Oklahoma categorizes the crime of burglary into first and second degrees depending on the circumstances involved. Both are felonies, and both are serious. Here is what you need to know about second degree burglary in Claremore.
How Is Burglary Defined in Claremore?
The crime differentiates first degree burglary and second degree burglary. And the difference can mean a substantial difference in punishment if convicted.
At its heart, burglary is a crime of stealth. And unlike our stereotypical ideas of the crime, while it can include theft, it doesn’t always include theft. The main difference between first and second degree burglary lies in the presence and amount of risk of injury or death to another person.
Second degree burglary can be defined as breaking and entering another’s home, building, or dwelling house, or any room, booth, tent, railroad car or other structure, including any coin-operated or vending machine or other device, in which there is no human being present at the time of the crime with the intent to steal any property therein or to commit any felony. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1435
In contrast, first degree burglary is defined as an illegal entry by breaking and entering or other means into a dwelling or other structure with the intent to commit a crime inside at a time when another person is in the dwelling. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1431
The degree of risk of bodily harm or death is higher in first degree burglary by virtue of the presence of a person within at the time the structure is being illegally broken into and entered.
Elements of the Crime
Here are all of the elements that a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a conviction:
- 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.
If the prosecution is unable to prove even one of these elements, then there can be no conviction. Thus, any fact or evidence that tends to disprove any element of the crime is important in building a strong defense.
There are plenty of issues that can be explored with your attorney to help build a defense.
The entry must be illegal. That means permission to enter is a defense. Likewise, if the property is yours and not another’s, the entry is legal.
Burglary is a crime of intent. The perpetrator must have either an intent to steal something inside or the intent to commit another felony inside. The felony could be of any kind: a home invasion, theft, manufacturing illegal drugs, and selling illegal drugs.
For example, if you are caught with a pound of marijuana in addition to burglary tools, the prosecution may use that fact to show that you had the intent to traffic or distribute illegal drugs.
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. If convicted, the penalty for second degree burglary is up to seven years in prison.
This is not a matter that you want to handle alone. If you are under investigation or are being charged with burglary, you need an attorney with knowledge and experience in criminal law to help you preserve your freedom.
Free Consultation with an Experienced Claremore Criminal Defense Attorney
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