Los Angeles Home Invasion Defense Lawyer
Home invasion sounds like a serious crime, and it is. It is an offense that carries a potential sentence of years in prison. The stiff sentencing in a home invasion case reflects the fact that it usually involves strangers breaking into someone’s home for the purpose of committing theft. While that sounds like burglary, there are significant differences between the two. The distinction can sometimes be unclear, and in order to ensure that your rights are protected, you need an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer on your side. If you are facing a home invasion charge, contact CBS Law for a free consultation.
What is a Home Invasion?
Home invasion, although the phrase is not used in the Penal Code, is defined as the commission of a robbery, with two or more additional accomplices, of an inhabited home. Home invasion is classified as first degree robbery, carrying a sentence of three, six or nine years in prison. PC 213(a)(1)(A).
While many people think of robbery as a property crime, it is considered by law enforcement and by the legislature to be a violent crime. This is the result, at least in part, of the fact that the offense involves two or more people entering your home and committing a robbery. Hence the classification of home invasion as a serious felony.
In that regard, California is one of the states that has adopted the “castle doctrine.” What that means is that if an intruder enters your home, you may “stand your ground,” and you have no duty to retreat. Under PC 198.5, if a non-household member enters your home forcibly and unlawfully, you may use deadly force to protect yourself and members of your household. This is known as the “castle doctrine.”
Finally, we should add that some states are known as “stand your ground” states, some have adopted the “castle doctrine,” and some, known as “duty to retreat” states, require that you attempt to retreat before using force. Finally, be aware that these terms – castle doctrine and duty to retreat – have different meanings in different states.
Defenses to Home Invasion Charge
There are a number of possible defenses to a home invasion charge. They include the following:
- Misidentification. With all the stress and confusion involved, and with a number of people entering a home, it is difficult to state with certainty that a particular person – generally a stranger to the homeowner and household members – was one of the alleged robbers.
- Lawful Entry. While the people entering – allegedly “invading” – the home may not be known to those present, they entry may have been authorized by one of the homeowners or other persons known to them. In short, the people “invading” the home may have been invited to enter by one of the people with the authority to grant access. In that case, all that happened was that one or more people entered the home with permission to do so.
- Less than 3 People. PC 213(a)(1)(A) provides enhanced penalties for home invasion if there are at least three or more people involved in the robbery. If there are less than three, it is still a crime, but it becomes second degree robbery, with slightly lower sentences.
Depending upon the facts of your case, additional defenses may apply. We should also note that if you are the victim of a home invasion, and you “stand your ground” and injure or even cause the death of one or more of the people who unlawfully entered the home, you will have a strong self-defense argument, since under the law, you, as a victim of a home invasion, are presumed to hold a reasonable fear of serious injury or death based upon the forcible entry into the home.
Home Invasions Defense Attorney in Los Angeles
Whether you are looking at home invasion, robbery, or burglary, these are offenses that carry with them the potential for lengthy sentences if you are convicted. At CBS Law, we are experienced at defending clients charged with serious crimes. We know how prosecutors put together their cases, and we can spot weaknesses that are helpful to our defense. Finally, we will work hard to provide you with every advantage possible in your case.
If you are charged with home invasion or any serious crime, contact Chris Bou Saeed for a free consultation and find out how CBS Law can help in your case. Call CBS Law at (213) 800-8005
“When you’re accused of something you didn’t do, the thought of losing everything can be overwhelming. My job isn’t to walk you through the process, my job is to get your life back.”
Christopher J. Bou Saeed Founding Attorney of CBS Law