Not all theft crimes are created equal. In Oklahoma, larceny from a house is a different crime from burglary. And although both involve theft from inside a house, they are treated very differently.
Here is what you need to know about this crime.
What is Larceny?
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
Stealth is the hallmark of this crime. Larceny is categorized in some part according to the value of the objects taken. New laws took effect on Nov. 1, 2018, regarding the valuation amounts that separate these two crimes.
Right now, grand larceny is defined as taking property valued in excess of $1,000, or property of any value when taken from the person of another. The only change to the law made last year was that grand larceny will be anything valued at $1,000 or more, or when a person takes property from the person of another, regardless of value. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1704
All other larceny is petit larceny.
Larceny From A House Defined
In Oklahoma, larceny from a house is defined under two different statutes. The first defines larceny as grand larceny that was committed in a dwelling or vessel. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1707
The crime is a felony and is punishable by up to eight years in prison.
Larceny from a house is also defined as entering and stealing money or any other thing of value from a house, railroad car, tent, booth or other temporary building. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1723
This is a felony, but the sentence is up to five years in prison instead of eight. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1724
This statute does not require that the larceny be grand. Stealing $100 for a house is enough for a conviction under this statute. Larceny from a house requires an intent to steal something. Burglary does not. Larceny from a house may occur when a house is empty. Burglary occurs when a person is inside the house.
How is Burglary Different?
We think of a cat burglar stealing the family jewels when we think of burglary. But in truth, burglary doesn’t require an intent to steal. 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 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
The intent in a burglary can be to commit theft, but it can also be to commit any other crime inside the house. For instance, breaking into a house with the intent to assault and batter the person inside would be a burglary. Burglary is a felony in Oklahoma and is punishable by years in prison.
If you or a loved one is facing charges for larceny from a house, you should explore all your options with an experienced Bartlesville, Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Don’t delay.
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