Burglary First Degree
The legal definition of first degree burglary is the breaking and entering of the dwelling of another person with the intent to commit either a theft or a violent crime. A dwelling is simply another word for a person’s place of residence, and can include freestanding houses, apartments, trailer homes, and condos. Of all dwellings, freestanding houses are the most vulnerable to theft crimes. Most homeowners or renters of freestanding houses assume that their homes are secure as long as the door is locked or their alarm system is armed. In reality, if a burglar wants to gain access to a free standing home, he or she will have little difficulty. Most freestanding homes are not as secure as commercial places such as stores and offices, and especially older home have visible security weaknesses. Freestanding homes rarely have surveillance cameras as well, and this is one reason why home burglaries can produce wrongful arrests.
In every first degree case there is a victim that typically wants police to make an arrest sooner than later. Pressure from homeowners or renters who have been burglarized can often lead to the police making a hasty arrest, which can be extremely dangerous. Police want to solve crimes quickly and efficiently, but this can lead to a Maryland police officer thinking a burglary case is solved, when in reality the wrong person was arrested. Many first degree cases in Maryland are solved by police using either eyewitness lineup identification or latent evidence such as finger printing or DNA. The actual victims of first degree burglaries are rarely home because burglars typically stay away from occupied homes. Therefore, arrests based on eyewitness identification usually come from witnesses who were standing far away from the scene of the crime, and had a limited ability to accurately identify the correct suspect. An experienced criminal attorney understands that police frequently make mistakes in first degree burglary cases, and these mistakes can ruin a person’s life. The Herbst Firm will take on both police and prosecutors in your case, and are always available for a free consultation at 410-207-2598.