Breaking into a person’s home is a serious offense in Massachusetts that can result in criminal penalties, including large fines and the potential of incarceration. If you have been charged with a home invasion in Massachusetts, it’s important that you understand the definition of home invasion, what the prosecution will need to prove in order to secure a conviction against you, the penalties you may face if convicted, and how a criminal defense attorney can help.
How the State Defines Home Invasion in Massachusetts
The crime of home invasion falls under Massachusetts criminal code Chapter 265 Section 18C — Entry of dwelling places; persons present within; weapons; punishment. The code reads that entering the home or dwelling of another while armed with a dangerous weapon or while using force or threatening the imminent use of force while knowing or having reason to know that one or more persons are present within the dwelling commits the crime of “home invasion.”
How the Prosecution Proves Home Invasion
The burden of proof is on the prosecution in a criminal defense case. In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution must be able to prove:
- You entered the home or dwelling place of another person
- You knew or should have known that someone was within the home at the time you entered it (or, after learning that someone was within the home, you remained inside of it)
- You were armed with a deadly weapon at the time of entry into the home
- You intentionally caused injury to someone within the dwelling or used or threatened to use force
Penalties for a Home Invasion Conviction
If you are convicted of a home invasion charge in Massachusetts, you may be facing serious consequences. These consequences might include, but are not limited to, a prison sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a black mark on your criminal record, court fines and fees, and the loss of future opportunities.
How a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
For most people who are facing charges for home invasion in Massachusetts, avoiding prison—or at least a prison sentence of two decades—is the primary goal. One way to improve your chances of avoiding the most severe consequences is to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney with the right experience and understanding of the charges you’re facing will be able to build your case and advocate for your best interests. If entering a plea of innocence isn’t practical, your defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution to reduce the charges against you or secure a more lenient sentence.
Get the Help You Need Today
When you are facing criminal charges, it is your legal right to defend yourself against those charges and to do so with representation from a qualified attorney. At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, we understand the severe consequences that a conviction of home invasion can have. To learn more about your legal options and how our lawyer can help, reach out to us today by phone or online for a consultation. We urge you to contact an attorney as soon as possible after being arrested and charged with a crime. Call our office at (978) 397-0011.