In its most simplistic terms, burglary requires a “breaking and entering” of a property. Maryland has four degrees of burglary, ranging from 3 to 25 years in jail. For the breaking element, the State does not prove you physically forced your way into a dwelling or storehouse. Walking through an open door or window could be considered a breaking under Maryland law, even though other legal challenges could be present in this scenario.
In addition, it could be difficult for the State to prove someone’s intent once they enter a storehouse a dwelling. Proving someone’s intent after the breaking and entering is necessary for certain degrees of burglary to be charged. The State will often look to see if any items were taken from the crime scene or if anyone sustained physical injuries as a result of the burglary. A theft attorney could help you understand the laws surrounding your case. Protect your rights by retaining an Upper Marlboro burglary lawyer.
Types of Burglary
This degree of burglary requires a breaking and entering into the dwelling of another with the intent to commit a theft or crime of violence. The maximum penalty is 20 years if you were intending to commit a theft and 25 years if there was intent to commit a crime of violence.
The substantial difference between first and second-degree burglary is breaking and entering into a storehouse/business. A storehouse is an establishment used to conduct regular activity. An example of a storehouse would be Best Buy or Walmart.
The elements of third-degree burglary are the breaking and entering into the property of another with the intent to commit a crime. Third degree burglary in Upper Marlboro is broader than first degree because it only requires the State to prove you intended to commit any crime. For first-degree, the State must prove you intended to commit a theft or a crime of violence. The maximum penalty for this offense is 10 years in jail.
This degree of burglary is the only burglary charge that is considered a misdemeanor. The elements are the breaking and entering into a storehouse or dwelling. There is no intent requirement after the breaking and entering is committed. For example, if you break and enter into a home and immediately leave, you can still be charged under this offense.
Call an Upper Marlboro Burglary Lawyer to Fight Your Case
We can assist with your legal defense against any burglary charge. With some burglary charges, identification of the burglar is a challenge for the State. If the State cannot prove the identification of the burglar, they cannot secure a conviction. This is challenging for a few reasons. First, burglaries can happen when nobody is present in the dwelling or storehouse. Second, even if someone is present, an experienced Upper Marlboro burglary lawyer can challenge the witness’ reliability of any identification. For example, the reliability of the witness could be challenged if the witness did not have ample opportunity to view the alleged burglar. Reach out to our office to talk about your case.