Being charged with burglary in the state of Maryland is very serious. Anyone facing these charges should know that state and local prosecutors will do their best to convict a burglary suspect of the most serious charges possible. However there are different degrees of burglary in Maryland that residents should recognize and understand. So here is a brief overview of the degrees of burglary charges in the state.
The most serious burglary charge in Maryland is first degree burglary. A person can be charged with first degree burglary if prosecutors believe that that individual purposely broke into another person's home in order to steal or to commit violence. This crime is a felony in the state and anyone convicted of this charge faces a prison term of up to 20 years.
Second degree burglary is also a felony and involves breaking and entering into a place of business with the intent to commit an act of violence, steal or even commit arson. A second degree burglary charge can also result if a person breaks into a building that was not attached to a home such as a garage or a shed. Punishment for this crime carries different prison terms.
A charge of third degree burglary can result from breaking in to a place to commit any kind of crime. Third degree burglary doesn't necessarily have to involve theft. It can also stem from break-ins involving domestic violence disputes. It is also a felony and can carry up to a 10 year prison term.
Fourth degree burglary is a misdemeanor in the state and usually involves breaking into a place to steal an item. However, any Maryland resident who is facing burglary charges may want to speak to a criminal defense attorney in order to understand the various penalties that these charges carry.
Source: patch.com, "Decoding the four degrees of burglary", Accessed Oct. 28, 2015