Michigan Criminal Law: Theft/Larceny Crimes; Home Invasion First Degree

Andrew Jameson, Photographer, Creative Commons License

Home Invasion charges combine elements of larceny/theft offenses with an alleged act of breaking and entering into a home or residence. Specifically, home invasion charges relate to alleged acts involving “dwellings,” or “a structure or shelter that is used permanently or temporarily as a place of abode”…i.e., residential buildings, as opposed to commercial or non-residential businesses. MCL 750.110a (1)(a).

Home Invasion charges are broken down by degree; ranging from Home Invasion 1st Degree, the most serious, to Home Invasion Third Degree, the least serious of these types of charges. MCL 750.110a. There are related but less severe charges (trespassing, entry without permission, etc.); however, this particular page focuses on specifically Home Invasion charges; to wit, Home Invasion First Degree.

Home Invasion First Degree is a felony “punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.” MCL 750.110a (5). This may be enhanced if a person is charged as a habitual offender.

As the Model Jury Instruction explains, in order to prove this charge beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor must show the following:

(1) The defendant is charged with home invasion in the first degree.1 To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

(2) First, that the defendant broke into a dwelling. It does not matter whether anything was actually broken; however, some force must have been used. Opening a door, raising a window, and taking off a screen are all examples of enough force to count as a breaking. Entering a dwelling through an already open door or window without using any force does not count as a breaking.

(3) Second, that the defendant entered the dwelling. It does not matter whether the defendant got [his / her] entire body inside. If the defendant put any part of [his / her] body into the dwelling after the breaking, that is enough to count as an entry.

[Choose (4)(a) or (4)(b) as appropriate.]

(4) Third,

(a) that when the defendant broke and entered the dwelling, [he / she] intended2 to commit [state offense] .3

(b) that when the defendant entered, was present in, or was leaving the dwelling, [he / she] committed the offense of [state offense] .3

(5) Fourth, that when the defendant entered, was present in, or was leaving the dwelling, either of the following circumstances existed:

(a) [he / she] was armed with a dangerous weapon, and/or

(b) another person was lawfully present in the dwelling.

Crim. JI. 25.2a. There is a variation of these instructions if the defendant allegedly “entered without permission” to commit the alleged Home Invasion, First Degree. Crim. JI. 25.2c

Home Invasion First Degree, for the purposes of sentencing scoring, is considered to be a very serious offense; scored on a B “grid,” (Solicitation of Murder, for example, is scored on an A grid, while more minor felony charges are scored on G or F grids). Because of the alleged assault element, it is classified as a “Crime Against A Person.”
Unless there are some very usual circumstances which would result in a very low score, people are usually looking at substantial prison terms for their minimum possible sentence, i.e., their earliest possible parole date, if convicted of Home Invasion First Degree. Their maximum sentence starts at twenty years and goes up if they were convicted as a habitual offender. Ultimately, a person’s possible sentence depends on their scoring and the alleged facts of the case.
Our experienced trial attorneys fight hard for our Michigan clients. We represent clients statewide. For a free initial consultation, feel free to contact us at (517) 507-5077.
For information on the Michigan charge, “Uttering & Publishing,” click here.
For information Michigan’s Armed Robbery Charge, click here.
For information on Michigan’s Unarmed Robbery charge, click here.
For information on Michigan’s Breaking & Entering charge, click here.
For information on Michigan’s embezzlement charge, click here.
For information on Michigan’s charge, Home Invasion, Third Degree, click here.
For information on Michigan’s charge, Home Invasion, Second Degree, click here.
For information on Michigan’s charge, Larceny from a Building, click here. Anyone charged, of course, is presumed innocent. The prosecutor would need to prove the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt if the matter proceeded to trial. Simply because a person is charged does not mean that ultimately, they will be convicted.
If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. Circumstances may vary significantly. If you need specific legal advice, please privately consult with a lawyer.
If you are charged with an offense and cannot afford to pay for your own defense, the court may appoint you an attorney payable at the public’s expense. You have a right to counsel.