Picture this scene. It is dark out. A young man has a crowbar and smashes a window of an empty Wagoner, Oklahoma office building to get to some computer equipment inside. He knows he can nab it and sell it to a buddy for some quick cash.
Now picture this scene. A young woman takes a crowbar and breaks open a vending machine at a closed amusement park for some quick cash.
Different crimes? They may look different, but actually both are descriptions of second-degree burglary or burglary 2 Oklahoma.
Defining Burglary 2 Oklahoma
Burglary is a crime against property in Oklahoma.
Burglary is based upon 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, 1435)
Oklahoma classifies burglary as of either the first or second degree. Burglary 2 Oklahoma is a less serious crime and can be defined as the breaking and entering of any of the following with the intent to steal or commit a felony inside: a building, room, booth, tent, railroad car, automobile, truck, trailer, vessel, or other structure. It also includes forcibly opening any coin-operated or vending machine or device. (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1435) No person is inside the premises at the time the crime is committed.
Perhaps the most common way that burglary in the second degree occurs is the breaking and entering of a car, or what is known as a smash and grab. Someone leaves an iPhone on the seat of the car. Someone walking by sees it, breaks the window, and grabs it.
How is First-Degree Burglary Different?
Burglary in the first degree is somewhat similar to second-degree burglary in Wagoner. It requires an illegal entry via breaking and entering or other means into a dwelling or other structure with the intent of stealing or committing another crime, at a time when another person is in the dwelling. However, it is the threat to the other person by the presence of the burglar that differentiates first from second-degree burglary.
What About Breaking and Entering?
Breaking and entering into a premises can be achieved in a number of ways: forcibly breaking a wall, door, window, or lock; or by using a false key or picking a lock. All of these are considered to be an illegal breaking and entering.
Breaking and entering itself is a misdemeanor under Oklahoma law. However, it is a much lesser crime (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1438).
If the prosecution is not able to prove all of the elements of burglary, sometimes the charges are pled down to a misdemeanor breaking and entering.
If permission is given, or if you reasonably believe that permission is given to enter, you may have a defense. Likewise, if you break and enter but have no intent to steal or commit a felony inside, you may have a viable defense.
Penalties for Burglary
Burglary of any kind is a felony in Oklahoma. The difference is in the sentencing.
A first-degree burglary conviction in Wagoner can lead to seven to 20 years in prison.
Burglary 2 Oklahoma is punishable by two to seven years in prison. (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1436)
Free Consultation: Wagoner Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing any type of burglary charge in Oklahoma, talk to an experienced Wagoner criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Do not wait and do not speak to the police. Remember that everything that you say to them can and will be used against you.
For a free consultation, call the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at 918-485-0335.
As always, you have the option to enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.