Oklahoma is a state that classifies many of its crimes according to degree: the higher the number, the less serious the crime and the less severe the penalties involved. For example, in Oklahoma, burglary can be of the first or second degree. First degree burglary is more serious than second degree burglary. The burglary of a car, or burglary from a vehicle, is a burglary in the second degree.
Burglary in the second degree in Oklahoma is defined as the breaking and entering into 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, or forcibly opening any coin-operated or vending machine or device. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1435
The Elements of Burglary From a Vehicle in Stillwater
The crime has a number of elements. A prosecutor must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If an element goes unproved, there can be no conviction.
Here are the elements of burglary from a vehicle:
- breaking and entering
- the railroad car, automobile, truck, or trailer
- of another
- in which property is kept, and
- with the intent to steal or commit a felony inside.
Breaking and entering is a term of art. The statute for first-degree burglary sheds light on what breaking and entering can mean.
Breaking and entering can mean forcibly bursting or breaking an entry such as a door or window. But it can also mean unlocking a door by means of a false key or picking a key. It can also mean lifting a latch or opening a window. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1431
Even if you enter an unlocked car, if you are entering the car with the intent to take something for it that belongs to another person or you have the intent to commit another felony in the car, you could be convicted of second-degree burglary.
Vehicle burglary in Stillwater is a crime of intent. The prosecution will have to prove that you broke into the vehicle and entered it with the intent to steal something inside or commit another felony.
The facts and circumstances surrounding your case may be used to prove intent.
Steal a cell phone inside? This probably shows intent.
Enter the car to get in out of the cold? Maybe not. That may just be an unlawful trespass.
Penalties for Burglary
Burglary is a felony in Oklahoma, whether of the first or second degree.
Burglary in the second degree is punishable by a prison term between two and seven years.
There are defenses available to you. Make sure to talk to an experienced Stillwater criminal defense attorney about your case today.
Free Consultation with a Stillwater OK Attorney
Wirth Law Office – Stillwater is here to help you when you need it the most. Don’t try to handle your legal matter by yourself.
We offer a free consultation with an experienced Stillwater OK attorney to help you defend your legal rights.
Call 405-673-1600 for a free consultation or submit a question through this website.