Although terms such as home invasion, burglary, and breaking and entering are sometimes used interchangeably, they are actually distinct crimes. Under Connecticut statute, each of these crimes has its own definition and its own penalties. On this page, I will discuss the crime of home invasion in greater detail. Understanding what home invasion is can help you determine how to proceed if you have been charged with this crime.
As mentioned above, home invasion is a distinct crime that is different from burglary or breaking and entering. A person commits home invasion when the following elements are true.
First, the person must enter a dwelling with a person actually in it. Remember, a “dwelling” is a building that is occupied by someone at night. In most cases, this means someone’s home. But, it can also mean a store that is occupied by the owner or an employee at night. For it to be considered home invasion, another person has to be there at the time of the invasion. For example, a sleeping couple who owns the home, a babysitter watching kids, etc.
In addition, the person who enters the home must have the intention to commit a crime within the dwelling. As with many crimes, intent is a large part of the prosecution or defense. If the prosecution can prove that the intent to commit a crime was present in the defendant’s mind, it will strengthen the prosecution’s case. However, if the defense can prove that the defendant was not trying to commit a crime, the charges could get reduced or dismissed.
Then, the prosecution has to prove that you committed or attempted to commit a felony against the person within the dwelling. Finally, they have to prove that you were armed with explosives, a deadly weapon, or some other dangerous instrument. If this is the case, it can be assumed that you (as the defendant) intended to harm another person or the establishment that they entered.