Theft & Larceny Crimes in Oklahoma – Law & Punishments

larceny theft lawyer oklahomaOklahoma still uses many of the common law definitions of theft, such as larceny, false pretenses (fraud), shoplifting, and embezzlement. There are different technical definitions for each even though they all fall under the umbrella of theft. Receiving stolen property is also in the category of theft crimes. The primary theft crime is larceny. It is defined in as the taking the personal property of another by stealth or fraud and with the intent to deprive another thereof. Larceny is divided into two degrees—Grand Larceny and Petit Larceny.

Petit Larceny

Petit Larceny occurs when the value of the property taken is less than $1,000 and the property was not taken from the person of another.

The maximum punishment in the county jail is six months. The range of fine is $10–$500.

Charged with petit larceny in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Grand Larceny

Grand larceny is larceny committed in either of the following cases:

  1. When the property taken is of a value of $1,000 or more; or
  2. When the property, although not valued at $1,000.00 or greater, is taken from the person of another.

Punishment for Grand Larceny

If value of property is <  $1,000, then punishment is a maximum of one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. If property is:

  • one or more firearms,
  • taken from the person of another, or
  • valued at $1,000 or more but less $2,500,

then punishment is a maximum of two years in the Department of Corrections or one year in jail and a maximum fine is $1,000.

If the value of the property is $2,500 or more but less than $15,000, then punishment is up to five years in the Department of Corrections or one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

If the value of the property is $15,000 or more, then punishment is up to eight years in the Department of Corrections and a maximum fine of $1,000

Restitution must be paid.

Charged with grand larceny in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Source: 21 O.S. § 1701, 21 O.S. § 1704, 21 O.S. § 1705, & 21 O.S. § 1706

Larceny From Person at Night

Larceny committed by stealing in the nighttime from the person of another is a felony. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is ten years. The maximum fine is $5,000. Restitution must be paid.

Charged with larceny from a person at night in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Source: 21 O.S. § 1708

Grand Larceny in Dwelling House

Grand Larceny committed in any dwelling house or vessel is a felony. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is eight years. A “vessel,” when used with reference to shipping, includes ships of all kinds, steamboats, and steamships, canal boats, and every structure adapted to be navigated from place to place.

Charged with grand larceny in a dwelling house in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 21 O.S. § 1707 & 21 O.S. § 98

Larceny From Building

Entering and stealing any money or other thing of value from any house, railroad car, tent, booth, or temporary building is a felony. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is five years.

Charged with larceny from a building in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 21 O.S. § 1723 & 21 O.S. § 1724

Lost Property

It is considered larceny to find lost property under circumstances that give you knowledge or means of inquiry as to the true owner if you appropriate the property to your own use, or to the use of another person who is not entitled to the property, without having first made an effort to find the owner and restore the property to the rightful owner as the circumstances render reasonable and just. The punishment is as follows:

Property ValueType of CrimeJail/PrisonFine
< $1,000MisdemeanorUp to 1 yr jail≤ $500
≥ $1,000 &
< $2,500
FelonyUp to 2 yrs prison or 1 yr jail≤ $1,000
≥ $2,500 &
< $15,000
FelonyUp to 5 yrs prison or 1 yr jail≤ $1,000
≥ $15,000FelonyUp to 8 yrs prison≤ $1,000

Charged with larceny of lost property in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Source: 21 O.S. § 1702

False Declaration of Ownership to a Pawnbroker

Selling or pledging property to a pawnbroker using false or altered identification or a false declaration of ownership is illegal. Punishments are as follows:
Property ValueType of CrimeJail/PrisonFine
< $1,000MisdemeanorUp to 1 yr jail≤ $500
≥ $1,000 &
< $2,500
FelonyUp to 2 yrs prison or 1 yr jail≤ $500
≥ $2,500 &
< $15,000
FelonyUp to 5 yrs prison or 1 yr jail≤ $500
≥ $15,000FelonyUp to 8 yrs prison≤ $1,000
If the property is one or more firearms, or was acquired by means of robbery or burglary, the punishment in the Department of Corrections is up to five years or in jail up to one year. The maximum fine is $500.

 

It is a misdemeanor to fail to repay a pawnbroker the full amount received from a pawn or buy transaction after being officially notified by a peace officer that the goods pledged or sold in that transaction were stolen or embezzled. The maximum punishment in the county jail is six months. The maximum fine is $500.

