Why Fighting For Reduced Burglary Charges Matters
How authorities charge you can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. This is true with burglary in Maryland. Under the Maryland Code for Burglary and Related Crimes, charges vary widely and are subject to greater and lesser punishments. The possible charges for burglary include:
- Misdemeanor of breaking and entering a vehicle ― rogue and vagabond: Anyone who breaks into a vehicle with the intent to steal the vehicle or property inside the vehicle is considered a rogue and vagabond and conviction can result in up to three years in prison.
- Fourth-degree burglary: Breaking and entering a dwelling, storehouse or grounds (yard, garden, etc.) is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of three years in prison.
- Third-degree burglary: Breaking and entering into someone’s dwelling with the intent to commit a crime is a felony and punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.
- Second-degree burglary: Breaking and entering with the intent to commit theft, violence or arson is a felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison. When the breaking and entering involves the intent to steal a firearm, the crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000 or both.
- First-degree burglary: Breaking and entering another person’s dwelling with the intent to commit theft or a crime of violence is a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison.
- Burglary with a destructive device: Opening or attempting to open a vault, safe or other secure repository by using a destructive device while committing burglary in the first-, second- or third-degree is a felony subject to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
A plea bargain that reduces second-degree burglary into fourth-degree, or a case strategy that convinces a jury that you never intended to steal a firearm, can mean the difference between 15 or 20 years and three years in prison sentencing. Make sure you have a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for reduced charges.