A Hardened Maryland Defense Attorney Can Confidently Oppose the State's Burglary Case
The stereotypical burglar slinks along rooftops, quietly enters a home, empties it of valuable possessions, and then disappears into the night. Virtually no burglary charge filed in Maryland fits that pattern. You require an attorney that understand the nuances of various degrees of the charge, the defenses, and the holes in the State's case.
What is First-Degree Burglary
The old, common law meaning of burglary still constitutes first-degree burglary in Maryland. The breaking and entering of another's dwelling with the intent to commit a theft or a crime of violence therein. Now, at common law, the intent was to commit a felony therein, but that has evolved. Under current law, the intent is to commit theft or a crime of violence, including rape, murder, murder, arson, kidnapping, or assault.
What is Second-Degree Burglary
Second-degree burglary differs in two important respects from first-degree. Once inside, the intent of the accused must be to steal, take a gun, commit a crime of violence, or second-degree arson. That is broader than activities that suffice for a first-degree burglary conviction. Secondly, the structure broken into concerns a storehouse, rather than dwelling, as with first degree.
What is Third-Degree Burglary
Third-degree burglary requires the entering of a dwelling with the intent to commit any crime. This is different from first and second-degree burglary in that no specific crimes are listed. Nonetheless, third-degree burglary is a felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
What is Fourth-Degree Burglary
Fourth-degree burglary is a misdemeanor that requires only the act of breaking into a dwelling or storehouse regardless of intent. The state can additionally prove their case by showing the possession of a burglar's tool in the circumstances evincing an intent to commit burglary. Even though it is a misdemeanor, fourth-degree burglary is punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
Any burglary charge is a serious offense. If you have been charged, you must act immediately by securing the help of a qualified defense attorney. I've handled hundreds of criminal cases over the years. I will put my experience to use in your defense. Contact me today to schedule your free case evaluation.