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Home invasion in Massachusetts is a crime pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 18C. The statute says that anyone who enters the home of someone else, either knowing or having reason to know that someone is home and remains in the home while armed with a dangerous weapon, and uses or threatens force upon someone in the home is guilty of home invasion.What Does the District Attorney Have to Show to Prove a Home Invasion Charge in Massachusetts?
To convict someone of home invasion in Massachusetts the district attorney prosecuting the case must prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt.
That you entered the dwelling place of someone else. Entering is satisfied once any part of the defendant's body, or any instrument or weapon controlled by the defendant enters the dwelling.
That you knew or should have known someone was home when you entered the property, or that you remained inside the property once you learned that someone was present. This element is somewhat difficult for prosecutors to prove in that many times people break into homes not knowing that someone was home or believing that someone was not home. For example, burglars who know that the property owners have two cars and wait for both cars to be off the premises and subsequently break into the property only to find someone there are not guilty of home invasion unless they stay in the home after learning of the person’s presence.
That you were armed at the time of entry. This requires the prosecutor to prove that you had in your possession a dangerous weapon. A dangerous weapon is any instrument that by nature of its construction or the manner of its use is capable of causing grievous bodily injury or death or would be perceived by a reasonable person as capable of such injury.
That you used or threatened the use of force on any of the occupants in the dwelling or that you intentionally caused injury to anyone in the property.
If you are convicted of the crime of home invasion there is a minimum sentence of 20 years in state prison and up to life in prison. There is a provision in the law that permits a judge to sentence someone convicted of home invasion to probation. That is often the case where there is another charge for which the defendant was convicted in addition to home invasion and the judge wants to avoid the harsh consequence of the home invasion conviction. Prosecutors use this a leverage in trying to force a plea to a lesser charge. You can avoid prison on a home invasion case by hiring the right lawyer to defend you.
The Law Offices of Stephen Neyman is a reputable Massachusetts Criminal Defense Law Firm with over 20 years of experience defending violent crimes such as home invasion. We have successfully defended home invasions and countless other crimes in Massachusetts and throughout the country. If you have been charged with a crime you need a criminal defense lawyer. Call our office at 617-263-6800 to discuss your case or contact us online.