Personal Attention.
Aggressive Defense.

Photo of Thomas C. Mooney

Understand charges for property crimes in Maryland

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | blog, Criminal Defense

Many people may use the terms theft, robbery and burglary interchangeably. However, Maryland’s legal system categorizes these offenses into multiple different charges.

Furthermore, the state addresses these property crimes with tailored penalties that vary widely depending on the specific offense’s nature and extent.

Theft charges

Theft involves unlawfully taking or possessing someone else’s property with the aim of permanently depriving the original owner. Maryland law classifies theft by the value of the stolen property. For items under $100, you are likely to face minor misdemeanor charges, resulting in fines of up to $500. In some cases, you could spend up to 90 days in jail for misdemeanor theft.

On the other hand, theft of property worth over $100,000 may be a felony. A conviction for felony theft can result in up to 20 years in prison and fines as high as $25,000. Additional penalties might apply if the stolen item was a motor vehicle.

Robbery offenses

Robbery combines theft with violence or the threat of violence. It is typically a felony offense in Maryland. The penalties for theft can be severe, including long-term imprisonment. Armed robbery, involving the use of a weapon, carries harsher consequences, potentially resulting in up to 20 years in prison.

Burglary crimes

Burglary refers to illegally entering a building, vehicle, or property intending to commit a crime. You do not need to steal something for law enforcement to charge you with burglary.

Maryland recognizes four degrees of burglary, with the severity of charges escalating based on the circumstances and the intended crime. First-degree burglary, the most serious, carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. It usually involves breaking into someone else’s dwelling with the intent to commit serious theft or a violent crime. Fourth-degree burglary is the least severe and can lead to imprisonment for up to 3 years.

Understanding the different property crime charges in Maryland and their potential punishments is important for those who seek to navigate the state’s legal landscape effectively.