Maryland Burglary Penalties

A person who is accused of forcing their way into someone else’s home may find that authorities are ready to throw the book at them. A conviction may go on a person’s criminal record, which could have consequences even after the accused serves time in prison or pays the required fines. If you are facing burglary charges, a criminal defense attorney could fight against the most severe Maryland burglary penalties on your behalf.

Degrees of Burglary in Maryland

There are four degrees of burglary in Maryland: first, second, third, and fourth degree. First degree is the most serious, fourth degree is the least serious, and each successive degree includes the lesser degree. A fourth-degree burglary consists of breaking and entering a property, dwelling, or storehouse of another person without permission.

Burglary in the third degree consists of the same conduct, but with the intent to commit theft. There must be some evidence that the person had the intent to commit a crime and was not simply trying to get into the property. Any crime could constitute a third-degree burglary.

A second-degree burglary is breaking and entering into the dwelling of another with the intent to commit theft, violence, or arson.

First-degree burglary is breaking and entering the dwelling of another with the intent to commit a more serious crime.


The penalties for burglary in Maryland depend on which degree of burglary is charged. Fourth-degree burglary is a misdemeanor, but the potential maximum penalty is three years. Third-degree burglary is considered a felony and contains a potential maximum penalty of ten years. Second-degree burglary is also considered a felony with a potential maximum penalty is 15 years. Breaking and entering with the specific intent to steal a firearm is a sub-category of second-degree burglary which carries a potential 20-year penalty. Burglary in the first degree is also considered a felony, and the maximum penalty is 20 years.

Aggravating Factors

Some aggravating factors in Maryland burglary cases, which are built into the statute, include the intent. If there is intent to commit a crime, the breaking and entering charge could escalate from a fourth-degree burglary to a third, second, or first-degree, depending on the seriousness of the alleged offense.

Other aggravating factors may include the damage or destruction of property. While those could be a separate charge, it could also be considered as an aggravating factor. If there is intent to commit a crime and the person commits a crime of violence against the inhabitant, the court could consider it to be a separate offense, if the person is convicted and imposed a sentence. Factors typically depend on both the intent and what, if any, actions were taken by the person subsequent to the breaking and entering.

Reach Out to a Maryland Burglary Attorney

Maryland burglary penalties can be harsh, and a conviction may lead to jail time and heavy fines. If you face burglary charges, contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney could be your advocate at every step of the case and fight to protect your interests.