Bethesda Burglary Lawyer
In Maryland, burglary is treated as a distinct criminal offense from theft, both in the specific actions involved and how state law differentiates between degrees of severity. Make no mistake, though: burglary is a serious offense that prosecutors often classify as a felony punishable by multiple years in prison. Any accusation of this crime warrants proactive action toward building a strong defense.
Regardless of whether you have a prior criminal record, you should make contacting and retaining a seasoned theft defense attorney your top priority if you are facing allegations of this kind. A qualified Bethesda burglary lawyer could provide crucial assistance throughout every stage of the legal process, from the initial investigation to the final verdict. Call our firm today to begin reviewing your case information.
What Counts as Misdemeanor Burglary?
There are four different degrees of burglary defined in the Maryland Code, with fourth-degree burglary being the least serious offense by comparison and first-degree burglary being the most severe. As a qualified attorney could further explain, fourth-degree burglary in Bethesda is unique in that it is the only burglary offense categorized as a misdemeanor. Additionally, Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 6-205 groups four acts under the definition of “fourth-degree burglary.” These include:
- Breaking and entering into another person’s dwelling
- Breaking into another person’s storehouse
- Being inside someone else’s dwelling or storehouse—or in a yard, garden, or similar area attached to a dwelling or storehouse—with the intent to commit burglary
- Possessing a burglar’s tool, such as a lockpick, with intent to use it to commit any degree of burglary
Since fourth-degree burglary is a misdemeanor, the maximum term of imprisonment a court could impose upon someone convicted of this offense would be three years.
Degrees of Felony Burglary
As per MD Code, Crim. Law § 6-204, any person who breaks into another person’s dwelling with intent to commit any crime inside has committed third-degree burglary. This is a felony for which a convicted person could face a maximum 10-year term in prison.
Second-degree burglary is likewise a felony that entails someone either breaking into someone else’s storehouse with intent to steal, commit second-degree arson, or take part in any violent crime. This also includes breaking into someone else’s storehouse with intent to unlawfully take possession of a firearm. Under MD Code, Crim. Law § 6-203, a conviction could carry a maximum prison term of 15 to 20 years.
Finally, MD Code, Crim. Law § 6-202 makes it a felony to break into someone else’s dwelling either with intent to commit theft or with intent to commit any violent crime, punishable upon conviction by up to 20 to 25 years of imprisonment. An adept attorney in Bethesda could go into further detail about the implications of a particular burglary charge during a private consultation.
Seek Help from a Bethesda Burglary Attorney
Dealing with allegations of burglary in an effective way is far from simple under any circumstances. However, you will likely have an even smaller chance of securing a favorable case outcome if you try to build your defense without a capable attorney’s guidance and support.
A conversation with a Bethesda burglary lawyer could give you vital information about your rights and what next steps would be appropriate for your situation. Call today to set up a meeting.