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Aggravated or Armed Burglary
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 266 Section 14 makes aggravated or armed burglary a criminal offense in Massachusetts. The law states that anyone who breaks into a home at night and intends to commit a felony who is armed with a dangerous weapon assaults and occupant is guilty of this crime. This is an extremely serious charge. The district attorney will be looking for a high bail or possibly to have your detained under the dangerousness statute. If you get convicted the sentence will be severe. Anyone charged with this crime in Massachusetts needs to hire a lawyer right away. There is no benefit to waiting. You need to start your defense to this crime right now. Witnesses need to be interviewed immediately before they forget important details to the case or leave the area.How is Aggravated or Armed Burglary Defined in Massachusetts?
The district attorney’s office must prove five things beyond a reasonable doubt for someone to be convicted of this crime.
- That the home was someone other than the defendant’s. If the defendant has a right of occupancy in the home the prosecutor cannot satisfy this element of the offense and the defendant must be acquitted.
- That the defendant broke into the home. This requires the prosecutor to prove that a barrier to entry was moved by the defendant. For example, forcing open a locked door or window constitutes a breaking. Similarly, opening closed doors and windows will satisfy this element of the offense. Entering an open door does not satisfy this aspect of the offense.
- That the defendant entered the home. If someone makes his way into a home, even by placing a hand or foot in the property he has entered the property. Any part of the body suffices.
- That at the time of entry the defendant intended to commit a felony. The prosecution must identify the felony it claims the defendant intended to commit. Felonies are crimes punishable by incarceration in the state prisons.
- That someone was lawfully home at the time of the entry and that the defendant was either armed with a dangerous weapon or armed himself with a dangerous weapon once inside the dwelling or that he committed an assault on the occupant. Dangerous weapons can be just about anything if it is used in a dangerous manner. There is also a class of inherently dangerous items such as guns and certain knives that automatically qualify as dangerous weapons no matter how they are used.
- That all of these events took place in the nighttime. Nighttime in Massachusetts is defined as one hour after sunset until one hour before sunrise the next day.
Aggravated or armed burglary in Massachusetts carries a 10 year minimum state prison sentence. If the aggravated or armed burglary is committed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon there is a 15 year minimum sentence that must be imposed.Aggressive Experienced Defense of Crimes in Massachusetts
If you have been charged with aggravated or armed burglary or other violent crimes in Massachusetts the expertise of a lawyer like Stephen Neyman should be considered. Our office has over 20 years experience defending crimes such as these throughout Massachusetts and other parts of the country. Call us now at 617-263-6800 or contact us online.