Charged with making a false declaration of ownership to a pawnbroker in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Source: 59 O.S. § 1512

Taking Oil, Gas, or Gasoline

It’s illegal to unlawfully take any crude oil or gasoline, or any product thereof, from any pipe, pipeline, tank, tank car, or other receptacle or container. It is also a crime to unlawfully take or cause to be taken any machinery, drilling mud, equipment, or other materials necessary for the drilling or production of oil or gas wells, with intent to deprive the owner or lessee thereof of that crude oil, gas, gasoline, or any product thereof, machinery, drilling mud, equipment, or other materials necessary for the drilling or production of oil or gas wells.

This crime is a misdemeanor if the value of the above-mentioned product is less than $1,000. The maximum punishment in jail is 60 days. The maximum fine is $500. This crime is a felony if the value of the above-mentioned product is $1,000 or more. The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is one–ten years. The range of fine is $100–$50,000.

Charged with theft of oil, gas, or gasoline in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Source: 21 O.S. § 1722

Theft of Cable or Telecommunications Service

It is illegal to:

  1. knowingly obtain or attempt to obtain cable, information, or telecommunications service of any type or kind including but not limited to cable television, telephony, internet, and data transmission service from another by means, artifice, trick, deception, or device without the payment to the operator of said service of all lawful compensation for each type of service obtained;
  2. knowingly assist or instruct any other person in obtaining or attempting to obtain cable, information, or telecommunications service of any type or kind including, but not limited to, cable television, telephony, internet, and data transmission service without the payment to the operator of all lawful compensations;
  3. knowingly tamper or otherwise interfere with or connect to by any means, whether mechanical, electrical, acoustical, or other means, any cables, wires, or other devices used for the distribution of cable, information, or telecommunications service of any type or kind including but not limited to cable television, telephony, internet, and data transmission service without authority from the operator of said service; or
  4. knowingly manufacture, import into Oklahoma, distribute, sell, offer for sale, rental, or use, possess for sale, rental, or use, or advertise for sale, rental, or use any device of any description, or any plan, or kit for a device, designed in whole or in part to facilitate the doing of any of the acts specified in the above paragraphs.

The existence on the property and in the actual possession of the accused, of: 1) any connection, wire, conductor, or any device whatsoever, which is connected in such a manner as would appear to permit the use of cable, information, or telecommunications service of any type or kind including, but not limited to, cable television, telephony, internet, and data transmission service without the same being reported for payment to and specifically authorized by the operator of the cable, information, or telecommunications service of any type or kind including but not limited to cable television, telephony, internet, and data transmission service or 2) the existence on the property and in the actual possession of the accused, in quantities or volumes suggesting possession for resale, of any device designed in whole or in part to facilitate the performance of any of the illegal acts mentioned in this statute will be prima facie evidence of intent to violate and of the violation of the provisions of this law.

This crime is a misdemeanor. The maximum punishment in the county jail is six months. The maximum fine is $1,000.

Any person who violates this law is liable to the franchised or otherwise duly licensed cable television system, information service provider, or other telecommunications service or equipment provider for the greater of the following amounts: 1) $2,500 or 2) three times the amount of actual damages, if any, sustained by the plaintiff, plus reasonable attorney’s fees.

Any franchised or otherwise duly licensed cable television system, information service provider, or other telecommunications service or equipment provider may bring an action to enjoin and restrain any violation of this law or an action of conversion, or both, and may in the same action seek damages as provided for above. It’s not a necessary prerequisite to an action pursuant to this law that the plaintiff has suffered, or be threatened with, actual damages.

Charged with cable theft in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Source: 21 O.S. § 1737

Larceny of Dog, Sheep, Goat, Horse, Jackass, Jennet, Mule, Cow, Hog, or Implement of Husbandry

All dogs are considered the personal property of their owner for all purposes. The taking of dogs is considered larceny. It is punishable in the same manner and to the same degree as in larceny of other personal property.

It is a felony to steal any dog, sheep, or goat. The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is six months–three years. The maximum fine is up to three times the value of the animals that were stolen but not more than $500,000.

It is a felony to steal any horse, jackass, jennet, mule, cow, hog, or implement of husbandry. The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is three–ten years. The maximum fine is three times the value of animals and machinery that were stolen but not more than $500,000. Each head of cattle stolen may constitute a separate offense and may be punishable as a separate violation.

The word “horse” includes all animals of the equine species, and the word “cow” includes all animals of the bovine species.

