Grand Larceny is Theft
In Oklahoma, larceny is defined as the taking of another’s personal property by fraud or stealth, with the intent to deprive. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1701. Its hallmark is deceit or stealth. Larceny comes in two types, or levels: petit (the French word for “small”) and grand (the French word for “large”). Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1703. These two levels are marked by the value of the property stolen.
Grand larceny is defined by statute as either a taking of property worth in excess of $500, or the taking of property from the person of another regardless of the value of the property taken. All other larceny is petit larceny. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1704.
In order to secure a conviction, the prosecutor must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a heavy burden and often difficult to prove. Here are the elements of grand larceny in Oklahoma:
The prosecution must prove:
- the offender was taking,
- the offender was carrying away,
- the taken property was personal property belonging to another,
- the property was valued at more than $500, or from the person of another,
- the property was taken by fraud or stealth, and
- the offender had the intent to deprive permanently.
If any one of these elements is unproven, there is no conviction.
Although the statute doesn’t mention “carrying away,” case law has added that as a distinct element. Even a slight amount of transportation is necessary for a conviction. The person from whom you have taken the item need not be the legal owner of the property. Even if another person owns it, if you disturb the holder’s right to possession, that will be sufficient to meet the element of “belonging to another.”
Here is an example. Jane is walking down the street with her friend’s diamond earrings in her pocket. Jane is taking them to the jeweler to have the mounts fixed. Andy picks Jane’s pocket and takes the earrings. The element is met.
The intent to deprive is usually interpreted by courts as the intent to deprive permanently. Borrowing or taking an item with the intent to return it later is not sufficient to meet this element.
In Oklahoma, finding and keeping property without trying to determine the true owner could be considered larceny. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1702.
Thus, larceny in Oklahoma is a broad set of statutes that can encompass situations of theft where force and threat are not used in the commission of the crime.
The penalty for grand larceny is a term in the state penitentiary for as many as five years if the property stolen is $1,000 or more. If the value of the property is less than $1,000, the felony is punishable by incarceration in the county jail for as much as one year, or by incarceration in the county jail one or more nights or weekends, at the option of the court. In addition, if convicted, you must pay both a fine of as much as $5,000 and restitution to the victim. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1705.
If you are convicted of grand larceny you could face significant jail or prison time. If you have an experienced Wagoner criminal defense lawyer advocate for you, you may have reduced time, or if the circumstances warrant, you could have the charges dropped. Hire an attorney today.
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