When most individuals think of the crime of burglary, they envision an individual entering into someone else’s home without their consent and stealing something. Maryland’s laws don’t require an individual to take something to be charged with this crime though. There are four different degrees of offenses that a defendant can be charged with depending on whether they steal something, what that item is worth and whether the offense is committed in conjunction with another crime.
A fourth-degree burglary charge is the most minor of all related offenses in Maryland. It’s a misdemeanor. It’s generally what individuals are charged with if they commit a single burglary-related offense such as committing theft while in someone else’s property or breaking and entering. Anyone convicted of such a crime may be sentenced to as long as three years in state prison.
Someone who breaks into someone’s dwelling with the intention of committing another crime may be charged with third-degree burglary. Anyone convicted of such an offense may be sentenced to as long as 10 years in state prison and have to live with a felony on their record for life.
Defendants in Prince George’s County may be charged with a second-degree burglary if they break into a store with the intent of stealing something, setting fire to it or committing violence. Such an offense is punishable by up to a 15-year prison sentence. A defendant may be sentenced to 20 years if convicted of breaking into a storefront to steal a firearm. A $10,000 fine may be assessed as well.
An individual who breaks into a home to commit a theft may be sentenced to 20 years in prison if convicted of such a crime. That same person may be given a 25-year sentence if they enter the dwelling intending to commit a violent act.
Burglary is a serious crime in Maryland. It’s an offense that carries with it some harsh penalties, especially if you commit it in conjunction with some other crime. Theft or burglary charges necessitate you having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Let your Prince George’s County lawyer aggressively defend you against your felony or misdemeanor charges.