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Building a defense against burglary charges

Sometimes Maryland readers will come across a crime news story that sounds like an open and shut case. One may read the description of an incident and an arrest and come away with the idea that there is no way the accused will escape being found guilty. What these readers are forgetting is that these media stories tend to take the word of police officers as the definitive account of what happened. They tend to forget that there is usually at least one other side to the story, and the incident will look very different when told from the defendant's point of view.

Recently, three Baltimore men were arrested and face charges related to the attempted burglary of a shopping mall. According to news reports, a mall security officer saw a car approach an employee entrance at the mall at about 4:30 in the morning. Police said the security officer called the police after observing two men getting out of the car and trying to open the doors of a business that was closed. Police said that when they arrived, they stopped the car and found crowbars and rubber gloves in the car. The men were arrested and charged with criminal attempt to commit burglary, along with other crimes.

Burglary is the unauthorized breaking and entry into a building with the intent to commit a crime. One way to defend against an attempted burglary charge is to argue that the behavior did not amount to a crime. For instance, defendants might argue that the entry was not unauthorized because they actually had the consent of the owner. In other cases, the defendants may argue that they did not intend to commit a crime inside the building.

The penalties that go with conviction can be very serious for burglary or even attempted burglary charges. It's important for those accused to work with experienced defense attorneys so that they may understand how to mount an effective defense strategy.

Source: Fox43.com, "Maryland men jailed for attempted burglary at Park City Center," Howard Sheppard,

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