Tahlequah Attorney BlogLarceny From A House In Oklahoma Is A Serious Crime

larceny from a house in OklahomaLarceny from a house in Oklahoma is like theft from a house. It is a particular kind of larceny. Therefore, it is helpful to understand larceny in general before trying to understand the crime of larceny from a house and how the crime is treated in Tahlequah.

Understanding The Crime Of Larceny In Tahlequah

In Oklahoma, larceny is defined as the taking of another’s personal property through fraud or stealth with the intent to deprive. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1701

This is a taking that always involves either fraud or stealth, and is done with the intent of depriving the owner of their property. Usually, the crime is either grand larceny or petit larceny in Oklahoma.

Larceny From A House Defined

Larceny from a house is defined as the entering and stealing of money or other property from a house, a railroad car, a tent, booth, or other temporary building. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1723

The theft can occur from a house, another person’s tent, or even a vendor’s booth.

The crime is a felony in Oklahoma and is punishable by up to five years in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1724

Elements And Defenses

Defenses often arise from the statutory elements of a crime. That is because the prosecution has the burden of proving each and every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If even one element is unproven, there can be no conviction for that crime.

Here are the elements of larceny from a house:

  • unlawful
  • entry and
  • the taking and
  • carrying away of the
  • personal property
  • of another
  • from a house, railroad car, tent, booth, or temporary building
  • by fraud or stealth
  • with the intent to deprive permanently.

OUJI-CR 5-97

These cases tend to be very fact-bound. That means that facts that may seem insignificant to you may actually be important in preparing a strong defense. Here are some typical defenses that you might want to explore with your attorney.

How Elements And Defenses Work Together

Unlawful Entry: The entry must be unlawful, that is, made without permission and against the rights of the property holder or owner. Having permission to enter makes the entry lawful.

Making a mistake and entering the wrong building is also a defense. Mistake is not related to permission, but it does mean that the entry was not made purposefully against the rights of the property owner.

No Intent to Permanently Deprive: If you are borrowing a piece of property or taking it with the intent to use it and return it, or examining it, there is no intent to permanently deprive. This can be a tricky thing to prove, but a pattern of borrowing and returning property can be used to prove a lack of intent to permanently deprive.

No Fraud or Stealth: Larceny requires either fraud or stealth. If you wait until everyone leaves the room to slip a piece of jewelry into your pocket, you are acting stealthily.

However, if you take a pile of cash and put it in your pocket in full view of the property owner, there is no stealth involved. This may still be a crime, but probably not the crime of larceny from a house.

No Carrying Away: The property must be carried away, but cases have shown that even the slightest amount of transportation may be sufficient to meet this requirement. However, picking an item up and then putting it back down would not be sufficient.

All possible defenses should be explored with your Tahlequah attorney. If you are facing charges, call today to get the help you need.

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 larceny from a house 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.

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