In the State of Maryland, burglary is a criminal offense that contains various levels of severity depending on the allegations. All of the Maryland burglary laws require the breaking and entering of a property. The intent of the individual charged with burglary, at the time of the breaking and entering, dictates degree of burglary charged (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree burglary). As the degrees of burglary decrease from 1st to 4th, the penalties decrease, however, each crime is serious and has long lasting personal consequences on anyone charged.
First Degree Burglary: CR 6-202
First degree burglary in Maryland is the act of breaking and entering someone else’s dwelling with the intent to commit a theft or a crime of violence as defined in Maryland Criminal Law 14-101.
If charged with burglary first degree in Maryland, the State must prove to a Judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant 1) broke into the dwelling, 2) entered the dwelling, 3) that the breaking and entering was into someone else’s home or dwelling, 4) at the time of the breaking and entering the defendant intended to commit a theft or crime of violence, and 5) that the person that broke into the dwelling is the defendant charged with first degree burglary.
Penalty for First Degree Burglary in Maryland
Under Maryland Criminal Law 6-202, an individual charged with first degree burglary is facing a felony conviction and up to 25 years in jail.
Second Degree Burglary: CR 6-203
Second degree burglary differs from first degree burglary in location that was burglarized. For an individual to be charged with second degree burglary, there must be a breaking and entering of a building with the intent to commit a theft, crime of violence or arson in the second degree.
Second degree assault is charged when an individual allegedly breaks into a business or a building other than a dwelling. If second degree burglary charges go to trial, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant 1) broke into the building, 2) that the defendant entered the building, 3) the building broken into was owned by someone else, 4) the defendant intended to commit a theft, crime of violence or second degree arson, and 5) the person charged was the one that broke into the building.
Penalty for Second Degree Burglary in Maryland
Second degree burglary is classified as a felony in Maryland. If a conviction occurs, according to Maryland Criminal Law 6-203, an individual is facing up to 15 years in jail. If the individual charged with burglary in the second degree was attempting to steal a firearm, then the maximum penalty is 20 year incarceration. Section 6-203(b).
Third Degree Burglary: CR 6-204
Third degree is similar to first and second degree burglary in that the there must be a breaking and entering, however, 3rd degree burglary is charged when an individual breaks and enters a dwelling with intent to commit any crime. Any crime can be any one of the hundreds of crimes in the Maryland Criminal Law Articles. Third degree burglary is often charged in Maryland when the accused breaks and enters to commit an assault or similar misdemeanor. To be charged with 3rd degree burglary, one must break and enter someone else’s dwelling with the intent to commit any crime.
Being charged with 3rd degree burglary is just as serious as first and second degree burglary. The Maryland burglary laws for 3rd degree burglary state that to be convicted, it must be shown that the defendant: 1) broke, 2) entered, 3) into someone else’s dwelling, 4) with the intent to commit any crime and 4) the person charged was the one that committed the third degree burglary.
Penalty for Third Degree Burglary in Maryland
Third degree burglary is similar to first and second in that it is classified as a felony. If a person is convicted of third degree burglary, Criminal Law Article 6-204, they could face up to 10 years in jail with the Maryland Department of Correction.
Fourth Degree Burglary: CR 6-205
The Maryland burglary laws for fourth degree burglary contain four separate sections:
- Breaking and entering a dwelling in the fourth degree
- Breaking and entering of a storehouse in the fourth degree
- Being in a dwelling or storehouse in the fourth degree
- Possession of burglar’s tools in the fourth degree
Fourth degree burglary is simply the breaking and entering of someone else’s dwelling or storehouse. This crime in Maryland is charged when a person is inside the dwelling or store of another person without permission. 4th degree burglary is similar to trespassing in Maryland.
For a person to be convicted of fourth degree burglary, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person 1) broke, 2) entered, 3) broke and entered into someone else’s dwelling or storehouse, 4) the person charged is the one who broke and entered and 5) it was not an innocent mistake by the individual who broke and entered.
Fourth Degree Burglary Penalty in Maryland
Fourth degree burglary is the only burglary law in Maryland that is classified as a misdemeanor. If convicted of fourth degree burglary, the maximum penalty is 3 years in jail.
Rogue and Vagabond: CR 6-206
Rogue and vagabond is defined in the Maryland burglary laws a possessing burglar’s tools with the intent to commit a breaking and entering of a dwelling or storeshoue.
The penalty for rogue and vagabond in Maryland under Criminal Law 6-206 is 3 years in jail and a misdemeanor convictions.
Defined Terms under the Maryland Burglary Laws
- Burglar’s Tools – a tool, instrument, or device adapted, designed, or used to commit or facilitate the commission of a burglary crime
- Storehouse – a building or other construction, or a watercraft, a barn, stable, pier, wharf, and any facility attached to a pier or wharf, a storeroom or public building; and a trailer, aircraft, vessel, or railroad car.
How a Maryland Burglary Lawyer Can Help
Burglary offenses in Maryland are treated seriously and can end with substantial jail time (up to 25 years for 1st degree burglary) if convicted. If you have been charged with burglary in any degree or you think you may be charged, it is in your best interest that you speak with a skilled Maryland burglary lawyer. The burglary defense lawyers with the Law Offices of Randolph Rice will explain the process and prepare the best defense for your case. They will challenge the State’s evidence and take the case to trial if necessary. Learn how their burglary defense lawyers can help today.