06.)

Sec. 21-6. Unauthorized Possession or Storage of Weapons.
    (720 ILCS 5/21-6)

(a) Whoever possesses or stores any weapon enumerated in Section 33A-1 in any building or on land supported in whole or in part with public funds or in any building on such land without prior written permission from the chief security officer for such land or building commits a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) The chief security officer must grant any reasonable request for permission under paragraph (a). (Source: P.A. 89-685, eff. 6-1-97.)

Sec. 21-7. Criminal trespass to restricted areas and restricted landing areas at airports; aggravated criminal trespass to restricted areas and restricted landing areas at airports.
    (720 ILCS 5/21-7)

(a) Whoever enters upon, or remains in, any restricted area or restricted landing area used in connection with an airport facility, or part thereof, in this State, after such person has received notice from the airport authority that such entry is forbidden commits a Class 4 felony. (b) Whoever enters upon, or remains in, any restricted area or restricted landing area used in connection with an airport facility, or part thereof, in this State, while in possession of a weapon, replica of a weapon, or ammunition, after the person has received notice from the airport authority that the entry is forbidden commits a Class 3 felony. (c) Notice that the area is "restricted" and entry thereto "forbidden", for purposes of this Section, means that the person or persons have been notified personally, either orally or in writing, or by a printed or written notice forbidding such entry to him or a group or an organization of which he is a member, which has been conspicuously posted or exhibited at every usable entrance to such area or the forbidden part thereof.

(d) Whoever enters upon, or remains in, any restricted area or restricted landing area used in connection with an airport facility, or part thereof, in this State by presenting false documents or falsely representing his or her identity orally to the airport authority commits a Class A misdemeanor.

(e) Whoever enters upon, or remains in, any restricted area or restricted landing area as prohibited in subsection (a) of this Section, while dressed in the uniform of, improperly wearing the identification of, presenting false credentials of, or otherwise physically impersonating an airman, employee of an airline, employee of an airport, or contractor at an airport commits a Class 4 felony.

(f) The terms "Restricted area" or "Restricted landing area" in this Section are defined to incorporate the meaning ascribed to those terms in Section 8 of the "Illinois Aeronautics Act", approved July 24, 1945, as amended, and also include any other area of the airport that has been designated such by the airport authority.

The terms "airman" and "airport" in this Section are defined to incorporate the meaning ascribed to those terms in Sections 6 and 12 of the Illinois Aeronautics Act.

(g) Subsection (d) does not apply to a peace officer or other official of a unit of government who enters a restricted area or a restricted landing area used in connection with an airport facility, or part thereof, in the performance of his or her official duties.(Source: P.A. 94-263, eff. 1-1-06; 94-547, eff. 1-1-06; 94-548, eff. 8-11-05; 95-331, eff. 8-21-07.)

Sec. 21-8. Criminal trespass to a nuclear facility.
    (720 ILCS 5/21-8)

(a) A person commits the offense of criminal trespass to a nuclear facility if he or she knowingly and without lawful authority:

(1) enters or remains within a nuclear facility or on the grounds of a nuclear facility, after receiving notice before entry that entry to the nuclear facility is forbidden; or

(2) remains within the facility or on the grounds of the facility after receiving notice from the owner or manager of the facility or other person authorized by the owner or manager of the facility to give that notice to depart from the facility or grounds of the facility; or

(3) enters or remains within a nuclear facility or on the grounds of a nuclear facility, by presenting false documents or falsely representing his or her identity orally to the owner or manager of the facility. This paragraph (3) does not apply to a peace officer or other official of a unit of government who enters or remains in the facility in the performance of his or her official duties.

(b) A person has received notice from the owner or manager of the facility or other person authorized by the owner or manager of the facility within the meaning of paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) if he or she has been notified personally, either orally or in writing, or if a printed or written notice forbidding the entry has been conspicuously posted or exhibited at the main entrance to the facility or grounds of the facility or the forbidden part of the facility.

(c) In this Section, "nuclear facility" has the meaning ascribed to it in Section 3 of the Illinois Nuclear Safety Preparedness Act.

(d) Sentence. Criminal trespass to a nuclear facility is a Class 4 felony. (Source: P.A. 94-263, eff. 1-1-06.)

Sec. 21-9. Criminal trespass to a place of public amusement.
    (720 ILCS 5/21-9)

(a) A person commits the offense of criminal trespass to a place of public amusement if he or she knowingly and without lawful authority enters or remains on any portion of a place of public amusement after having received notice that the general public is restricted from access to that portion of the place of public amusement. Such areas may include, but are not limited to: a playing field, an athletic surface, a stage, a locker room, or a dressing room located at the place of public amusement. (a-5) A person commits the offense of criminal trespass to a place of public amusement if he or she knowingly and without lawful authority gains access to or remains on any portion of a place of public amusement by presenting false documents or falsely representing his or her identity orally to the property owner, a lessee, an agent of either the owner or lessee, or a performer or participant. This subsection (a-5) does not apply to a peace officer or other official of a unit of government who enters or remains in the place of public amusement in the performance of his or her official duties.

(b) A property owner, a lessee, an agent of either the owner or lessee, or a performer or participant may use reasonable force to restrain a trespasser and remove him or her from the restricted area; however, any use of force beyond reasonable force may subject that person to any applicable criminal penalty.

(c) A person has received notice within the meaning of subsection (a) if he or she has been notified personally, either orally or in writing, or if a printed or written notice forbidding such entry has been conspicuously posted or exhibited at the entrance to the portion of the place of public amusement that is restricted or an oral warning has been broadcast over the public address system of the place of public amusement.

(d) In this Section, "place of public amusement" means a stadium, a theater, or any other facility of any kind, whether licensed or not, where a live performance, a sporting event, or any other activity takes place for other entertainment and where access to the facility is made available to the public, regardless of whether admission is charged.

(e) Sentence. Criminal trespass to a place of public amusement is a Class 4 felony. Upon imposition of any sentence, the court shall also impose a fine of not less than $1,000. In addition, any order of probation or conditional discharge entered following a conviction shall include a condition that the offender perform public or community service of not less than 30 and not more than 120 hours, if community service is available in the jurisdiction and is funded and approved by the county board of the county where the offender was convicted. The court may also impose any other condition of probation or conditional discharge under this Section. (Source: P.A. 93-407, eff. 1-1-04; 94-263, eff. 1-1-06.)

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DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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