Shoplifting as Petit Larceny
In Oklahoma, petit larceny is defined as all larceny that doesn’t qualify as grand larceny. Shoplifting could be charged as petit larceny or grand larceny, depending on the value of stolen merchandise. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1704
In order to understand what petit larceny is in Oklahoma, you must know what grand larceny is.
In Oklahoma, grand larceny is defined as the taking of property worth more than $1,000 or property of any value if taken from another’s body.
Most shoplifting charges are considered petit larceny.
Larceny of merchandise from a retailer, or shoplifting, is treated a bit differently than regular larceny in Oklahoma.
If you shoplift an item worth less than $500, your first conviction carries up to 30 days in jail, a fine of $10 to $500, or both. The same penalties apply for a second conviction.
If you shoplift more than one item worth less than $500, you could spend up to 30 days in jail, pay a fine of $50 to $500, or both. These penalties apply for first and second convictions.
The penalties for a third or subsequent conviction for shoplifting one or more items worth less than $500 are two to five years in prison.
If someone shoplifts property worth between $500 and $1,000, even a first-time charge is a felony offense. The penalty is up to a year in jail. A judge or jury may decide to order the person to serve his or her time at nights or on weekends. In addition, the person must pay a fine of up to $5,000 and restitution to the victim.
If the property is worth $1,000 or more, the perpetrator could spend one to five years in prison — even for a first-time offense. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1731
Oklahoma law has provisions for civil actions against shoplifters in addition to criminal charges. A business owner may sue a shoplifter in civil court for the retail price of the goods stolen or for a percentage of the diminished value of the merchandise plus attorneys’ fees and costs.
If a minor shoplifts from a store, one or both parents could be sued.
In addition, the court allows punitive damages. Public service can be ordered in lieu of exemplary damages. The public service ordered must satisfy the damages assessed by the court at the federal minimum wage level, and must fall between $50 and $500. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1731.1
A merchant may pursue both civil and criminal penalties against the perpetrator. The court may also order restitution.
However, the merchant cannot double dip — in other words, he or she cannot recover the value of the goods stolen more than once.
Paying punitive damages and a merchant’s attorneys’ fees can make this an expensive matter for a person civilly sued for shoplifting.
Free Consultation: Tulsa Defense Lawyer
A shoplifting conviction can be costly. People who shoplift exposes themselves to possible incarceration, a multitude of financial penalties, and the problems that come with having a criminal record.
These losses can devastate your life. Retain an experienced Tulsa defense lawyer who will work hard to protect you.
Wirth Law Office’s Tulsa criminal defense lawyers offer free initial consultations so we can learn the facts of your case and offer realistic suggestions about how your matter might be resolved.
Call the Wirth Law Office-Tulsa at 918-879-1681 or toll free at 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452). You can also submit the question form at the top right of this page.