CrimeScene--450x267Common Crimes

Information on crimes that are commonly charged in Michigan. If you need legal assistance, please contact a lawyer.

 

Home Invasion

Statute: MCL 750.110a
Crime Group: Person
Sentence Class: E (Third-degree), C (Second-degree), B (First-degree)
Minimum Sentence: 0 Days
Maximum Sentence1: 5 Years (Third-degree), 15 Years (Second-degree), 20 Years (First-degree)
Maximum Fine: $2,000.00 (Third-degree), $3,000.00 (Second-degree), $5,000.00 (First-degree)
Jury Instructions: MCJI2d 25.2a, 25.2b, 25.2e, 25.2f, 25.3, 25.4
Sex Offender Registration Required: No

Statutory Language:

[ . . .]

(2) A person who breaks and enters a dwelling with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault in the dwelling, a person who enters a dwelling without permission with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault in the dwelling, or a person who breaks and enters a dwelling or enters a dwelling without permission and, at any time while he or she is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling, commits a felony, larceny, or assault is guilty of home invasion in the first degree if at any time while the person is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling either of the following circumstances exists:
   (a) The person is armed with a dangerous weapon.
   (b) Another person is lawfully present in the dwelling.

(3) A person who breaks and enters a dwelling with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault in the dwelling, a person who enters a dwelling without permission with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault in the dwelling, or a person who breaks and enters a dwelling or enters a dwelling without permission and, at any time while he or she is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling, commits a felony, larceny, or assault is guilty of home invasion in the second degree.

(4) A person is guilty of home invasion in the third degree if the person does either of the following:
   (a) Breaks and enters a dwelling with intent to commit a misdemeanor in the dwelling, enters a dwelling without permission with intent to commit a misdemeanor in the dwelling, or breaks and enters a dwelling or enters a dwelling without permission and, at any time while he or she is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling, commits a misdemeanor.
   (b) Breaks and enters a dwelling or enters a dwelling without permission and, at any time while the person is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling, violates any of the following ordered to protect a named person or persons:
      (i) A probation term or condition.
      (ii) A parole term or condition.
      (iii) A personal protection order term or condition.
      (iv) A bond or bail condition or any condition of pretrial release.

[ . . .]

Discussion:

A Home Invasion occurs when a person—without permission—breaks into someone else’s home (as opposed to a business or out-building) and commits (or intends to commit) another crime while there. A “Home Invasion” is what most people think of when they hear the term “burglary.” The “degree” of Home Invasion depends on a variety of factors.

A “third-degree” Home Invasion is the least serious, and occurs when the defendant breaks into a home to commit a misdemeanor other than larceny or assault. This charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,000.00

A “second-degree” Home Invasion occurs when the defendant breaks into a home to commit a felony, larceny or assault (even if the larceny or assault would otherwise be simple misdemeanors). The maximum sentence for this crime is fifteen years in prison and/or a fine of up to $3,000.00.

The most serious degree of Home Invasion—“first-degree” Home Invasion—occurs when the defendant commits what would otherwise be a “second-degree” Home Invasion, but is either armed with a dangerous weapon (including any weapon obtained while in the home) or another person is lawfully present in the building. This is an extremely serious charge, and carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.00. First-degree Home Invasion is also different from the other degrees because the court can sentence a defendant who is charged and convicted of first-degree Home Invasion to consecutive sentences. This means that if a defendant is charged and convicted of another crime (which often happens with a first-degree Home Invasion, since these cases involve weapons and/or occupants in the home), the court can order the defendant to serve the sentences one after the other instead of at the same time. This can significantly change the amount of time spent in jail or prison.

It should noted that even if the defendant intends to commit a crime when inside the home but changes his/her mind after breaking in, (s)he is still guilty of Home Invasion. Any other crimes that are committed while inside the home (larceny, assault, criminal sexual conduct, etc.) can be charged in addition to the Home Invasion charge.

Home invasion cases vary greatly in terms of specific facts. Since most home invasions occur when nobody is home, the most common issue at trial is whether the police apprehended the correct person. Other issues may include whether the defendant had permission, and whether the defendant committed (or intended to commit) another crime while there. In first-degree Home Invasion cases, there may be an issue related to whether the defendant had a “dangerous weapon” at the time of the break-in.

Plea negotiations on Home Invasion cases can be lengthy and the results depend on a great number of factors, including the strength of the prosecution’s case, whether there are accomplices, what other crimes were committed during the home invasion, and whether the defendant has a prior criminal record. A conversation must be had with your attorney regarding the likelihood of a lesser charge being offered.

In some cases, a defendant who is between the ages of 17 and 21 (or between 21 and 24 years of age with approval from the prosecutor) may be eligible for sentencing under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (“HYTA”, MCL 762.11). HYTA is a deferred sentencing program that recognizes that when people are young, they often make stupid mistakes that should not haunt them for the rest of their lives. If a defendant is sentenced under HYTA, the court allows the defendant to offer a guilty plea, but takes the plea “under advisement” without entering it as a conviction. The court will then place the defendant on probation for a term set by the court. A defendant who successfully completes the probation will have all charges dropped and no public record of the offense will remain. However, a defendant who does not successfully complete the HYTA probation will have his/her probation revoked, the conviction will be entered, and a new (usually harsher) sentence will be imposed without a trial. HYTA status may be granted by a judge as many times as the judge wants; there is no “one per lifetime” limitation (although many judges do have a “one HYTA” policy).

A defendant convicted under this statute will typically be sentenced according to the Michigan sentencing guidelines. Because these guidelines consider both the nature of the current crime and the past record of the defendant—and because the guidelines are “advisory only” and judges are not required to follow them—it is impossible to predict a likely sentence without taking a look at the specific facts of a defendant’s case and reviewing the past record of a defendant, and even then such predictions are an “educated guess” at best. However, prison sentences are common on Home Invasion cases, even for first offenses
 

1Maximum sentence shown is for a first-time felony offender. Prior felonies make a defendant liable for “Habitual Offender” (“HO”) sentencing enhancement. This type of sentencing enhancement greatly increases the maximum amount of time a defendant convicted of this crime can spend in prison. A defendant convicted of Home Invasion who has three or more prior felony convictions has a maximum sentence of life in prison.
 

 

 

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