breaking and entering with a key in illinois

my ex girlfriend has a key to my apartment. she has been posting things on the internet asking if it is breaking and entering if you have a key. i have taken screen shots with the date and time of the comments. if she does enter my home without my consent, is this breaking and entering? would screen shots be admissible as evidence against her?

Asked on May 26, 2009 under Criminal Law, Illinois


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have made it clear to her that she is not welcome in your apartment, and asked for the key back -- and if she is not on the lease with you -- I would think she would be breaking the law by entering, even with the key.

And yes, it's possible that screen shots would be admissible, but you'd have to prove that your ex girlfriend was the one who made the comments.  Better evidence would be a webcam set to record images when there was motion in front of it, pointed at your apartment door.

The easiest approach to this, it seems to me, is to ask your landlord to change the locks, and agree to pay for it (because it's your fault she has your key, not the landlord's!).  In most places, even with the need for the landlord to okay it, this is something you should be able to get done within a day or two.

If there's an incident in the meantime, get to a lawyer in your area, and give him or her all of the facts, for reliable advice on what to do next.  If you need to look for an attorney, one place is our website,

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