Legal Question in Criminal Law in Maryland

I am going through a divorce and I am legally separated. I have been away from the house my ex and two children live in which I also am co-owner. My ex was away from the house and I went to the house for a few odds and ends to pick up. The locks on the front door had been changed so I entered through a window that is always open. I simplify exited through the window because I could not lock the door. This morning my ex returned home and called the police for a breaking and entering. Had the place finger printed. I told my ex I had been there and what I had taken. She now wants to press charges on breaking and entering. How will the courts view this?

Asked on 5/14/11, 8:27 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

William Welch William L. Welch, III Attorney

How the court or a jury would view this is the $64,000 question. Whether you have a possessory interest in the home or whether you have surrendered that in a separation agreement would be factors.

Regardless of whether you have broken the law, you may be accused. You should be prepared to possibly deal with arrest, bail, and defending the charge in the event that your wife files charges. An attorney can inform you of the law, advise you, and represent your interest. I offer a free initial consultation.

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Answered on 5/14/11, 9:24 am
joseph owens OwensLaw

You cannot break into property that is yours. As such, there is nothing illegal about breaking into your house. It is no different then climbing into a window when you leave the keys inside! Second, citizens do not press charges (although they think they do); a criminal case is the Government against an individual; you can typically trust State and US Attorneys to understand the law. There are times that a commissioneror will not understand the law; and others where the police do not; and in those case you may require an attorney to get the charges dismissed.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I can be reached at 410-246-2152 or vistit me on the web at

Joseph Owens, MS, JD, LLM

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Answered on 5/14/11, 10:49 am
Jason Cleckner Law Office of Jason Cleckner, LLC

This is ridiculous, I don't think the State would prosecute this stupid case. And I'd think the police will be pissed off once they find out what really happened, and that she lied to them knowing it was you who wen inside.

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Answered on 5/16/11, 4:05 am
Kathryn McDonough Kathryn McDonough

Did you and your wife have a Separation Agreement or any other written agreement resolving use and possession of the home?

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Answered on 5/16/11, 9:45 am

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