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Since the dawn of time, man has valued and coveted the possessions of his neighbors. As such, human society has always felt the need to combat and police the wrongful taking of another’s property. Theft laws are no doubt necessary to give us the sense of security we need to successfully operate in a civilization of strangers. However, the only thing worse than being the victim of theft is being falsely labeled a thief.
Regardless, as technology speeds ahead at an exponentially staggering rate, individuals find themselves dealing with complete strangers on a daily basis. The advent of the internet has resulted in an outgrowth of theft-related issues that our forefathers could never have prophesized. As such, the Oklahoma Legislature has made a point to develop new theft-related laws with increasingly harsher penalties in hopes of combatting the damages to its citizens.
Traditionally, theft in Oklahoma was not much different than larceny, which is defined as “the taking of personal property accomplished by fraud or stealth, and with intent to deprive another thereof.” As such, theft is not necessarily a violent crime; a victim may be completely oblivious of the theft until it is too late. Moreover, it is increasingly common that a thief not even be present when the theft occurs. However, traditional Oklahoma theft laws focus on those instances when an individual actively “takes” tangible property from another.
Over the years, the Oklahoma legislature has drafted specific statutes relating to the different types of theft that most often troubled the citizens of our more rural areas. Though many of these instances of theft are more than likely far less rampant than they were 50 years ago, these laws are still on the books, and they still carry stiff punishment. Some specific examples of theft in Oklahoma include:
Of course, the above-enumerated list is in no way exhaustive. Still each of the listed offenses can be classified as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the value of the stolen property.
It is unlawful for any person to willfully and with fraudulent intent obtain any personal identification information, debit/credit/account numbers, driver license number, or any other privileged or secure information of another person, regardless if that person be living or dead, with intent to use, sell, or allow any other person to use or sell such personal identifying information to obtain or attempt to obtain money, credit, goods, property, or service in the name of the other person without the consent of that person.
Identity theft is a felony offense punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, or a fine not to exceed One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment. Restitution to the victim may be ordered in addition to any criminal penalty imposed by the court. The victim of identity theft may bring a civil action for damages against any person participating in furthering the crime or attempted crime of identity theft.
If you or a loved one has been charged with theft in Oklahoma, time is of the essence. You need an experienced Oklahoma criminal defense theft attorney, and you need one right now. Call the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C., and retain an accomplished theft attorney ready to fight for your rights. Call us today at (405) 778-4800 for a free consultation.