How A Lawyer Can Help With Home Invasion Charges
Connecticut’s home invasion law provides zero tolerance for breaking and entering into an occupied home with the intent to commit a felony. Penalties for a Connecticut home invasion conviction are severe and include a 10-year mandatory minimum jail sentence.
If you have been charged with home invasion in Connecticut, experienced and aggressive legal representation is crucial.
The Lebedevitch Law Firm has extensive experience representing people who have been charged with serious crimes. We provide an aggressive legal defense and leave no stone unturned when representing our clients.
What Is Home Invasion in Connecticut?
Home invasion is a serious felony that is similar to other crimes like burglary, criminal trespass, or breaking and entering. However, there are key distinctions that make home invasion a different and more serious crime.
A burglary can become a home invasion when four conditions are met.
- Unlawfully entering a dwelling. The defendant must have unlawfully entered or remained inside a dwelling. A dwelling is a place where people live, such as a house, an apartment, or even a hotel. To be convicted of home invasion, the defendant must have entered the dwelling without permission, even if breaking and entering did not occur.
- While another person was present. For a crime to rise to the level of home invasion, another person must be inside the dwelling. This does not include an accomplice or co-conspirator.
- With intent to commit a crime. The defendant must have intended to commit a crime while inside the dwelling. Mistakenly entering the wrong apartment is not a home invasion because there was no intent to commit a crime.
- Commit a felony or be armed with a deadly weapon. The defendant must commit or attempt to commit a felony or be armed with explosives, a deadly weapon, or a dangerous instrument.
A conviction for a home invasion is a Class A felony punishable by a minimum of 10 years, up to a maximum of 25 years in prison, as well as fines up to $20,000.
Why Connecticut’s Home Invasion Law Is So Strict
In 2007, two men in Cheshire, Connecticut, planned and carried out a home invasion that resulted in the assault and murder of a mother and her two daughters. The husband and father survived with serious injuries. In response, Connecticut lawmakers passed the home invasion law, creating a new offense with a strict mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Even today, the Cheshire home invasion case remains on the mind of prosecutors and judges when they handle cases involving breaking and entering. They are unlikely to give criminal defendants the benefit of the doubt, and probation officers who work with people who have been convicted of a home invasion or burglary are reluctant to grant them much leeway.
Challenging a Connecticut Home Invasion Charge
Connecticut prosecutors routinely charge people with home invasion, then plead the charges down to a lesser offense. Many criminal defendants are understandably afraid to take their case to trial when a conviction could result in a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.
But when you work with an experienced Connecticut criminal defense lawyer, you improve your chances of beating the charge. The burden of proof in a home invasion case is high, and prosecutors must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction.
In many cases, eliminating a single element of the crime can mean the difference between a conviction for home invasion versus a lesser offense of burglary or criminal trespass. For example, you cannot be convicted of home invasion if no one else is in the house. Similarly, you can defeat a charge of home invasion if the building you entered was not a dwelling, or if you lacked the intent to commit a felony.
The distinctions between a home invasion and other crimes can be subtle and hard to appreciate. Many times, a Connecticut prosecutor will try to convince a criminal defendant to accept a plea bargain to avoid the risk of a conviction for home invasion. But when you work with The Lebedevitch Law Firm, criminal defense attorney Stephen Lebedevitch will explore every option and hold the prosecutor to their burden of proof. In many cases, he can successfully negotiate a favorable plea bargain by eliminating just one element of the crime.
The Lebedevitch Law Firm: Aggressive Criminal Defense in Fairfield, CT
To learn more about criminal defense attorney Stephen Lebedevitch, read reviews from other people he has helped and why people choose Stephen. Then contact The Lebedevitch Law Firm today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.
The Lebedevitch Law Firm proudly represents people who have been charged with serious crimes in Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Darien, Rowayton, Fairfield, Trumbull, Westport, Wilton, Weston, Danbury, New Haven, Bethany, Woodbridge, Milford, Stratford, Bridgeport, and throughout the State of Connecticut.