If you or a loved one are facing charges for second-degree burglary in Tahlequah, you are going to want to know about how the crime is handled. Here is what you want to know about all types of burglary in Oklahoma.
Burglary In General
Burglary is a crime of stealth. It involves breaking and entering the property of another.
In Oklahoma, burglary is categorized by degree. A crime in the first degree is always more serious than a crime of the second degree. Nonetheless, burglary in the second degree is a felony in Tahlequah and considered a serious crime.
Second-Degree Burglary Defined
Second-degree burglary in Oklahoma is legally defined as:
- breaking and entering
- the home, building, or dwelling house of another
- at a time when no other person is present; 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 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 main difference between first and second degree burglary is the presence or absence of another person in the property at the time of the breaking and entering. The presence of another person at the time increases the possibility of harm or death to that person. Thus, this crime is treated more seriously under the law.
Penalties For Second-Degree Burglary
The penalty for second-degree burglary in Oklahoma is harsh. The crime is a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Because the penalty is harsh, this is not a matter that you want to handle alone. If you are under investigation or are being charged for burglary, you will need an attorney knowledgeable and experienced in criminal law to help you build a strong defense and preserve your freedom.
Defenses to Explore With Your Attorney
There are plenty of issues that can be explored with your Tahlequah attorney to help build a defense. Even small facts can be important.
The entry must be illegal — that is, done without permission. If you have permission to enter or reasonably think you have permission to enter, you may have a defense.
Breaking and entering can include a smashing of a window or door, but it can also mean entry by use of a false key.
We think of burglary as a crime of theft, but the intent can be to commit any type of felony inside. This could be anything from manufacturing drugs to sexual assault. Thus, if the intent is something other than to commit a felony inside, you may have a defense.
Let’s say you are entering the building to leave something inside. In all likelihood, that intent doesn’t involve committing a felony.
There are other defenses that you will want to explore with your attorney. Get the help you need today.
Free Consultation: Tahlequah Criminal Defense Lawyer
Please contact a Tahlequah criminal defense lawyer to discuss your available legal options if you’ve been charged with burglary in Oklahoma.
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.