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What constitutes burglary under Maryland law?

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2022 | Theft & Property Crimes

Burglary is a form of theft that also involves trespassing. Compared with shoplifting, burglary is a somewhat less common form of theft and also one subject to more serious penalties.

People get arrested and charged with burglary offenses for several different kinds of behavior in Maryland. Many times, these offenses involve people’s private residences, but they can also involve businesses. What technically constitutes burglary in Maryland?

Numerous actions are burglary offenses in Maryland

To many people, burglary conjures the image of a cat burglar. The media loves to depict a burglar as someone who stealthily breaks into an upscale home or an executive office at a business to target high-price assets. These kinds of burglaries do occur, but they are rare.

A more common form of burglary involves smash-and-grab operations. Someone breaks a window, opens a door and runs off with the first valuable thing they see, like a television or a lockbox that may contain cash. Some burglars target specific houses or just try places at random that look easy to access and well-stocked.

However, theft does not have to occur for Maryland to bring burglary charges. Illegally entering a property with the intent to commit a crime can also lead to burglary charges. Even just the possession of burglary tools can lead to misdemeanor charges that can lead to imprisonment of up to three years.

Sometimes, a mistake about a destination or a business’s hours could be to blame for what seems like burglary. Other times, there may be a medical issue that leads someone to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Understanding the theft charges against you and having legal guidance will help you will help you determine the best way to deal with them.