Home invasion remains one of the scariest new crimes that seems to have
emerged in the twenty-first century. The lack of humanity displayed by
out-of-control gangsters who can enter someone else's domain, usually
the indefensible elderly, and brutally terrorize them in the process of
robbery is shocking. However, Pennsylvania criminal defense counsel's job
is to remain calm, investigate the facts, and fight to preserve the presumption
of innocence that is the crown jewel of our criminal justice system.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that defense counsel must always provide
extensive pre-trial counseling to the accused regarding the benefits that
might be obtained by pleading guilty. The anticipated range of sentence
if the accused goes to trial and loses must be explained to the client.
It's well-known that the sentence after a trial will be substantially
more severe than if an early plea agreement had been negotiated.
In a Pennsylvania home invasion case just recently, a 69-year-old senior
citizen answered his door to the sight of three men asking to use the
phone. They pushed their way in and one of them, who was wearing a mask,
began to brutally assault and beat the man. What he didn't know, however,
is that the man always answered his door with his 357 Smith and Wesson
revolver in hand.
The victim fired shots and hit the assaulter in the groin. The intruders
all left the scene. The woman is alleged to have picked up her wounded
boyfriend and fled with him in their car. Those two then allegedly tried
to fool police into thinking that the robber was injured in a shooting
by criminals on the highway.
The alleged ring leader, reportedly in critical condition, faces robbery,
conspiracy and related charges along with the other three suspects. Three
of them are now in custody in Pennsylvania and one 20-year-old man is
still at large. If the evidence supports a conviction beyond a reasonable
doubt, then criminal defense counsel should discuss plea bargaining details
with the suspect in great detail. In a case like this the first one to
cooperate usually gets the most concessions from the government, which
is no small benefit to consider.
Accused shot during home invasion, No author, Jan. 14, 2014