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Wayne County Burglary Lawyer

As with all theft and property crimes, burglary is a serious offense in Michigan. There are actually several burglary-related offenses defined under state law, including home invasion and breaking and entering. Burglary charges depend on the unique facts of the case because these crimes are defined by very specific actions. Prosecutors must show the defendant committed each element of the crime; if they cannot prove this, they cannot convict.

If you are facing burglary charges in Wayne County, contact a dedicated criminal defense attorney today for help. Your burglary lawyer will defend you in court, and will fight to help you avoid conviction. Call a Wayne County burglary attorney now to learn how they can help you.

Breaking and Entering

One of the most common burglary offenses charged in Wayne County is breaking and entering. What does breaking and entering actually mean, though? Breaking and entering occurs when someone unlawfully gains entry into a dwelling, vehicle, or other structure using force, threat, or coercion.

For example, if someone kicks open a door into another person’s home, and then enters, they have committed this crime. However, someone does not have to physically break down a door to commit breaking and entering. In fact, someone who merely opens an unlocked door, or lies to gain entry, and enters a building where they do not have permission to be, has also committed this crime.

Breaking and entering by itself is a misdemeanor crime. However, the offense could be elevated to a more serious home invasion charge depending on the accused intent at the time of the crime.

Home Invasion Charges

Home invasion is a felony in Michigan, meaning that anyone convicted of this offense could face a prison sentence. Wayne County burglary lawyers can help build defenses to these serious penalties.

Michigan Penal Code Section 750.110a defines home invasion as “breaking and entering into a dwelling with intent to commit a felony, larceny, or assault.” The accused’s intent when they break and enter into a home is what differentiates home invasion from a misdemeanor breaking and entering crime.

In the above example, someone committed breaking and entering by kicking down a door. If that person did so with the intent of committing a crime inside the home, they have actually committed the crime of home invasion.

Penalties for a Home Invasion Conviction

In Michigan, there are three degrees of a home invasion charge, and each has related penalties as listed below.

  • 3rd degree home invasion: maximum prison sentence of 5 years; maximum fine of $2,000
  • 2nd degree home invasion: maximum prison sentence of 15 years; maximum fine of $3,000
  • 1st degree home invasion: maximum prison sentence of 20 years; maximum fine of $5,000

The degree of the criminal charge will depend on factors such as whether the defendant was allegedly armed, whether someone else was in the dwelling at the time, and whether the defendant intended to commit a misdemeanor versus a felony while inside.

Speak with a Wayne County Burglary Attorney Today

An experienced Wayne County burglary lawyer can defend those accused of home invasion, and investigate the facts of what really happened. Your attorney can use that information to show the actions did not meet the definition of a home invasion.

If you are facing home invasion, breaking and entering, or any other burglary-related charge, contact a burglary defense attorney today.