A home invasion can be one of the scariest things for a person to encounter. This is there home, a place that they live and a place that they feel safe. The problem is, these types of crimes are not always intentional, they can be accidental or a situation where someone is drunk or on drugs and they are not really sure what they are doing. At Ozols Law Firm, we have won very serious criminal defense cases specializing in home invasion defense. A lot of lawyers will just look at the first offer, listen to the prosecutor talking about how strong they believe their case is and then move tell their client that the best option is to plead guilty. We do not think that is the best way to defend our clients. We like to go deeper into the case. Research the location and look at all the witness statements to make sure there are no contradictions. After looking into all of the facts of the case, we then look to the law to see if there are any valid defenses. To prove a home invasion burglary case, the prosecution’s case must meet the following elements:
1) The defendant entered a home or dwelling that was residential and it was inhabited.
2) The defendant did so with the specific intent to take property of another and permanently deprive that person of that property.
The first element in this crime comes from Penal Code 459, which is considered first-degree burglary if the penal code 460 allegation is attached. This would be considered first-degree burglary. The term home or dwelling has been often litigated in the courts and the best definition would be somewhere where someone lives. It could be a trailer or a tiny house or in certain situations it could even be a hospital room at an old folks home where someone is permanently residing.
The second part of this is the intent to take goods with the intent to permanently deprive. Now this can be a little confusing for some. The person entering the home does not actually have to take anything and they do not have to actually be caught red handed leaving the house with goods. As long as their intent was there, then they could be found guilty. Often, someone will hear someone else entering their home, and call the police. Sometimes the person who entered the home will run without any goods. The prosecution will argue that obviously their intent was to take goods because there is no other rational intent why they would enter the home.
San Diego Trespassing Lawyer
Trespassing is a lesser included offense that could be charged in this situation if the conduct seemed accidental. Trespass is governed by Penal Code 602 and basically says that the defendant must have purposefully entered an area with the intent to trespass on that land or property. Some examples could be:
• Entering the property of another with intent to interfere with their business or their well-being.
• Refusing to leave someone’s property after being requested to do so
• Entering a property with intent to damage their property
• Not leaving a property after business hours end
Example #1 – A person who owns a furniture store has a competitor that works right across the street from them. They do not like each other and often times they have arguments outside their businesses. If one day, one of the business owners went to the other business and started telling patrons that it was the worst store and they should come across the street and shop at theirs, in this situation, they may be guilty of a trespass.
Example #2 – Just like in the example above, lets say that the owner of the second furniture store tells the owner of the first furniture store to leave before the owner of the first one can even talk to any patrons. The owner of the first store says no way and he sits down on a couch and says he will not leave until he is forced to leave. This situation would be considered a trespass and the police would likely come and forcefully make the first furniture owner leave the premises.
Example #3 – Lets say that a homeless person enters a government building during the day to conduct business. Without security knowing that person finds an room in the building and falls asleep in it. They wake up the next morning before the building opens and start roaming the hallways. At that point, the security sees them and they admit that they stayed there beyond business hours. Much like the situations above this would also be a trespass.
Can a Home Invasion Case be reduced to a Trespass?
Home invasion cases are sometimes hard to prove. There are common situations where people just did not have the intent. It is quite common to hear or a situation where someone who is drunk or on drugs went to go see their friend and they ended up entering the wrong home. Or in extreme situations, because of their mental state at the time, they may have thought that their key did not work and this was actually their own house that they needed to get into. People who are charged with home invasion are often lucky that they are still alive because it does happen where the owner is scared, they grab a gun and kill the person entering their house. That is why these cases are so serious because it can create such a fear in the home owner that they are actually willing to kill another person
Call for a Free Consultation
At Ozols Law Firm we offer free consultations with one of our criminal defense lawyers here in San Diego. We understand how scary a situation can be when this happens to you and we are considerate of what you are going through. It is a no obligation call where our goal is just to better explain the process and relieve some stress. After your free consolation if you want to move forward with representation then we can explain to you that process and see if we are the right fit. We look forward to hearing from you about your home invasion burglary case.