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Once lawfully inside a dwelling a person cannot be prosecuted for home invasion for subsequently entering an interior room of the dwelling without permission…

People v. Bush,

Bush was invited into the victim’s home by the victim’s adult son, who also resided in the home. While Bush was in the home, the victim barricaded herself in an upstairs bedroom because Bush had sent her threatening text messages. Bush then kicked the bedroom door open, forced a dresser out of the way, entered the room and assaulted the victim. Bush was arrested and charged with first-degree home invasion pursuant to MCL 750.110a

Before trial, the prosecution filed a motion for a special jury instruction to “cover a fact pattern where a person lawfully enters the home, but then breaks into a room within the home to which he had no permission [to enter].” Bush objected, reasoning that the term “dwelling,” as defined by MCL 750.110a(1)(a), did not encompass a room within the dwelling and, therefore, a person could not be convicted of home invasion for breaking into an inner room of a dwelling if that person was already lawfully present in the dwelling. The trial court granted the prosecution’s motion and the defendant appealed.

The Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order and held that once a defendant enters a dwelling with permission, he cannot unlawfully enter the same dwelling where he is already lawfully present.

The Court noted that MCL 750.110a(1)(a) defines the word “dwelling” to mean “a structure or shelter that is used permanently or temporarily as a place of abode, including an appurtenant structure attached to that structure or shelter,” but the statute does not further define the terms “structure,” “shelter,” or “abode.” The Court reviewed the dictionary definitions of the undefined terms and found that it was evident that the term “dwelling” as defined by MCL 750.110a(1)(a) refers to the whole of a structure or shelter used as a place of residence.

Accordingly, officers should not arrest a person for home invasion who lawfully enters a home, but then breaks and enters or enters without permission an interior room within the home because such conduct is not prohibited by MCL 750.110a.

Source:  MSP_Legal_Update_No_122_523195_7

The post Definition Win appeared first on Komorn Law.

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