Hartford Home Invasion Defense Attorneys
Helping fight burglary and home invasion charges in Hartford & Manchester, CT
Home invasion is a crime considered much more serious than burglary. State authorities raise charges from burglary to home invasion when an individual unlawfully enters or remains in a dwelling while another person is inside, and commits, or attempts to commit, a crime against that person.
If an act of home invasion is committed to perform another crime like armed robbery, sexual assault, or murder, the charges and penalties can be extremely severe, such as imprisonment and heavy fines. When facing home invasion charges, you need exceptional legal defense. With so much at stake, including a felony charge on your criminal record and your reputation hanging in the balance, having an attorney on your side can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful outcome for your case.
At Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC, our Hartford criminal defense lawyers protect your rights if you’ve been arrested for theft, burglary, or home invasion charges. Our attorneys thoroughly investigate your case, and work on your behalf to negotiate with prosecution to minimize your charges and avoid having a mark on your criminal record. Call us today.
What is the crime of home invasion in CT?
Home invasion falls under the umbrella of theft crimes, like robbery and burglary. However, there are a few key differences that make it distinctly different from the other two. CGS § 53a-100aa states the exact language, but generally, a burglary becomes a home invasion when four conditions are met during the commission of the alleged crime.
- You must unlawfully enter or remain inside a dwelling. Generally speaking, a dwelling is where people reside or sleep, such as a house, apartment, hotel, or houseboat. It does not matter if the doors are unlocked or even open. This means entering without permission, even if breaking and entering didn’t occur. Typically, abandoned buildings don’t qualify as dwellings.
- Another person must be in the dwelling at the time of your unlawful entry. An accomplice or co-conspirator doesn’t count. The person must be someone other than you or another person involved in the act of the alleged home invasion.
- You must have the intent to commit a crime inside the dwelling when you unlawfully entered or remained inside the home. For example, it’s not legally home invasion if a person was under the influence and accidentally entered the wrong home or apartment without malicious or harmful intention.
- For home invasion charges to lead to a conviction, this last element must also be satisfied. If, during the course of committing a home invasion, you were armed with a deadly weapon or instrument, or committed, or attempted to commit, a felony against a person in the dwelling.
Penalties and sentences for Hartford home invasion convictions
Home invasion in Connecticut is a Class A felony charge. Class A felonies carry a minimum prison sentence of 10 years up to 25 years, as well as fines of up to $20,000.
A felony conviction can affect you for the rest of your life, even after you’ve paid your penalties and served the terms of your record. Many employers require background checks when you apply for jobs, and these checks will certainly reveal a felony conviction. Even without a background check, many job applications require you to answer whether or not you’ve ever been convicted of a felony.
If you’re arrested and charged with a felony like home invasion, it’s important to have an attorney on your side who understands the harsh penalties and can put together a strong defense on your behalf. Our lawyers work to have your charges lowered or dropped – or, if you have been convicted, we can work with you to have your criminal record erased or expunged.
If you are charged with a felony, it is important to have an attorney who is understanding and able to put together a good defense for your case. The lower the charges can be dropped, the better the outcome. In the case of a conviction, your attorney may also work with you to see if erasing or pardoning your record is an option.
Why are CT home invasion laws so strict?
Other states across the country have home invasion laws on the books, but in varying levels and degrees. However, in our state, home invasion crimes are Class A felonies only. This is because of a tragic home invasion crime that occurred in 2007 in Cheshire, Connecticut.
On July 23, 2007, the Petit family suffered unspeakable tragedy when two men planned and carried out a home invasion in their residence, resulting in the grisly assaults and murders of Jennifer Lynn Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley Elizabeth and Michaela Rose. William Petit, Jr., their husband and father, survived with serious injuries.
This home invasion sent shockwaves through the local area, prompting immediate and stringent new legislative action in the state criminal justice system. Just six months after the tragedy, then-Governor Jodi Rell signed legislation creating the home invasion law as part of a criminal justice reform package. Before then, there was no specific statute in Connecticut dealing with the specific offense of home invasion.
Many clients facing home invasion charges come to us feeling hopeless because of these strict laws and penalties. We understand the severe consequences that come with a conviction, and we can help. Although the potential penalties are indeed harsh, your civil rights come first. With a higher-level crime like a Class A felony, the prosecution has an even higher burden of proof. When we work for you, our goal is to provide you with the outcome you need for your case.
Remember, an arrest is not a conviction and you still have time to build a strong defense. Choosing the right lawyer can mean the difference between jail time and walking away with your freedom intact.
Experienced Hartford criminal defense lawyers
Home invasion cases can have serious consequences, and the criminal defense attorneys at Barry, Barall & Spinella, LLC work to have your charges minimized and avoid having a felony crime on your record. We stand by you through the entire legal process, from arrest through court proceedings, protecting your rights the entire way. Get in touch with us today. We’re located minutes off I-384 in Manchester. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers in Hartford or Manchester, please call 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form.