Have you been charged with burglary in the surrounding Baltimore area? Burglary is a crime that is prosecuted very seriously. If you are found guilty, your punishment could include jail time and hefty fines. Depending on what degree of burglary you are charged with you could be facing misdemeanor or felony charges. With so many moving parts, it is important to consult with a Baltimore burglary lawyer before making any decisions.
Degrees of Burglary (§6-202-205)
Under Maryland Criminal Code, there are several degrees of burglary all ranging in punishments.
First Degree Burglary
- Burglary in the first degree forbids the breaking and entering of a dwelling with intent to commit theft. The penalty for violating this law is imprisonment not exceeding twenty years in prison. The law also forbids the breaking and entering of a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime of violence. The penalty for violating this section of the burglary code is imprisonment not to exceed twenty-five years in prison.
Second Degree Burglary
- Burglary in the second degree constitutes the crime of breaking and entering the storehouse of another with intent to commit theft, a crime of violence or arson in the second degree. The penalty for violating this section of the Maryland Code is imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years. Burglary in the second degree also constitutes breaking and entering the storehouse of another with the intent to steal, take, or carry away a firearm. If convicted, the punishment is imprisonment not to exceed twenty years and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000.
Third Degree Burglary in Baltimore, Md.
- Burglary in the third degree prohibits a person from breaking and entering the dwelling of another with the intent to commit a crime. The punishment if convicted is imprisonment not to exceed ten years.
Fourth Degree Burglary
- Burglary in the fourth degree prohibits the breaking and entering the dwelling or storehouse of another. A person may also not be found in possession of burglar’s tools with the intent to use or allow the use of the tools in commission of a violation of the Maryland Code. Unlike the rest of the burglar laws, if found guilty of burglary in the fourth degree you are only guilty of a misdemeanor. The penalty that accompanies is imprisonment not to exceed three years.
Whether you are found guilty of first or fourth degree burglary is a huge difference in punishment. Leave the negotiations to the professionals, call a Baltimore burglary lawyer today.
Related Crimes to Burglary in Baltimore, Maryland
Under the burglary code of Maryland, breaking and entering a motor vehicle, burglary with a destructive device and breaking and entering a research facility are also criminalized. Breaking and entering a motor vehicle – rogue and vagabond, prohibits possessing burglar’s tools with the intent to use them in the commission of a crime involving breaking and entering a car. Burglary with a destructive device prohibits a person from opening or attempting to open a vault, safe, or other secure repository by the use of a destructive device while committing burglary. Finally, breaking and entering into a research facility prohibits a person from breaking and entering a research a facility with the intent to obtain unauthorized control over research property, damaging research property or destroying or removing research property.
If you have been involved in one these crimes and are facing charges, you need to contact a Baltimore burglary lawyer today.
Defenses to Burglary in Baltimore
One of the most obvious defenses is simply that you are innocent and did not commit the crime. During trial, the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, in fact, committed the crime. So, as a defense, we can introduce possible doubt to what the prosecution is presenting.
Another defense to burglary is that the conduct that is accused does not amount to legal activity. This can involve proving one of the elements of burglary is not satisfied. Building a defense to burglary can be complicated. If you are charged with burglary, be sure to call a Baltimore burglary lawyer to talk today.
Our Baltimore Burglary Defense Attorneys Can Help
Whether you have been charged with burglary in any degree, or one of the related crimes, a Baltimore criminal lawyer can help you. With such a range in punishments, the degree you are charged with matters. Contact the Rice, Murtha & Psoras for the experience you need in order to successfully negotiate a burglary case.