Burglary penalties in the state of Maryland are severe. There is a good chance that you will be incarcerated if you are convicted. But, the good news is that a burglary charge is not the same as a conviction and you still have options available to you.
The exact charge you face and the subsequent sentence are dependent on the facts of your case. The prosecutor will charge you with the most serious charge that they believe they can prove. Sometimes, even if their resolve is shaky, they will seek a more serious charge in hopes that you will plead guilty to a lesser one.
It’s tactics like these that can make facing any criminal charge a scary matter.
Maryland Burglary Laws and Penalties
Under Maryland laws, burglary offenses are broken up into several different statutes. This is because there are several different considerations that go into determining a charge and a subsequent potential penalty.
Maryland burglary laws often refer to “breaking and entering.” It’s important to understand, as a defendant, that this doesn’t have to refer to a physical destructive entry—you don’t have to break the door in. But merely crossing a secure threshold, like a closed door, into an area that you have no lawful right to be in, can classify as breaking and entering.
Burglary in the 1st Degree
First degree burglary is the most serious burglary charge and refers to breaking and entering the dwelling of another person with the intent of committing a theft or violent crime. This charge is a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison.
Burglary in the 2nd Degree
You could face this charge if you are accused of breaking and entering the storehouse (shed, garage, etc.) of another person with intent to commit theft, violence, or arson, or to steal a firearm. In the most extreme cases, you could be sentenced to up to 20 years for this offense.
Burglary in the 3rd Degree
Third degree burglary is when you are accused of breaking and entering the dwelling of another person with the intent of committing any crime. It is also a felony charge and carries up to 10 years in prison.
Burglary in the 4th Degree
Fourth Degree Burglary is the applicable charge when you are believed to have broken and entered a dwelling, storehouse, yard, or garden of another person with the intent of committing a theft. This is a misdemeanor offense and carries up to 3 years in prison.
All burglary cases in Maryland are serious and assistance of a local defense lawyer is a logical next step. Let us put you in touch with one today.