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Maine Burglary Defense Attorneys

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Burglary Defense Lawyers in Maine

Burglary Defense Lawyers in Kennebunk & Portland, Maine

Facing burglary charges in Maine requires a skilled defense strategy. At The Maine Criminal Defense Group, our seasoned attorneys specialize in navigating the complexities of burglary cases, offering strategic and personalized defense to secure the best possible outcome. Whether you’re dealing with allegations of breaking and entering or facing the aftermath of a property-related incident, trust our experienced team to vigorously advocate for your rights.

We understand the nuances of Maine’s legal landscape and are committed to constructing a robust defense tailored to your specific situation. Your future and freedom matter – let us guide you through the intricacies of burglary charges with unwavering expertise and dedication.

What is Burglary in Maine?

In order for an offense to be charged as burglary, the offender must enter or surreptitiously remain in a building that they are not allowed to be in with the intent of committing a crime. A building can be anything from a business to a home to a school or even a public park after closing hours. The offender does not have to forcibly enter the structure either. For example, if you forget to lock your car and later find that someone entered it and took your stereo; that is a form of burglary. Unlike robbery, burglaries do not require anyone to be present. In fact, most burglaries occur when a building is unoccupied.

Another unique aspect of burglary is that nothing actually has to be taken. All that matters is the intent to commit any crime and the illegal entrance. So in a situation where a person enters a home but is then scared away by a dog or home alarm system, they could be found guilty of burglary because they broke into your house with the intent to steal. The one caveat to this rule is that some form of entry must have taken place. If the person only breaks a window to your house and then runs off, this will not be considered burglary. However, if the person breaks a window and then sticks their arm through to try and open the front door before running off, this could be considered burglary.

A person also has to enter a valid structure to be charged with burglary in Maine. A structure is generally anything that can house people or animals or that is capable of sheltering property. For example, a garage is considered a structure, but a fenced area is likely not. Also, the structure must be closed to the public at the time of entry. It is impossible for a burglary to occur in a store during business hours. The laws pertaining to burglaries assume that the building being entered is a business or public structure. For these crimes, you will face Class C charges. However, if it is a home that is being broken into, the crime becomes a Class B offense, the second most serious classification.

Learn MoreDifference Between Robbery, Theft, Burglary, and Larceny

Is Burglary a Felony in Maine?

In Maine, burglary is a serious offense, often classified as a felony with severe consequences. A burglary conviction can lead to imprisonment, hefty fines, probation, and more. Depending on the severity, burglary charges can range from Class A to Class C felonies, attracting sentences of 5 to 30 years in jail and fines ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. Previous felony convictions can escalate penalties. If facing burglary charges, it’s crucial to seek immediate assistance from a seasoned Maine criminal attorney to navigate the legal complexities and build a strong defense.

In the context of burglary charges in Maine, certain elements can enhance the severity of the offense, leading to an elevated maximum sentence. These statutory enhancements include:

  1. Use of a Firearm: Committing burglary with a firearm or having an accomplice with a firearm results in a Class A crime conviction.
  2. Inflicting Bodily Injury: If bodily injury is inflicted or attempted during burglary or while fleeing, the offense is elevated to a Class B crime.
  3. Dangerous Weapon Other Than a Firearm: Utilizing a dangerous weapon other than a firearm or having an accomplice do so raises burglary to a Class B crime.
  4. A Dwelling Place: If the burglary occurs in a dwelling place, the conviction will be classified as a Class B crime.
  5. Multiple Convictions: Having two or more prior burglary convictions or engaging in substantially similar conduct results in an elevated Class B crime conviction.

What is “Breaking and Entering” in Maine?

Burglary is the crime also known as ‘breaking and entering’. It involves the unlawful entry into a home or business. The important thing to remember about burglary charges is that you do not have to have taken anything in order to receive charges. As long as you were aware that you were not authorized to enter and occupy the structure, you can be charged with burglary for the simple act of being on the premises.

Penalties for Burglary Charges in Maine

There are several aspects that can make a burglary charge even more serious. For example, if the person entering the building is armed with a weapon, the charges will move from a Class C violation to a Class B. If that weapon is a firearm, the burglary charge will move all the way to a Class A offense. If the person entering the home inflicts injury or any type of violent act while they are inside the premise, the crime will be treated as a Class B offense. If the defendant has 2 or more Class A, B or C criminal convictions on their record, the offense will be charged as a Class B as well.

Maximum penalties for the classifications of burglary crimes are as follows:

  • Class C: Crimes punishable by up to 5 years incarceration and a $5,000 fine
  • Class B: Crimes punishable by up to ten years incarceration and a $20,000 fine
  • Class A: Crimes punishable by up to 30 years incarceration and a $50,000 fine

Burglary charges are particularly serious when a weapon is involved. If you are accused of breaking and entering while being armed, you will face Class A charges which are the most serious charges in the State of Maine. Even if you are an accomplice to another who is armed, you could still be charged with a Class B crime. In addition, if you break into a home or injured someone in the process, you will also face Class B charges. If you take items of value from the premises or commit some other crime, you will be charged with that crime and burglary charges.

Contact Our Burglary Defense Lawyers in Maine

If you have been accused of burglary or charged with the crime, you need an experienced defense attorney who can fight for your rights. Contact our office, conveniently located in both Kennebunk & Portland, or call us directly at (207) 571-8146 today to speak with our team. We at The Maine Criminal Defense Group can help you with a tenacious defense to help you avoid jail time.

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