Thefts differ. Some are done with stealth, while some are done in broad daylight. Some are for small amounts, while others involve large amounts of cash or valuables. Oklahoma has a number of different statutes on the books to prosecute a variety of different kinds of theft from petit larceny to theft from a retailer to credit card theft to grand larceny.
Larceny is a theft involving deceit or stealth. Petit larceny is basically petty theft.Oklahoma calls theft of a large amount of cash or valuables, “grand larceny.” Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1703
If you are facing charges for grand larceny, you need an experienced Claremore lawyer. Your freedom may depend on it.
In Oklahoma, larceny is legally defined as the taking of another’s personal property by fraud or stealth, with the intent to deprive. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1701
Grand larceny is either a taking of property worth $1,000 or more, or the taking of property directly from the person of another regardless of its value. All other larceny is petit larceny. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1704
If a person takes an iPhone out of a person’s pocket and slips it into his own pocket with the intent to deprive the owner, that is grand larceny.
When a person slips a pair of diamond earrings into their pocket from a night stand at another’s home, that is likely grand larceny, depending on their value.
When someone takes an old flip phone from a desk at another person’s house, that will most likely be petit larceny.
Grand Larceny: Elements That Must Be Proven
All crimes have certain elements that must be proven by the prosecutor beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a conviction. Here are the elements of grand larceny in Oklahoma:
- taking and
- carrying away
- the personal property
- of another
- of value
- by fraud or stealth and
- with the intent to permanently deprive.
Case law has added a “carrying away” as a distinct element. However, even a slight amount of transportation is all that is needed to meet this element. Let’s say you pick up a cell phone from a desk, pocket it, and leave the room, that may be enough to meet this element. But if you pick up the cell phone, look at it, and replace it, the “carrying away” element may not be met.
Even if another person actually owns the property, if you have disturbed the holder’s right to possession of that property, the element of “belonging to another” will have been met.
Defense Are Built on Disproving Elements
Since the prosecution must prove all elements of the crime, it makes sense that any facts or evidence that go toward disproving an element constitute viable defenses to the crime.
For example, if the property actually belongs to you, but you are taking it back, there is no larceny. This goes to the element of “another.”
If there is an honest mistake about who owns the property or it was taken reasonably believing it belonged to the person taking it, there may not be any larceny.
If you borrow the property intending to return it, there is no intent to permanently deprive.
On the other hand, if the property is actually worth less than $1,000, the crime may qualify as petit larceny — which carries a more lenient sentence.
Penalties for Grand Larceny
The crime is a felony in Claremore, Oklahoma, and punishment depends on the circumstances involved. Penalties escalate in accordance with the value of the items taken.
When the property taken involves firearms, is any kind of property taken from the person of another, or is valued between $1,000 and $2,499, a person could face up to two years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000.
If the property is valued between $2,500 and $14,999, a person could face up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
If the property is valued at $15,000 or more, a person could face up to eight years in prison in addition to fines.
The court could also order the defendant to pay restitution. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1705
Whenever you are facing the possibility of jail time, you want to get the help you need. Don’t try to go this one alone. Give us a call to see what we can do to help.
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