Tahlequah Attorney BlogHow is Burglary Oklahoma Defined in Tahlequah?

burglary OklahomaBurglary Oklahoma is a crime of stealth. When we think about the term, we can imagine a masked person breaking and entering a Tahlequah home at night with the intent to steal something inside.

Our image of the crime usually is quite accurate. But like all crimes, it has certain elements that mark it as burglary Oklahoma rather than another crime.

Burglary in Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Oklahoma is a state that classifies its crimes by degrees, and burglary is one such crime. Burglary Oklahoma can be of the first (more serious), or second (less serious) degree. Although burglary in the second degree is the lesser crime, you should be aware that both are felonies in Oklahoma with serious consequences if convicted.

Burglary is a crime against property and it can be defined as an illegal breaking and entering into the property of another with the intent to take something not belonging to you, or to commit another felony inside the premises. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1431

First-Degree vs. Second-Degree Burglary Oklahoma

Both of these crimes are based on the definition above. What separates burglary in the second degree from burglary in the first degree is the presence or absence of people.

Burglary in the first degree is grounded in the presence of an innocent person in the building that is being burgled. This crime puts the person inside more at risk of injury or death as a result of the burglary and thus, the enhanced classification. It is the threat to the other person by the presence of the burglar that differentiates first from second-degree burglary.

Burglary in the second degree is a breaking and entering into any of the following: a building, room, booth, tent, railroad car, automobile, truck, trailer, vessel, or other structure, or the breaking into a coin-operated or vending machine with the intent to steal or commit a felony inside, but no other person is inside at the time of the crime. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1435

What Does Breaking and Entering Really Mean?

Breaking and entering into a premises can be achieved in a number of ways — some of them obvious, some more surprising. If you forcibly burst or break a wall, outer door, window, or lock, that is an obvious form of breaking and entering. However, if you use a false key or stolen key to enter, that is also considered breaking and entering.

Breaking and entering itself is a misdemeanor under Oklahoma law. But breaking and entering is a much less serious crime and is the lesser crime that burglary is often pled down to. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1438


Burglary Oklahoma is a felony.

In the first degree, burglary is punishable by a prison term of 7 to 20 years.

Burglary in the second degree is punishable by a prison term of two to seven years. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1436

Free Consultation: Tahlequah Criminal Defense Lawyer

Please contact a Tahlequah criminal defense lawyer to discuss your available legal options if you are facing a burglary Oklahoma charge.

For a free consultation, call Wirth Law Office – Tahlequah at 918-458-2677 or toll free at 1-888-447-7262.

Or, if you prefer e-mail, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page and we’ll contact you by e-mail as soon as possible.

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