Burglary Lawyers Serving Maryland, Virginia & Washington, D.C.
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Burglary offenses are broken up into four statutes: first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, and fourth-degree burglary. Maryland’s burglary laws often refer to "breaking and entering." The burglary statutes do not require that the defendant physically enter the home or building, just that the defendant crossed into a secure threshold into any area that you have no lawful right to be in.
Arrested for burglary? Contact the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. burglary defense attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. for a free consultation: (855) 954-4141.
Differences between Various Degrees of Burglary
- First-degree burglary is breaking and entering another’s dwelling with the intent to steal or commit a crime of violence. Actual breaking is making or enlarging a hole in a dwelling, such as breaking a window or pushing a door open further. Constructive breaking is when force, threat of force, fraud, or trickery is used. Entering means any part of the body or any instrument crossing the secure boundary of a home or building, as long as it is used to commit a felony (e.g. a coat hanger used to retrieve goods but not merely to gain entry). “Dwelling” refers to realty where people regularly sleep. For example, an unoccupied summer home or an unoccupied apartment between rentals is still a dwelling. First-degree burglary is a felony that carries up to 20 years in prison.
- Second-degree burglary is breaking and entering another’s building or storehouse with the intent to steal or commit a crime of violence or arson. Building includes watercraft, barn, stable, pier, wharf, storeroom, warehouse, public building, trailer, aircraft, vessel, schoolhouse, supermarket, or church but not a vehicle or tent. Second-degree burglary is a felony with a 20 year prison sentence maximum.
- Third-degree burglary is breaking and entering the dwelling of another with the intent of committing any crime. This is also a felony charge with a 10-year prison sentence maximum.
- Fourth-degree burglary is breaking and entering a dwelling, storehouse, or yard of another with the intent to steal. This statute includes if you are caught in possession of burglar tools and intend to commit burglary. Fourth-degree burglary is a misdemeanor and carries up to three years in prison.
Schedule a consultation with the experienced Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. burglary lawyers at Portner & Shure, P.A. by completing our online contact form or by calling us at our office.
We can be reached at (855) 954-4141.