Home Invasion in Lansing: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degree
Home invasion is the act of breaking into someone else’s property or residence with no permission or with criminal intent. This crime is seen as a violation of a person’s most private and safe place, his or her very own home. As such, the Michigan legal system takes a hard line against those accused of home invasion. If you have been charged with any degree of home invasion in Lansing, call our property crimes defense attorney now.
Even if you are innocent of the crime and a victim of a misunderstanding, the prosecution can push forward with criminal charges if you are not properly prepared to defend yourself in court. When facing home invasion charges, you need a seasoned attorney capable of protecting your freedom. So if you are being investigated or have been arrested for invading a home in Lansing, keep on reading for the things you need to know right now.
Home Invasion: Definitions, Degrees, and Punishments
Home invasion is traditionally seen as entering a property without permission with violent action. Kicking down a door or smashing a window to gain access to a home falls under this definition. Did you know that these charges can be interpreted on more passive modes of entry? Pushing open a partially opened window or door can be cited as violating someone’s property. Climbing a fence into a back yard can also land you with home invasion charges. Even just placing an item within someone else’s property can be interpreted as home invasion. These loose definitions can lead to innocent people facing criminal charges they do not deserve.
Home invasion comes in three separate degrees, increasing in severity from third to first. The lines between each degree are distinct, but sometimes the lines blur and you can be charged for a degree of crime you are nowhere near guilty of.
Home invasion in the third degree is the lightest of the home invasion charges. However, it is still a very grave charge you cannot afford to suffer. There are two conditions that can qualify you for this charge. First, unlawfully entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a misdemeanor and/or committing a misdemeanor at any point before, inside, or after exiting said dwelling. Second, in the course of unlawfully entering a dwelling, you violate any of the following: a probation term or condition, a parole term or condition, a personal protection order term or conviction, a bond or bail condition, or any condition of pretrial release. A conviction under third degree home invasion can result in up to five years in prison and $2,000 in fines.
Home invasion in the second degree is very similar to third degree, except the prosecution believes your intentions were far more criminal. Second degree charges assume that, while breaking and entering, you had the intention to commit a felony, larceny, or assault while entering, being present in, or exiting the dwelling. If you are convicted of this charge you can face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000.
Home invasion in the first degree is the most serious charge you can be accused of regarding home invasions and has the greatest potential to disrupt your life for the foreseeable future. For a first degree charge, the prosecution has to prove that while breaking into a dwelling in an unlawful manner, you had the intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault while entering, being present in, or exiting the dwelling with a deadly weapon. The first degree charge can also be added if there was another individual present in the dwelling at the time of the crime. Accidently entering someone else’s home during the day, or running across someone’s yard while they are there can be interpreted as first degree home invasion under these definitions. This gives the prosecution plenty of room to work with. You will certainly need a capable and experienced attorney to fight these charges.
If convicted of first degree home invasion, you can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. If you have a prior conviction history, the courts may consider harsher punishment or additional action.
Fighting Home Invasion Accusations
Regardless of the sentence, your criminal record will show what you have been convicted of. A criminal record can make finding a job difficult and disrupt dealings with the government in the future. If you are arrested for home invasion charges, do not answer any questions from the police. Politely decline until you have had time to speak with your attorney. In cases where the lines between criminal degrees can be so thin, anything you say can hurt your case.
Contact Grabel & Associates
Contact the veteran attorneys of Grabel & Associates. For over ten years we have protected the rights of the people of Lansing. We have over 100 years of legal experience amongst our firm and we will put that to work in defending your innocence.
Call us 24/7 at 1-800-342-7896, and you can also contact us through our website. Our case analysts are standing by to speak with you. Call right now and we can give a free consultation of your case to begin planning your defense. Do not fall prey to false accusations. Call Grabel & Associates now.