Tulsa Police are investigating an auto-theft in which the victim exchanged gunfire with the suspects. An owner attempted to fight back by shooting out the tire on his own vehicle as thieves drove it away. Tulsa has one of the highest rates of vehicle theft in the country for larger cities, according to a recent study. Using data from the FBI, the study by security company ASecureLife found that Tulsa ranked 17th nationwide for cars stolen per capita.
Oklahoma Auto theft Classifications.
Larceny is defined as a person who steals an aircraft, automobile or other vehicle, including construction or farm equipment. The crime is a felony and a conviction may be punished by a prison term of from 3 to 20 years, and/or a fine of three times the value of the property stolen, but not more than $500,000, in addition to restitution. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1720. Oklahoma’s motor vehicle code also addresses unauthorized receipt, possession, concealment, sale, or dispossession of vehicle or implement of husbandry (Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 4-103). Unlawful receipt or possession of a motor vehicle is a felony even if the person in possession of the vehicle cannot be proven to have stolen it.
Carjacking carries a more serious charge because it is a form of robbery including the wrongful taking of personal property belonging to another, from that person or in his or her immediate presence, and against his or her will, accomplished through the use of force or fear. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 791. Robbery can be charged in the first or second degree. In Oklahoma, first degree robbery is theft while inflicting serious bodily injury upon the victim, threatening a person with immediate serious bodily injury, putting the victim in fear of immediate serious bodily injury, or threatening or committing a felony upon the victim. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 797. All other robberies are charged in the second degree.Penalties are harsh for robbery convictions. Robbery in the first degree is a felony punishable by at least 10 years in jail. Okla. Stat. tit.21 § 798. If a weapon is used for the robbery, whether the firearm is loaded or not, even when the weapon isn’t real but only looks as if it is real, its use in the commission of a robbery opens the perpetrator to the possibility of life in prison. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 801. In addition, if a deadly weapon is used in the commission of a carjacking, the crime may be subject to the 85% rule. In Oklahoma, if convicted, the perpetrator would have to serve 85% of his or her prison sentence before becoming eligible for release. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 13.1.
Joyriding is driving someone’s car without their consent and under Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1787, it is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine between $100 and 500 and/or a term of up to 1 year in county jail. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1788. It hinges on a lack of intent to keep the car and is thus not technically a theft charge. Joyriding is the least serious of the crimes associated with auto theft. Questions of permission and intent are important in these cases and should be explored with your criminal defense attorney.
Illegal possession is a theft occurring when someone takes or uses a vehicle with the intent to deprive the owner without entitlement to possession. It is considered a felony punishable by fines up to $1,000, up to two years in prison or some combination of both. Okla. Stat. 47 § 4-102. The motor vehicle code also prohibits falsely reporting a vehicle as stolen, and provides misdemeanor penalties. Law enforcement officers are authorized to seize suspected stolen vehicles .
Hire an attorney if you are charged with any of these auto theft charges as they are very serious and could land you in jail or saddled with expensive fines. Contact a criminal law attorney at The Henson Law Firm for a free consultation and advice regarding the severity of your charges.
THE HENSON LAW FIRM, PLLC
Attorneys and Counselors at Law
406 S. Boulder, Suite 400
Tulsa, OK 74103-3800
Telephone : (918) 551-8995
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