As many of you might have seen in the media lately, there has been an upswing in the number of home invasions across the county. To prove a home invasion under Massachusetts law, the Commonwealth must show: entry upon the dwelling house of another; at a time that the defendant knew or had reason to know that someone was present in the dwelling; while armed with a dangerous weapon upon entry; and finally that force was used upon any person within the dwelling, or any person within was threatened with the use of force, or injury was caused to any person within the dwelling.
To qualify as a dwelling, the Commonwealth must show that the premises were presently a place for the living and habitation of persons other than the defendant. Similarly, to qualify as a dangerous weapon under the home invasion statute, the Commonwealth must show that the item is an instrument that by its nature of construction or the manner of its use is capable of causing grievous bodily injury or death, or would be perceived by a reasonable person as capable of such injury. The definition of dangerous weapon also includes any instrument which, because of its manner of use, endangers the life or inflicts great bodily injury. This could include a pencil if intended as a weapon.
The home invasion statute also carries with it a sentence of not less than 20 years in state prison and up to life. As a result, home invasion is a very serious allegation, and you should choose among the criminal law attorneys who will fight for you and your rights.