With regards to implements of husbandry, every device, whether it is self-propelled, designed and adapted to be used exclusively for agricultural, horticultural or livestock-raising operations or for lifting or carrying an implement of husbandry and, in either case, not subject to registration if operated upon the highways. Implements of husbandry are as follows:

  • farm wagon type tank trailers of not over 1,200 gallons capacity, used during the liquid fertilizer season as field storage “nurse tanks” supplying the fertilizer to a field applicator and moved on highways only for bringing the fertilizer from a local source of supply to farms or field or from one farm or field to another;
  • trailers or semitrailers (except for those with an axle weight of 20,000 pounds or more, which is used to haul manure and operated on the public roads or highways) owned by a person engaged in the business of farming and used exclusively for transporting farm products to market or for the purpose of transporting to the farm material or things to be used thereon;
  • utility-type, all-terrain vehicles with a maximum curb weight of 1,500 pounds that are equipped with metal front or rear carrying racks when used for agricultural, horticultural or livestock-raising operations.

Charged with larceny of a dog or other animal in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 21 O.S. § 1718, 21 O.S. § 1717, 21 O.S. § 1716, & 47 O.S. §1-125

Larceny of Domestic Fowl

It’s considered grand larceny to steal and carry away domestic fowl or receive domestic fowl knowing the fowl to be stolen. The value of the fowl(s) doesn’t matter. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is five years. The maximum punishment in the county jail is two months. The maximum fine is $200.

Charged with larceny of domestic fowl in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Source: 21 O.S. § 1719

Unlawfully Possessing a Stray Animal

It’s illegal to take in and keep a stray animal without first making a reasonable investigation to ascertain the animal’s owner. The taker must report this taking to the county sheriff within seven days.

Violation of this law is a felony. If the stray is a dog, sheep, or goat, the range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is six months–three years. The maximum fine is up to three times the value of the animals that were kept but not more than $500,000.

If the stray is a horse, jackass, jennet, mule, cow, or hog, the range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is three–ten years. The maximum fine is three times the value of animals that were kept but not more than $500,000. Each head of cattle kept may constitute a separate offense and may be punishable as a separate violation.

Charged with illegally possessing a stray animal in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 4 O.S. § 85.3, 4 O.S. § 85.11, & 21 O.S. § 1716

Larceny Of Domesticated Fish and Game

Domesticated fish or game is defined as all birds, mammals, fish, and other aquatic forms and all other animals, regardless of classifications, whether resident, migratory or imported, protected or unprotected, dead or alive. The definition extends to and includes every part of any individual species when such domesticated fish or game are not in the wild and are in the possession of a person currently licensed to possess such fish or game. “Taking” means the pursuing, killing, capturing, trapping, snaring and netting of domesticated fish or game or placing, setting, drawing or using any net, trap or other device for taking domesticated fish or game and includes specifically every attempt to take such domesticated fish or game. Any domesticated fish or game shall be considered the personal property of the owner. It’s a crime to take any domesticated fish or game with the intent to deprive the owner of said fish or game.

This crime is a misdemeanor if the current market value of the domesticated fish or game is less than $1,000. The maximum punishment in the county jail is 60 days. The maximum fine is $500. This crime is a felony if the current market value of stolen domesticated fish or game is $1,000 or more. The maximum punishment in the Department of Corrections is five years.

Charged with larceny of domesticated fish and game in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 21 O.S. § 1719.1

Defending Theft Crimes

Money often talks when trying to resolve your case. This means that restitution will be a major issue in determining how good your outcome is. If you actually took what you’re accused of taking and it wasn’t yours, then it’s more difficult to defend the charge. However, there are many defenses that can be used in theft cases. These are the following:

  • You owned the property
  • You mistakenly took the property
  • You didn’t have the intent to deprive another of the property you took
  • Mistaken identification—someone else took the property, but you’re the suspect
  • Lack of evidence to prove that you took it
  • You forgot to return something you borrowed
  • Entrapment
  • Intoxicated
  • Owner consented to the taking
  • Duress
  • You believed you owned the property, but your good-faith belief was wrong
  • You didn’t take the property

There are also other defenses specific to the narrower theft crimes. Theft charges can have a huge long-term impact on somebody’s record. This is because theft is considered a crime of moral turpitude. A crime of moral turpitude is, generally, conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals. If you have a conviction for a crime of moral turpitude, then you will have a very difficult time getting a job that deals with money or other people’s property. You need to be very careful to not have any sort of record for crimes of moral turpitude.

You want to be very careful with crimes of moral turpitude because many good jobs involve handling money. You could eliminate yourself from a wide variety of jobs that could be very beneficial to you.

Current as of March 24, 2020. Laws are subject to change at any time! Go to the sources cited above for the most up-to-date law.

Charged with theft in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma larceny attorney Frank Urbanic in OKC for a free case consultation.

Don’t panic! Call Urbanic.® 405-633-3420