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 ofhome invasion.
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.
If you are facing charges for Home Invasion in Newburyport, Salem, Boston, Amesbury, Salisbury, Lawrence, Ipswich, or any town in the Essex, Suffolk, or Middlesex counties in Massachusetts, call Criminal Attorney Bonavita immediately at 978-376-6746 or email her with your case information!