Oklahoma categorizes the crime of burglary into first and second degrees depending on the circumstances involved. Both are felonies, and both are considered serious crimes in Oklahoma City. However, there are real differences between the two crimes and understanding the elements of the crime will help you understand what defenses may be open to you if you are being charged with second-degree burglary in Oklahoma City.
What is Second-Degree Burglary in Oklahoma City?
Second-degree burglary is legally defined as breaking and entering another’s home, building, or dwelling at a time when no one is present inside, or any room, booth, tent, railroad car, or other structure, including any coin operated or vending machine or other device, with the intent to steal any property therein or to commit any felony. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1435
In contrast, first-degree burglary is essentially the same crime committed when a person is inside the building or structure. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1431
Elements of Second-Degree Burglary
The elements of a crime are all the separate prongs that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a conviction. If any one element remains unproven, then there can be no conviction of that crime. Here are the elements that must be proven for second-degree burglary in Oklahoma City:
- breaking and
- a building, room, tent, railroad car, automobile, truck, trailer, vessel, structure, etc.
- of another
- in which property is kept
- with the intent to steal or commit any felony inside.
Any fact or evidence that tends to disprove any element of the crime is important in building a strong defense. Therefore, it is important that you and your attorney discuss all the facts of your case. Even small facts can be important.
Defenses to Explore
Burglary is a crime of stealth. It is grounded in a stealthy breaking and entering into another person’s property with the intent to commit a felony inside. That felony could be based in theft, but any felony will suffice to meet the element.
That means that a breaking and entering to commit a rape inside could be charged as second-degree burglary as long as the other elements are met.
The elements of breaking and entering must also be met. The entry must be illegal in order for a burglary conviction to occur. Permission mitigates against illegality and is therefore a defense.
Breaking and entering could mean breaking a window and entering, but it can also mean entering using a key that doesn’t belong to you. Breaking and entering is grounded in the lack of permission to be inside.
Likewise, if the property is yours and not another’s, the entry is legal and there is no crime.
Finally, the building or structure must be used to keep property inside. If the property is empty, this may lead to a defense.
Penalties for Second-Degree Burglary
Burglary is a felony in Oklahoma. A conviction could mean up to seven years in prison.
If you are under investigation or are being charged for burglary, you will need an Oklahoma City attorney knowledgeable and experienced in criminal law to help you preserve your freedom.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney
Our lawyer is well positioned to advise you accordingly, as he has the necessary training and experience. He has the wit and tenacity to match the skill of the Oklahoma City prosecutors.
For a free consultation with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City at 405-888-5400.
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