Connecticut’s Tough Stance on Home Invasion Demands a Tough Defense
Connecticut’s tough stance on home invasions and burglaries can be traced back to 2007, when a deadly home invasion in the town of Cheshire lead to a statewide crackdown.
Following the home invasion murders in Cheshire, state lawmakers took swift action to introduce legislation that heightened the penalties associated with home invasion and other crimes. The new law defines home invasion as the illegal entry of an occupied home either with the intention of committing a felony or while carrying a deadly weapon.
Under the new Connecticut home invasion law, home invasions are considered a Class A felony and they are punishable by a minimum prison sentence of 10 years. In addition, the bill outlines harsher penalties for burglary crimes committed at night, making them a Class B felony punishable by a minimum prison sentence of five years.
What does this mean?
Quite simply, if you have been charged with home invasion, burglary, or violating a protective order in New Haven – or anywhere in Connecticut – you are up against some of the toughest penalties in the country.
As Connecticut lawmakers endeavor to crack down on home invasion crimes, courts may attempt to make an example out of you by hitting you with lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and a lifetime criminal record. It is something that I have seen happen many times over, and it is why it is so important to work with an aggressive New Haven criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged.
Perhaps just as bad, because these types of crimes come with a huge negative stigma in our area, those who are accused of them can sometimes be painted as monstrous or less-than-human. I see it differently. I believe that everyone makes mistakes, and that no matter what you have been accused of doing, you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and to have someone fight hard for your future.
If you decide to work with me, I will not only do my utmost to help you understand the charges facing you, explain your options, and determine the best defense in your unique situation, but also fight to make sure that you are treated properly and seen as a person rather than a criminal charge.
Home Invasion Versus Burglary in New Haven
The laws surrounding home invasion in Connecticut can be complicated. To understand home invasion, it is important to first understand how burglary is defined here.
In our state, a burglary occurs when someone enters a building without permission and with the intention of committing a crime inside. Burglaries are broken down into three degrees – first, second, and third – with first degree burglaries being the most serious.
You may be charged with first degree burglary if the following applies:
- You are armed with a deadly weapon, explosive, or any object you could use to cause physical harm
- You physically harm or attempt to physically harm someone, OR
- You enter a dwelling at night.
You may be charged with second degree burglary if the building you enter is occupied by another person besides yourself and another burglar. If the building is not a dwelling or is not occupied, and if you are not armed or do not cause injury, you may be charged with third-degree burglary.
Home invasion is also classified as a type of burglary in Connecticut. In fact, it is considered to be the most serious type of burglary crime in this state.
Under Connecticut law, you may be charged with home invasion if you enter an occupied dwelling with the intention of committing a crime and the following applies:
- You commit or attempt to commit a felony against someone in the dwelling, OR
- You are armed with a deadly weapon, explosives, or anything that could cause physical harm.
State law defines a dwelling as any structure where a person usually sleeps at night, such as a house, apartment, or dorm room.
No matter what level of burglary crime you are charged with in Connecticut – including home invasion – you are facing incarceration, heavy fines, and other harsh penalties.
First degree burglary is a Class B felony punishable by a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000. Second degree burglary is a Class C felony punishable by a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum fine of up to $10,000. Third degree burglary is a Class D felony punishable by a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum fine of up to $5,000. Home invasion, the most serious type of burglary, is a Class A felony and is punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of up to $20,000.
If you are facing any of these charges in New Haven or anywhere within the state, it is vital to seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable Connecticut criminal lawyer. Only an experienced attorney will have the resources, knowledge of our state’s burglary and home invasion laws , and legal skills necessary to get your charges reduced – or even dropped entirely.
Contact the Law Office of Douglas D. Rudolph to Build a Powerful Defense against Home Invasion Charges
Being convicted on burglary or home invasion charges can alter the trajectory of your entire life. Even after you get out of prison and “pay your debt to society,” your criminal record will make it harder to do seemingly simple things like get a good job, find housing, and even secure a loan.
As a knowledgeable New Haven criminal defense lawyer, I have worked with many clients to get favorable results against burglary and home invasion charges, and I believe that everyone deserves to have the strongest defense possible.
Get in touch with my law office to start discussing your case. Your first consultation is free, and if you decide to work with me you can be assured I will do everything in my power to protect your rights and freedom.