Recent incident highlights Michigan’s home invasion law

A recent home invasion in Michigan calls attention to just how serious the consequences of such acts can be.

A 19-year-old is currently facing a felony charge of first degree home invasion following an incident in early August of this year. According to the Midland Daily News, the young man allegedly entered into a Michigan family's home through a door that had been left unlocked.

The home invasion charge alone carries with it up to 20 years in prison. Understanding this type of charge and the consequences is a crucial part building a defense against it.

What happened

The felony complaint filed with Midland Police states that the young man, who is from South Carolina, may have stolen money, a knife and a wallet. Following an anonymous tip, law enforcement officers went to a home to find another man who had traveled from South Carolina to Michigan with the defendant. In that home was an iPod that had one of the victim's names on it.

After finding the young man in a park, law enforcement officers administered a polygraph test. The 19-year-old failed the test and eventually admitted to committing the act. In addition to the charge of home invasion, he also faces charges related to larceny and firearms.

Home invasion in Michigan

Under Michigan law, a first degree home invasion occurs when any of the following takes place while the suspect either has a dangerous weapon or another person is lawfully in the home:

  • Someone breaks into a home with the intention of committing larceny, assault or a felony.
  • Someone enters a home uninvited with the intention of committing those crimes.
  • Someone who breaks and enters into a home and actually commits one of those crimes.

If there is no dangerous weapon present or no one is home, the charge will be in the second degree. If the intended or actual crime is a misdemeanor, the charge will be in the third degree.

Consequences of home invasion

The law stipulates that a first degree home invasion charge, as the young man in this incident is facing, carries with it up to 20 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $5,000. A second degree charge could result in up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $3,000, and a third degree charge could constitute as many as five years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Further, it is important to note that the law grants a court permission to order the prison sentence associated with this crime to be served consecutively with incarceration time linked to other criminal offenses that took place in the same incident. In other words, a defendant would have to serve the prison time associated with one charge before serving the next.

Clearly, any home invasion charge should be taken seriously, as the penalties can be severe. People who have concerns about this topic should speak to a criminal defense attorney in Michigan.