Robbery & Burglary Defense Attorneys in Wheaton
Working to Protect Your Rights & Your Future
In the state of Maryland, burglary is treated as a very serious offense and carries heavy penalties. This is because, historically, burglary involved breaking and entering into another person’s dwelling. The “dwelling” aspect increases the penalties associated with burglary, due to the fact that burglary involves invading a person’s home. In addition to the criminal penalties, the consequences of a burglary conviction can be severe and may result in the convicted individual losing their job, suffering embarrassment in the community, having a lifelong criminal record, and losing their freedom.
While the crime of robbery is similar to that of burglary, robbery does not necessarily involve breaking and entering a dwelling. Instead, robbery involves intentionally taking something, whether property or services, from another person through force or the threat of force and with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the property/services in question. Like burglary, robbery is a serious crime in Maryland and carries steep penalties.
If you have been arrested for or charged with robbery or burglary in Montgomery County, it’s important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Portner & Shure, P.A. our Wheaton robbery and burglary attorneys have been defending the accused for over 25 years. We are ready to put our extensive experience and aggressive advocacy on your side.
Contact us online or call (855) 954-4141 today for a free and confidential consultation.
Maryland Burglary Law
In Maryland, Burglary was historically a common law crime. It has since been codified into four separate offenses.
These offenses include:
- First-Degree Burglary: The elements of first-degree burglary include the illegal breaking and entering into another person’s dwelling with the intention of committing a crime of violence or theft. The maximum penalty for first-degree burglary is 20 years. If a person is convicted of illegally and entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime of violence, the maximum penalty is 25 years.
- Second-Degree Burglary: The elements of second-degree burglary are the illegal breaking and entering into another person’s storehouse with the intention of committing arson, a violent crime, or theft. The maximum penalty for second-degree burglary is 15 years. However, the penalty increases to 20 years if the accused intended to steal a firearm.
- Third-Degree Burglary: The elements of third-degree burglary are the illegal breaking and entering into individual’s dwelling with the intention of committing any crime. The maximum penalty for third-degree burglary is 10 years.
- Fourth-Degree Burglary: The elements of fourth-degree burglary include the illegal breaking and entering into an individual’s dwelling or storehouse with the intention of committing theft. Additionally, under this statute, it is also illegal to be on someone’s property with the intention to commit theft. Finally, under this statute, it is illegal to have burglary tools with the intention of committing a burglary. The maximum penalty for fourth-degree burglary is 3 years.
Robbery Law in Maryland
In Maryland, the crime of robbery and the crime of armed robbery are two distinct offenses:
- Robbery: Robbery is defined in Maryland as the intentional taking of someone else’s property, goods, or services by force or threat of force with the intent of depriving the owner of the property, goods, or services permanently.
- Armed Robbery: Armed robbery involves all of the same elements as robbery, as well as the use of a dangerous/deadly weapon in the commission of the crime. A “dangerous or deadly weapon” can include a firearm, knife, or any other object that can cause serious bodily injury, harm, or death. Additionally, one can be charged with armed robbery even when they do not actually use a dangerous or deadly weapon but merely possess one or claims to possess one.
Trespassing Laws in Maryland
Trespassing is similar to burglary. The primary difference, however, is that under the trespassing statute it is illegal to be on the property of another regardless of the intention to commit a crime. The penalties for trespassing in Maryland range from 90 days to 2 years.
Defenses to Burglary & Robbery Charges
The Montgomery County Police and the States’ Attorney treat the crime of burglary very seriously due to the potential for violence. Nonetheless, the burden of proving an accused individual’s guilt is entirely on the State of Maryland. The state of Maryland must prove all elements of a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
The possible defenses to a burglary charge depend on the facts surrounding the case and the evidence that the State intends to use a trial. Accordingly, a careful review and analysis of the evidence is needed in order to identify possible defense. Such a review may reveal that the state has insufficient evidence for one of the elements involved. For example, if the state is unable to produce sufficient evidence showing that a “breaking” occurred, they will likely be unable to secure a conviction for burglary.
Why Hire Portner & Shure, P.A.?
The experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure have been zealously representing clients for burglary charges in Montgomery County, Maryland for over 25 years. Our attorneys make weekly appearances in Montgomery County Courthouses. In addition to excellent reviews from prior clients, Portner & Shure’s reputation in the legal community can be seen with the numerous awards the attorneys have earned over 25 years of practice. The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys of 2020 recently recognized Portner & Shure as one of Maryland’s “10 Best Law Firms”.
Schedule a complimentary case evaluation today; call our office at (855) 954-4141 or submit an online contact form.