In Michigan, there are several degrees of the crime of home invasion, and the punishments vary accordingly. A person commits first degree home invasion, when they enter a dwelling without the owner's permission and with the intent to commit a felony, either while the defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon or someone was lawfully present in the dwelling. A person convicted of first degree home invasion can face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Compare that offense with third degree home invasion, which occurs when an individual enters a dwelling with the intent to commit a misdemeanor, or enters a dwelling and violates probation, parole, a protective order, or a bond or bail condition. For a conviction of this offense, an individual may be sentenced to up to five years in prison and a $2,000 fine. Thus, the maximum prison sentence for this offense is 15 years shorter than the maximum for a first degree offense conviction.
What does this mean for a Michigan resident who is facing allegations related to home invasion? It means that they may have criminal defense options available to them. In addition to challenging the prosecution's evidence and arguing the state has not met its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, they can also challenge the severity of the offense charged. Doing so could lead to a favorable plea bargain, a lesser charge, and less severe penalties. To develop a sound legal strategy based on the unique facts of their case, accused individuals may want to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney.
Source: Michigan Legislature, "Section 750.110a," accessed on Feb. 24, 2017