A 24-year-old Dewitt man was arrested and charged in connection with multiple home invasions in the city of East Lansing. On January 17, the police were dispatched to a home where the man was allegedly in the process of committing a home invasion. After being chased for a short time by East Lansing police on foot, the man was subsequently arrested.
East Lansing police believe the man is linked to nine home invasions in the city that occurred over the course of a week, and leading up to his arrest. Most of the alleged crimes occurred in the Bailey neighborhood of East Lansing. The man was arraigned on three felony warrants, and has five more charges pending in East Lansing. In addition, the man has a pending charge in Eaton County for receiving and concealing stolen property.
An arraignment is the first stage in a criminal case where the defendant is brought before the court and informed of the charges against him, as well as the maximum penalties that can be imposed upon him. This is also the stage where the Court informs the defendant of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel, and the defendant is told that if he cannot afford to hire an attorney, one will be appointed for him by the Court at his request.
The Court also determines whether the defendant will be allowed to be released only upon payment of a bond or surety (and the amount), or if he can be released on his own recognizance. A personal recognizance bond does not require the defendant to pay any money to be released. The Court may also set certain conditions upon the defendant being released (for example, in a drunk driving case, the defendant may be ordered to test for alcohol daily or randomly).
In felony cases, the Court must schedule a preliminary examination within 14 days of the arraignment. The preliminary examination is a hearing in district court where the state must produce sufficient evidence to establish probable cause that a felony was committed and that the defendant committed it. If probable cause is shown, the defendant is bound over to circuit court for further proceedings.
There are three types of home invasion, depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the crime. First degree home invasion is a felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, second degree home invasion is a felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment, and third degree home invasion is a felony with a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
Home invasion is a serious charge, but being criminally charged is not the same thing as being convicted. If the defendant chooses to exercise his right to a trial, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty. For those charged with a crime, securing representation is essential. In order to secure just treatment in court, and to keep the best options available during a criminal defense case, those implicated or charged with a crime should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.