Home invasion is a felony in Massachusetts, and carries a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, with the possibility of life in prison. As such, it is a very serious offense, and if you have been charged with home invasion, or believe you are under investigation for home invasion, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 265, Section 18C defines and prohibits the crime of home invasion. Specifically, the statute requires the prosecutor to prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict someone of home invasion:
First, the prosecutor must prove that the accused entered another’s home without permission. “Entering” is satisfied if the defendant places just one hand or foot inside the house of another, or causes any instrument or weapon to enter another’s house. A “home” includes any place where someone typically sleeps, such as a house, apartment building, hotel, or dormitory.
Second, the prosecutor must prove that the accused either knew or had reason to know that someone was present inside the home when he or she entered, or that the accused remained inside the home after learning that someone was present. For example, if the defendant waited for the two known occupants of the house to leave but was unaware that a guest remained inside the house when he entered, this element would not be satisfied.
Third, the prosecutor must prove that the accused was armed with a dangerous weapon when he entered the house. A dangerous weapon can be any item that is capable of causing a serious bodily injury or death, even if the item was not constructed for use as a weapon. Thus, guns and knives as well as shoes, lighted cigarettes, and even pens or pencils could qualify as dangerous weapons depending on how the accused used the item.
Fourth, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant either injured an individual inside the house, or threatened to injure a person inside the house.
For each element, the prosecutor must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high standard, although it does not require the prosecutor to prove the case to an absolute certainty. Moreover, all individuals charged with home invasion are presumed innocent until proven guilty. These protections for the accused are crucial to resolving your case, and you need a defense attorney willing to protect your rights at all costs.Home Invasion Defense at Altman & Altman, LLP
Defenses to charges of home invasion are varied and depend on the circumstances of each case. An experienced criminal defense attorney will challenge the prosecutor’s evidence on each element, and will stand up for your rights at every turn. The attorneys at the law offices of Altman & Altman have many years of experience successfully defending home invasion charges. Contact Altman & Altman to set up a free and confidential consultation. You will meet with an expert criminal defense attorney who will discuss the specifics of your case, and any defenses you may have. The criminal defense team at Altman & Altman is comprised of experienced trial attorneys who will challenge the prosecutor’s evidence on each element, and work tirelessly to protect your rights. We will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions and guide you through the criminal justice system.