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Home invasion is regarded as a heinous offense in Los Angeles. People have the right to feel safe in their homes. When that safety is compromised it can have devastating effects. Just as devastating are the consequences that a person accused of committing a home invasion in California may be facing. If you have been accused of this crime, then you need a capable Los Angeles home invasion defense attorney working for you.
The California criminal defense lawyers working at this firm understand how confusing it is to be accused of home invasion. Depending upon the circumstances of the crime, you may be looking at sizable fines and significant jail time. Home invasions are nearly always charged as felony offenses in California. Accordingly, it makes sense to hire the best criminal defense attorney you can find.
The Los Angeles home invasion defense attorneys at this firm have helped numerous clients defend their good name when charged with this crime. You can only benefit by hiring a defense attorney quickly, so give us a call to set up a consultation. We’re always ready to hear your side of the story and see that you get fair treatment from police and prosecutors.
The Offense of Home Invasion in California
When an individual or group of individuals unlawfully enters a home that is occupied with the intent to commit a crime, they may be charged with home invasion. Most home invasions happen on evenings and weekends. Prosecutors believe that most of these crimes are premeditated based upon the involvement of more than one person and apparent knowledge of the home’s occupants and schedule.
Police and prosecutors usually see home invasions in California that are largely based on the identity of the victim. For instance, senior citizens and females living alone are frequently the alleged victims of these crimes. Other targets may include wealthy families and drug dealers who are known to have both product and cash in their residences. Of course, a home invasion could theoretically be committed against anyone. The only elements that are required are the unlawful entrance into a structure, the knowledge that the structure is occupied and the intention to commit a crime.
If a suspect had a length of rope, handcuffs, duct tape or other items that might be used to restrain a victim, this suggests that the crime was a home invasion. Sometimes the defendant is also armed with a gun, knife or other weapon that may be used or the use of which may be threatened in order to gain compliance from the home’s occupants.
Degrees of California Home Invasion
The consequences for being convicted of a home invasion in California depend upon the specific circumstances of the crime. For instance, a third degree home invasion charge may result when a defendant breaks into an occupied residence with the intent to commit a misdemeanor. Because of the home invasion aspect that misdemeanor automatically becomes a felony with a possible punishment of five years of imprisonment and as much as $2,000 in fines.
The penalties increase for second degree home invasion in Los Angeles. This time, the defendant must be shown to have unlawfully entered an occupied dwelling with the intent to commit a felony. Maximum punishments for this offense include as much as 15 years in prison and a fine of $3,000.
The harshest punishments are reserved for first degree home invasion. These charges involve the unlawful entering of a home while armed with a dangerous weapon. As much as 20 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000 are among the potential consequences.
How Do California Courts Decide Penalties for Home Invasion Offenses?
Court officials look at a number of factors when it comes to deciding precisely which consequences they are seeking for a defendant in a Los Angeles home invasion case. The defendant’s criminal history may play a significant role. Someone with no criminal record may receive a lighter sentence than someone with an extensive criminal background. The prosecutors may also weigh the physical injuries that the victims may have suffered. More severe injuries typically signal a tougher sentence. The same is true for property damage. The more extensive the destruction of property is, the longer the prison term and the higher the fines. Whether or not a weapon was used and if the suspect was on parole or probation at the time may also help the District Attorney decide which punishment to pursue.
What To Do If You Are Charged with Home Invasion in Los Angeles
Exercising your right to remain silent may be among the most important things you can do to defend yourself. Do not speak with police. In fact, you should immediately demand to speak with your attorney. Then, it’s time to enlist the services of a qualified Los Angeles home invasion defense lawyer.
The practitioners at our firm have significant experience in dealing with home invasion charges in Los Angeles. We do everything within our power to get the charges against our clients reduced or dropped. Being convicted of home invasion on top of another crime like robbery, rape, assault or murder only makes the consequences more severe. With our help, you may be able to maintain your freedom and clear your good name.
Act quickly if you are being investigated for this crime. Our Los Angeles home invasion attorneys are waiting to help you.