I really have not given much thought to when it is or is not okay to break the law. There are plenty of absurd laws, and a great number of laws that are unfair and seek to protect special interest groups and industries with good lobbyists. With this in mind, I do not think it is always wrong to break the law. However, when it becomes a choice between two evils it becomes a little bit more complicated.
The real question is whether or not it is okay to steal from someone in a situation of life or death. When I say that this is the real question, I take for granted that hurting another person is always wrong. In a normal situation, there should be help available from a variety of sources. People could go to their families, charities, and other organizations made to help people in dire situations. In the absolute worst case possible, when there really is no other choice, I think it could be acceptable, but still be wrong.
This is all assuming that the person in said situation is dying of starvation through no fault of their own. If they were just lazy and did not want to work, then I think they have no excuse to steal from other people who worked hard. It is only acceptable if some unavoidable tragedy or natural disaster deprived them of the fruits of their labor.
It is a really specific sort of situation where I could understand why a person would steal. It is my personal belief that a person only has a right to what they have worked for and earned, and has absolutely no right to ask anything of anyone else. Even with my black and white view of right and wrong, I can understand why someone would steal in a few situations. Please do not misunderstand me, I still think it is wrong, but I can give them a little bit of sympathy in certain situations.