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illinois, possession of lock picks

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illinois, possession of lock picks

Postby Keltus » Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:13 am

Hi, I was hoping someone could clarify this:

I've seen a few place saying Illinois is one of the few states where it is illegal to be in possession of lockpicks.

I have gone to the state website and looked up the laws concerning picklocks:

It seems to me that as long as you don't commit any fellonies, or have intent to steal things (ie. use common sense), it is legal.

Can anyone confirm this?


LRB093 05154 RLC 05214 b

1 AN ACT in relation to criminal law.

2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3 represented in the General Assembly:

4 Section 5. The Criminal Code of 1961 is amended by
5 changing Section 19-2 as follows:

6 (720 ILCS 5/19-2) (from Ch. 38, par. 19-2)
7 Sec. 19-2. Possession of burglary tools.
8 (a) A person commits the offense of possession of
9 burglary tools when he or she possesses any key, tool,
10 instrument, device, or any explosive, suitable for use in
11 breaking into a building, housetrailer, watercraft, aircraft,
12 motor vehicle as defined in The Illinois Vehicle Code,
13 railroad car, or any depository designed for the safekeeping
14 of property, or any part thereof, with intent to enter any
15 such place and with intent to commit therein a felony or
16 theft.
17 (b) Sentence.
18 Possession of burglary tools in violation of this Section
19 is a Class 4 felony.
20 (Source: P.A. 78-255.)
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Re: illinois, possession of lock picks

Postby CitySpider » Wed Jan 28, 2004 12:22 pm

Reads to me like you're right, but I'm not a lawyer.
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Postby marso » Wed Jan 28, 2004 5:26 pm

Contact a lawyer in your area (as things are unique for specific areas). That is your best bet. Also if you insist on carrying it every where with you, there might be that off chance of wrong place at the wrong time. But of course it depends on your character and all other things as well. Also the law should have some information about what Intent is and who has to prove this. Really asking people on the web is like guessing yourself, if you really care ask a lawyer.
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line 14, with intent

Postby raimundo » Mon Jul 12, 2004 12:43 am

Once again, it looks like intent is the key issue. They can charge you with intent and then they must prove it. If you have previous convictions for burglary or intent to burgle, you can be proven guilty on this fact. never plead guilty when charges of this nature are filed, unless you are guilty of such intent. Prosecutors and public defenders will ask you to plead guilty and tell you how easy and reasonable this is to make the trial go away, but don't do it. Once you plead guilty to this, It will be illegal for the rest of your life to have picks. probably in others states as well. Tell them you want a jury trial, and they will postpone and reschedule and play games with you as a strategy to get you to plead guilty, don't do it, they have to prove intent. They probably can't do that and they know it. the attempt to screw you and threaten you with greater penalties if you insist on a trial will be all about telling you a trial date has been set, and when you show up to have your trial, they will again ask you to plead guilty, and if you don't, they will reschedule again, ultimately if you just don't plead guilty they will dismiss the charges. Your right to a speedy trial works against the games they will be playing.
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Postby IZ41N » Thu Jul 29, 2004 6:23 am

I would like to know about this as well
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Postby AJolly » Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:28 pm

I can answer this one, I just finished up an internship with the DuPage County States Attorneys office....

Essentially, as pointed out, they key really is intent....and that'll be hard to prove. That being said, not pissing cops off also does help, be open and honest with them. It also probably wouldn't hurt to print out a copy of the applicable section.
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Postby another aussie » Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:40 pm

My older brother went through school with a bunch of guys who became police officers and from time to time I talk to them about things like this, always discussing matters like this in hypothetical terms.

Invaribaly the law seems to take second place to things like your attitude, where you are, who you run into etc.
That's not too say heh don't worry about whether you are breaking the law or not, just behave however you want, it is more about YOU showing a bit of awareness and at times being a bit lucky.

I know one of the officers I'm talking about would think you were being a prick (regardless or whether you were being or not) if you showed him a printed out piece of paper saying you could have them etc.
Where maybe that would be the end of the matter if one of these other blokes thought your printout looked legitimate.

Again that's not to say that you should or shouldn't do that, just be aware that even if it looks like the law is on your side it doesn't mean you might not have your picks confiscated, get threatened with scary sounding charges or even have the ride to the station if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time etc.

So yeah just remember be discrete, polite, don't get in fights etc. and it probably won't be an issue.
I am of the opinion that it is worth seeing a lawyer signing a retainer or whatever and keeping their card with you (sort of a boyscout 'be prepared' thing) and occassionly talking to them (yes it will cost you) about any legal matters that might relate to/or concern you.
Remember ignorance is no excuse is the eyes of the law.

And for God's sake hire a lawyer for conveyancing :)
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Reasonable care

Postby bubbashitz » Wed Mar 23, 2005 4:43 am

Remember in this post 9-11 world the standard for law officers in the states is lowered. Provable cause is now down to reasonable care. Given that, the officers can assume what they wish, it is up to you to minimize false assumptions. As for me, since I am into magic, illusion, and escape, I keep all my tools of the trade together. This helps, but, bottom line, the officer is free to assume anything. Proving it, that is a differant story.
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Postby spl0rk » Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:51 pm

semi off-topic, but just for the record wanted to state that southord shipped picks to my illinois location with no questions asked; bought via online credit card payment. so, obtaining lock picks in illinois is definitely possible, though i would adhere to the above suggestions of avoiding probable cause situations. especially people who have a tendancy of pissing cops off. :)
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Postby pastrami763 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:11 am

where could i find this information on the Illinois website
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Postby dieselducy » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:50 am

I don't know much about illinois or law, but I would assume that if it is YOUR lockpick and you are using it to pick YOUR locks, there is not a whole lot a law enforcement officer should be able to do.. Now if you are trying to pick somebody ELSES lock without their consent, that would constitute breaking and entering.. A lockpick is not a weapon, so I really dont see how they could control them.. I DO KNOW for a fact, a while back, ebay stopped letting people sell lockpicks there. there used to be a bunch of them there. as a seller on ebay, i review the policies frequently and lockpicks is prohibited on ebay.
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Postby Shrub » Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:22 pm

Anything can be made illegal anywhere, if they choose to make them ilegal to own or carry then thats the way it is regardless of whether your picking your locks or your neighbours,

That said i dont know the answer to this maybe a look at the law thread could help,
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Postby WDPaladin » Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:38 am

SouthOrd shipped picks to me in Il no problem also. I do believe if an officer came to your door asking questions such as "Have you seen this individual?" or something and happened to spot some picks and a padlock on the table that they would have no case against you. Like others have said, I'm not a lawyer, but it seems this is the general concensus. BUT, I do believe if there was a break-in a block away and the cops happened to search you for some reason unrelating to the burglery and found picks, you might take the fall for the theft as well.
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Postby thubanpete » Sat May 19, 2007 11:51 pm

pastrami763 wrote:where could i find this information on the Illinois website

For those that are interested the direct link to the Illinois Statue is here:


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Postby pastrami763 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:14 am

Thank you for you responses. They were most helpful.[/quote]
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