Any burglary charge in Oklahoma should be taken seriously. Oklahoma is a jurisdiction which classifies many of its crimes by degree. First degree burglary in Stillwater is a more serious crime than second degree burglary in Oklahoma. Both are felonies.
Defining First Degree Burglary in Stillwater
In Oklahoma, first degree burglary is defined as:
- breaking and entering the dwelling of another at a time when a person or persons are inside
- with the intent to commit a crime inside by
- forcibly bursting or breaking a wall, outer door, window, shutter, or their locks;
- breaking in any manner;
- being armed with a dangerous weapon;
- being aided by one or more confederates;
- unlocking a door;
- using false keys or a pick;
- picking a lock;
- lifting a latch; or
- opening a window.
Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1431
Elements of the Crime
In order to secure a conviction for first degree burglary, a prosecutor must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, if any element is left unproven, there can be no conviction. Therefore, defenses are built on facts that disprove elements of the crime.
The elements of first degree burglary are:
- breaking and entering
- the dwelling
- of another
- in which a human is present
- with the intent to commit some crime therein.
What is Breaking and Entering?
Under Oklahoma law, breaking and entering means that you have used a method to exert enough force to remove an obstacle to entry — this could be a lock, a window, or a door — and that you have entered without having permission to be inside. Having permission to enter negates an element of the crime.
You must have the intent to commit a crime inside when you break in and enter. Although we often equate burglary with theft, the intended crime does not need to be theft. If there is no intent to commit a crime inside, the crime charged may be reduced to breaking and entering, a misdemeanor in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Penalties for First Degree Burglary
Burglary is a felony in Oklahoma. Burglary in the first degree is punishable by a prison term of between 7 and 20 years. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1436
If you or a loved one are facing charges of first degree burglary, call an experienced Stillwater criminal law defense attorney as soon as possible. There are defenses available that you should examine with your attorney.
Free Consultation with a Stillwater OK Attorney
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