Burglary and home invasion both involve entering a building unlawfully in order to commit a crime. Both crimes are felonies in Connecticut and involve the potential for serious penalties, including prison time. However, a conviction for home invasion carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years as well as fines of up to $20,000. It is considered a Class A felony.
For a person to be charged with home invasion instead of burglary, certain elements must be alleged. Under Connecticut law, they must also be proven by the state "beyond a reasonable doubt" for a jury to convict a person of home invasion:
-- The defendant must have either unlawfully entered or remained in a dwelling.-- The defendant must have been armed at the time with a dangerous instrument, deadly weapon or explosives.-- There must have been someone else present in the dwelling besides anyone who participated in the crime.-- The defendant must have either intended to or succeeded in committing a crime against one or more of those people present in the dwelling.
Under Connecticut law, a dwelling is defined as "a building that is usually occupied by a person lodging therein at night." Therefore, for example, an empty or abandoned building would not qualify as a dwelling.
If you or a loved one has been charged with home invasion, it's essential to seek legal guidance. We have over 30 years of experience in the law and have defended clients against charges of home invasion. If the necessary elements of a home invasion aren't present, we can strive to get the charges changed and the penalties mitigated.
Every case is different, of course, but at The Law Office of Jerome Paun, we develop a strong defense strategy for each client's individual case. Take a look at our website to learn more.