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What is the Burden of Proof in a Burglary Case?

Proving That You Are Guilty

In Maryland, prosecutors have the burden of proof in criminal cases. They must prove certain elements of a crime and if they fail to do so well, the case could end with a dismissal or a reduced charge. In burglary cases, three elements must be proven by prosecutors and an experienced defense attorney will work to dismantle the prosecution’s argument on each of these elements. Here’s what you need to know.

Unlawful Entry

First, prosecutors must prove that your entry into the structure in question was unlawful or unauthorized. If you can prove that you had permission to enter the structure, or reasonably assumed that you did, you may be able to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed.

Into a Vehicle, Home, or Commercial Building

The prosecution must also prove that the structure in question was a commercial building, a home, or a vehicle. For example, if the structure was an abandoned shed on non-residential property, this may not qualify as the type of structure a burglary can be committed inside. In cases where the structure was not a vehicle, home, or commercial building, it may be possible to have the charges reduced to simple theft.

With Intent

It must be proven that you knew what you were doing and had the intent to commit a crime after unlawfully entering one of the above structures. If you did not know that your entry was unauthorized or that the structure was a vehicle, home, or commercial building, the prosecution may have a difficult time proving this element.

You do not need to have actually stolen anything or committed any crime while inside the building. If the prosecution can prove that you had the intent to do so, you can still be charged and convicted of burglary in Maryland.

Contact Britt Criminal Defense Today

If you’ve been charged with burglary, it’s critical that you work with an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights. Your attorney will identify the holes in prosecution’s case against you and bring evidence in your favor to light. Evidence in a burglary case is often open to interpretation, so it’s critical that you have a criminal defense lawyer advocating for you.

Contact Britt Criminal Defense today to learn more about how to fight serious burglary charges or to schedule a consultation to discuss your case in more detail. Call now at (443) 614-6881.