Title 6 of the Maryland Criminal Code covers crimes committed against property, and Title 7 deals with theft offenses. These crimes are often less harmful than violent crimes committed against people, resulting in lower penalties. However, those arrested for high-dollar theft crimes, arson, burglary, and other property crimes could face long-term jail sentences and expensive fines.
If you or a loved one is facing charges for property crimes in Baltimore, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today. Our Baltimore, MD crimes against property charges lawyer represents those accused of crimes like theft, shoplifting, burglary, trespass, and other offenses under Title 6 or 7. Our attorney can set up a free legal consultation with you so you can learn more about the charges you face and what our attorney can do to help. For your free legal consultation, call us today at (410) 694-7291.
Examples of Crimes Against Property in Baltimore, MD
The Baltimore Criminal Code is organized into various categories of crime based on what the crime is committed against. This leaves us with different groups of offenses for crimes against the person, against property, against public administration, and more. Crimes against property under Title 6 are further organized into 5 subtitles:
Arson and Burning
The crime of burning a building or setting a dangerous fire is considered a property crime, but it can often put peoples’ lives at risk as well. Because of this, it is often a more serious offense to burn an occupied building or a home (even if it was not currently occupied). Burning someone else’s property is also a crime, as is threatening to commit arson. Even burning the contents of a dumpster can be illegal.
Burglary and Related Crimes
Burglary is a property crime, but it isn’t a theft crime like people often assume. Burglary is actually a much broader crime that covers acts like breaking and entering, usually with the intent to commit a crime inside the building. If the crime you are accused of intending to commit inside the building is a violent crime such as rape or murder, then the offense is more serious. The offense is also more serious if the building you broke into was a home as opposed to a closed store or warehouse where there were less likely to be people present.
Malicious Destruction and Related Crimes
This category of crime covers things like destruction of private and public property. Other states call this crime destruction of property or criminal mischief, but Maryland uses the term “malicious destruction.” This crime can be charged for destroying or defacing property, whether that be real property (like a building or a fence) or personal property (such as a cell phone or TV screen). There are charges for crimes like graffiti and vandalism as well as more serious crimes like throwing rocks at cars. There are also crimes for destroying public property, such as destroying gas, electric, or water utility equipment. Lastly, it is illegal to destroy or deface product serial numbers, as this is often done to fence stolen goods or resell products.
While burglary is the crime of breaking and entering, trespass is the crime of simply being in a place where you are not permitted to be. Entering property where there are posted signs, trespassing into a house or store you were told not to return to, or walking into private or “employees only” zones in a store could all be considered trespassing. There are additional crimes specifically for driving or riding off-road vehicles on someone else’s property without permission, trespassing on racetracks, trespassing for invasion of privacy, and more. Even on public grounds or government buildings, you can be considered trespassing if you refuse to leave after closing time or when asked.
Crimes Involving Railroads
These crimes are rarely charged, but it is illegal to interfere with railroad property, damage railroad equipment, give false signals, or buy/sell unauthorized tickets.
Theft Crimes in Baltimore, MD
Title 6 does not contain Maryland’s theft offenses. They are instead listed under Title 7, which includes theft and other related offenses.
Theft can involve the illegal taking of someone else’s property through deception, by carrying the property away, or by other means. In cases where the property is taken by force or by threats, the crime is usually charged as robbery, which is actually a violent crime. There are also charges for embezzlement, auto theft, and other specific crimes, including issuing a bad check.
There are other crimes related to theft that might not involve the taking of someone else’s property or something of value but are still nonetheless grouped with theft. This includes crimes like stealing a grocery cart, keeping property that was kept in your care instead of returning it, making an illegal copy of a key to government property, failing to return a rental car, and more.
Maryland law also has specific crimes for stealing cable service, illegally obtaining phone records, bootlegging video, or pirating entertainment.
What are the Penalties for Property Crimes in Baltimore?
Any property crimes can result in fines and jail time. The specific fines you can face will often range from a few hundred dollars for low-level crimes to multi-thousand-dollar penalties for serious offenses. Jail time for misdemeanor offenses is often under a year, while felony theft and property crimes can include years in prison.
Talk to a lawyer about what potential penalties you could face and whether there are alternatives, like community service, probation, and other penalties short of incarceration.
Call Our Baltimore Property Crime Defense Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you were accused of or arrested for theft or other crimes against property, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today. Our Baltimore, MD crimes against property charges lawyer represents the accused and works to get charges dropped, reduced, and dismissed. For help with your charges for theft, burglary, trespassing, or other property crimes, call our Maryland criminal defense attorney today to set up a free, confidential case consultation at (410) 694-7291.