In the last 5 years, one crime that has become the center of controversy is that of Home Invasion. While the statute provides one aspect of the crime, the practicality of the statute has been up for debate in courtrooms across the state of Michigan. In reviewing the statute, we learn that Home Invasion in the First Degree states:
A person who breaks and enters a dwelling with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault in the dwelling, a person who enters a dwelling without permission with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault in the dwelling, or a person who breaks and enters a dwelling or enters a dwelling without permission and, at any time while he or she is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling, commits a felony, larceny, or assault is guilty of home invasion in the first degree if at any time while the person is entering, present in, or exiting the dwelling either of the following circumstances exists:
(a) The person is armed with a dangerous weapon.
(b) Another person is lawfully present in the dwelling.
Home invasion in the 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.
With the crime carrying a 20-year felony, the need for a strong criminal lawyer to defend the charge is essential. The leader is criminal law in the state of Michigan is Scott Grabel of Grabel and Associates. Grabel and others provided insight into the charge and how it has evolved. When asked about the specifics, Grabel stated, “We start with the premise that we have a 20-year felony and we move from there. The statutory interpretation is not pretty but if you study it from a global perspective we learn that there are ways to defend the charge. The statute cited is for Home Invasion in the First Degree and that rarely ends up being the charge if the case goes to trial. Far too often, these charges stem from other cases such as Child Protective Services matters that evolve into a Home Invasion charge. The study of discovery is crucial because one small factor can lower or dismiss the charge.”
Ravi Gurumurthy is the founder of Michigan Legal North and an Associate Attorney for Grabel and Associates. Gurumurthy stated, “When you hear the term invasion the average person automatically has a bad taste in their mouth. There are so many aspects to the charge that are often overlooked. The biggest issue that people do not realize is the importance of the Preliminary Examination (Prelim) on this charge. This is not a charge to waive to Circuit Court without a fight because the prelim could be used as an amazing discovery tool.”
Matthew McManus is the Managing Member of Ann Arbor Legal in Ann Arbor, Michigan. When asked about the charge, McManus added, “Geography plays a vital role. We have to ask ourselves, are we in Wayne County, Washtenaw County or somewhere in between? The Washtenaw County Prosecutors Office will take a much more aggressive view of the crime as opposed to Wayne County where capital offenses filter into the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice on a regular basis. Like real estate, this crime is all about location.”
Home Invasion has become a rising star in the criminal law sector within the state of Michigan. To learn more about this crime and the defense of such, the attorney should coach the client before retention because awareness is essential to a proper defense. With a defendant staring at 20 years as a resident of the Michigan Department of Corrections, preparation is not an option, it is a necessity.
William Amadeo is a partner at the law firm of Ann Arbor Legal PLLC in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates in Lansing, Michigan. In addition to his legal duties, Amadeo is a staff writer for “The Chronicle News” and the owner of BAT Tutoring.