Ponca City Theft Attorney
Skilled Defense Attorney in Ponca City
The definition of theft in Oklahoma can be found under Okla. Stat. Ann. § 21-1701. To summarize, however, theft—or “larceny”—is defined as the taking of someone else’s property without permission and without the intention to return it.
Theft laws apply to the taking of everything from a candy bar to the stealing of family jewels. Of course, the punishment varies depending on the worth of the stolen item and the circumstances leading up to the offense. For instance, if a person steals a bag of candy, he or she may receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist and be forced to pay for the item taken. However, if that same person steals of bag of candy at gunpoint, the crime may go from “petit larceny” to “robbery with a dangerous weapon,” which is punishable by a prison sentence of no more than 5 years. In between “petit larceny” and “robbery with a dangerous weapon” is “grand larceny,” which is punishable by fine and possible jail time.
If you were charged with theft or larceny in Oklahoma, call the Ponca City theft lawyers at Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker to discuss your defense. Doing so could keep you out of jail and save you a significant amount of money.
Classification of Theft in Oklahoma
Oklahoma classifies theft crimes by the value of the property stolen and, as mentioned above, by the circumstances surrounding the incident. Assuming that there were dangerous weapons or injury of another person involved, however, theft falls into one of two categories: petit larceny and grand theft.
Petit larceny involves the theft of property valued at less than $500. It is the lowest level of theft a person can commit and typically carries a $10 to $500 fine. Again, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, a petit larceny offense may warrant a county jail sentence of up to six months.
Grand theft occurs when the property stolen is valued at $500 or more, or if property of any value is taken straight from a person. For instance, if you took a woman’s purse off of her as she was walking down the street, you could be charged with grand larceny, even if she had no more than $10 in cash and another $75 worth of belongings in her purse.
Grand theft can also involve the stealing of automobiles, livestock, farm equipment, and other items of significant value. To ensure fair punishment is doled out in theft cases, Oklahoma has assigned punishments to monetary amounts. However, grand larceny is a felony offense no matter the value of the item stolen.
Punishments for grand theft in Oklahoma are as follows:
- If the stolen property is valued at $500 or less, you may be subject to a county jail term of no more than one year; or
- If the value of the stolen property is valued at $500 or more, you may be subject to a one- to five-year sentence in the State Penitentiary; and
- Be subject to up to $5,000 in fines; and
- An order of restitution may be imposed (typically the value of the property stolen plus any losses accrued because of the offense).
In addition to facing criminal penalties for theft in Oklahoma, an offender may also be subject to the state’s civil penalties. For instance, you may be forced to repay the person for the property stolen and for his or her attorney and court fees. You may also be saddled with punitive damages, which are meant to dissuade you from committing future criminal actions.
Though Oklahoma’s theft laws are fairly lenient compared to its other laws, it does tack on additional penalties for repeat offenders. For instance, if you are a first-time offender with no prior convictions and the property you stole was valued at less than $500, you may be punished by no more than 30 days in county jail and a fine ranging from $10 to $500. However, if you have a prior shoplifting conviction, you risk anywhere from 30 days to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. If you are caught a third time regardless of property value, the punishment involves no less than two years but no more than 5 years in the State Penitentiary. The leap in consequences is pretty significant for each subsequent offense, which is why you want to retain the help of a Ponca City theft lawyer no matter what number of offense you are on.
Contact Our Ponca City Law Firm
If you were charged with petit or grand theft in Oklahoma, call our Ponca City theft attorneys for aggressive legal representation. Theft is a felony, and if convicted, you will be forced to live with that on your record for the rest of your life. Do not let your life be affected by a dumb mistake and call Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker to discuss your defense today.