Maryland Burglary Lawyer
Burglary is a crime taken very seriously in Maryland. A burglary charge or conviction can have a severe impact on a person’s life. It is essential that a person contacts an experienced attorney who can fight the evidence and charges on their behalf.
If you are facing charges of burglary, a Maryland theft lawyer can assist in efficiently building your defense and can provide help for a positive outcome in your case. It is critical that you consult an attorney before you give a statement to law enforcement. Anything that is said can be used against you in court. A skilled Maryland burglary lawyer can ensure that you understand your legal rights if you are facing burglary charges.
Classifying Burglary Offenses
In Maryland, there are multiple different ways to be charged with a burglary; including offenses from the misdemeanor classification of burglary (which is a Fourth Degree charge) all the way up to a felony (a First Degree charge). Burglary charges typically have in common the fact that the State has to prove that the defendant broke and entered the dwelling of another or, in some circumstances, the storage area a non-dwelling place of a person.
A Maryland burglary lawyer can challenge the State’s evidence and charges. The State has to show the elements of a breaking and an entering and, depending on the building that was broken in into, it could be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the defendant’s intent.
Prosecution of Burglary
Burglaries are harshly prosecuted. Judges obviously remain neutral and do not treat defendants or sentence them based on their own personal beliefs. But when speaking with prosecutors or judges about burglary cases, the consistent theme is the invasion into the one place that is supposed to be a person’s sanctuary. It is their home, where they keep their belongings, where they should feel safe. When someone violates that feeling of security by entering into their house, taking their things, rummaging through their things, it deprives the person of that feeling of safety and security. Judges and prosecutors are sensitive to that and understand what they are going through.
The prosecution has to prove each and every element of the offense and it depends on exactly what type of burglary the person is charged with. Under all scenarios, the prosecutor has to be able to prove a breaking and an entering. That is not as easy as it sounds, because there may be a breaking but not an entering. There are many different factual scenarios, such as if a person may have had permission to go into that home. Since there are various elements of the crime, it can be complicated to navigate and challenge the prosecutor’s evidence without a dedicated Maryland burglary lawyer.
The prosecution would have to prove that a breaking and entering occurred, and then depending on the degree of burglary, there are additional elements that the State has to prove. For example, in a First Degree Burglary, the State has to prove there was a breaking and entering, but that it was done specifically to that dwelling with the intent to either commit a theft or a crime of violence.
Burglary and Trespassing
Burglary typically deals with someone who has entered a building, whether it is a dwelling or a storage area. Under most circumstances, in order for somebody to be convicted or charged with a burglary, there would have to be the breaking and entering of a building.
A trespass can be accomplished simply by walking onto another person’s property. A person can commit a trespass without actually ever walking into someone’s home. There are two different ways that a trespass is charged. The landowner and homeowner have posted no trespassing signs in conspicuous locations and someone does enter onto their property, onto their land, then that is a trespass.
There does not have to be any specific intent, simply that the person did intend to walk onto their land; that is trespass. The other scenario that typically comes up in trespass cases is where the property owner has told a particular person to leave and not to come back. If they are advised of that and they return, that is also a trespass. In that scenario, the property does not need to be posted; it has to do with what has been communicated to the defendant and then the defendant returning anyway.
Working with a Maryland Burglary Attorney
A person charged with burglary definitely needs to have an attorney who understands the criminal law and has had experience with trials. It is essential to work with an attorney who has a strong familiarity with the laws of burglary. There are a lot of different case scenarios, and depending on what the State may be able to prove, there can be serious penalties.
An experienced Maryland burglary lawyer is going to work hard to understand the evidence in the case and try to provide proof that there was no burglary that took place. An experienced defense attorney is going to understand the different scenarios that change the burglary misdemeanor to a felony. It would be wise to retain an experienced defense attorney if you are facing burglary charges in Maryland.