Burglary is primarily a felony offense that can result in up to 20 years of imprisonment and thousands of dollars in fines for a conviction. Having a permanent felony record in your background can put you at a huge disadvantage as you seek jobs, educational opportunities, new careers, housing, and credit. A Culpeper burglary lawyer may be able to represent your interests if you are facing burglary charges.
You may improve the outcome in your case if you consult with legal counsel right away. A criminal defense lawyer might be able to investigate the circumstances of your case, assess your options, and determine the strongest defense strategy applicable to your situation. Having a strong advocate at your side could tip the balance in your favor when you are facing criminal charges.
All burglary, or breaking and entering, crimes have potentially severe consequences. There is a range of charges from first-degree burglary to fourth-degree burglary. As a burglary attorney in Culpeper may explain, first, second, and third-degree burglary offenses are felonies, and fourth-degree burglary is a misdemeanor under Maryland law.
Under Md. Crim. Code § 6-202, first-degree burglary occurs when individuals break and enter the home of others with the intent to commit theft or a violent crime. Committing first-degree burglary, or breaking and entering the home of others, can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years. If individuals break and enter with the intent to commit a crime of violence, such as carrying out a home invasion, there is the potential for up to 25 years of incarceration.
According to § 6-203, individuals commit second-degree burglary when they break and enter a storehouse with the intent to commit:
This second further defines a storehouse as any building, construction, watercraft, barn, stable, and aircraft, as well as various other structures. This offense can result in up to 15 years of imprisonment, but it also can result in up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both, if the target of the theft is a firearm. As the consequences for a second-degree burglary conviction can be exceedingly harsh, consulting a burglary lawyer in Culpeper may be advisable.
Under § 6-204, third-degree burglary occurs when persons break and enter the home of others with the intent to commit a crime. A conviction for third-degree burglary, which is a felony offense, can result in a prison sentence of as much as ten years.
Finally, fourth-degree burglary occurs when individuals possess any tool commonly used in burglaries with the plan to use it or allow another person to use it to carry out a burglary.
Burglary tools, according to § 6-201, include any tools used to facilitate or commit a burglary, but specifically include picklocks, keys, crowbars, jacks, bits, explosive materials, and devices that can burn through metal, concrete, or another solid substance. Fourth-degree burglary is the sole misdemeanor burglary offense under Maryland law. A conviction may cause a maximum sentence of imprisonment of three years.
Aside from these general burglary offenses, Maryland law also provides for some more specific burglary offenses, including motor vehicle burglary, burglary with a destructive device, and research facility burglary. A Culpeper burglary lawyer may be able to mount a vigorous defense on your behalf to any burglary charge and possibly avoid some of the unwanted repercussions of a burglary conviction.
Conviction on burglary charges can result in years in prison, high fines, and a permanent felony record that can inhibit your employment, educational, and professional opportunities. A felony conviction also makes you ineligible to carry a firearm; you may lose other civil rights, as well. Getting legal representation can mean the difference between remaining at home with your family and losing your freedom for a significant period.