In Oklahoma Law, How is Larceny from a House Different From Burglary?

Larceny Defined

Oklahoma larceny from a houseIn Oklahoma, larceny from a house is the act of stealing something of value from a house, vessel or temporary building. Larceny from a house is charged as a felony, with sentences of five years or more in prison.

Oklahoma defines larceny as taking another’s personal property through fraud or stealth with the intent to deprive. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1701. It is theft by stealth. Larceny is either small (petit) or large (grand).

Grand larceny is defined as taking property valued in excess of $1000, or property of any value when taken from the person of another. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1704. All other larceny is petit larceny. When larceny occurs after illegal entry into a home, a theft that might otherwise be petit larceny becomes a serious felony that risks potential prison time.

An example of grand larceny might be taking diamond jewelry, or costume jewelry if taken directly from the person of the victim. Petit larceny is the same as petty theft, involving items less of lesser value like a DVD, food or the like.

Larceny From A House, A Serious Crime in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, larceny from a house is defined under 2 different statutes. The first defines larceny from a house as grand larceny that was committed in a dwelling or vessel. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1707. The statute’s scope is limited to grand larceny and the crime is charged as a felony and is punishable by up to 8 years in prison.

Oklahoma also defines larceny from a house as entering and stealing of money or any other thing of value from a house, railroad car, tent, booth or other temporary building. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1723. This crime is also chargeable as a felony and is punishable by a jail term of up to 5 years. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1724.

Homes are protected spaces. Violating this protected space makes this kind of larceny a more serious crime. As such, entering a house with the intent of stealing $100, while not a lot of money, could still be punished by up to 5 years in jail. Entering a house with the intent to steal diamond jewelry could be punished by up to 8 years in jail.

Burglary Compared

In Oklahoma, burglary in the first degree is defined as breaking and entering the dwelling of another at a time when a person is inside, with the intent to commit a crime inside the dwelling by either forcibly breaking a wall, door, window or lock, or by breaking in while armed with a dangerous weapon or with the help of others, or by picking a lock, using a false key or by lifting a latch or opening a window. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1431.

Burglary in the second degree is defined as the breaking and entering of any building, room, booth, tent, railroad car, vehicle or the like, in which property is kept, or the forcible opening of a vending machine with the intent to steal property or commit a felony. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1435.

Burglary is always a felony in Oklahoma. A burglary can be of the first or second degree. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1431-32. Burglary in the first degree is punishable by a prison term of 7 to 20 years, while second-degree burglary is punishable by a jail term of from 2-7 years. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1436.

Larceny from a house is always a crime of theft. Burglary looks somewhat like larceny from a house in that both require an unlawful entry into the house of another. But while larceny from a house requires an intent to steal something, while burglary may not involve a theft at all.

Breaking and entering into a home in burglary requires an intent to commit a crime inside. That crime may be a theft, but it may also be the intent to harm the person or persons inside, or any other serious crime.

Free Consultation: Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney

The facts surrounding these types of cases are important and can make a big difference in your defense if charged with larceny, larceny from a house, grand larceny from a house, or burglary. Retain an experienced Tulsa attorney who will work hard to protect your freedom. Our initial consultation is free. Call the Wirth Law Office at (918) 879-1681  or submit the question form at the top right of this page.

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