Like all jurisdictions, Oklahoma City has laws on the books that prohibit auto theft. Here is what you need to know about what larceny of an automobile means in Oklahoma, how it is handled, and how to help yourself if you are facing charges.
Defining Larceny Of An Automobile In Oklahoma City
In Oklahoma, it is against the law for a person to steal an aircraft, automobile, another type of driven vehicle, construction equipment, or farm equipment. The crime is a felony in Oklahoma City.
The penalties for larceny of an automobile in Oklahoma City are as follows:
- up to five years in prison for a vehicle worth less than $50,000;
- three to ten years in prison if the vehicle was worth more than $50,000;
- a fine of up to $500,000;
- or both fines and prison.
In addition, the court will order that the defendant pay restitution to the victim if the property is lost or damaged. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1720
Elements Of The Crime
The following elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order for the prosecutor to obtain a conviction:
- taking and
- carrying away
- an automobile, aircraft, other vehicle, or construction or farm equipment
- of another
- valued at $50,000 or more (unless the vehicle is worth less than $50,000);
- with the intent to steal.
If the prosecutor cannot prove even one element of the crime, then the defendant cannot be convicted. Therefore, defenses are built on facts of the case that tend to disprove any element.
One of the primary defenses pertains to the intent to steal. For example, a defendant had an intent such as joyriding.
Thus, this defendant has a defense against the charge of larceny of an automobile in Oklahoma City. However, they may be convicted of a lesser offense such as joyriding,
Intent to steal is critical to the prosecution this crime.
Joyriding Vs. Larceny Of An Automobile In Oklahoma City
Joyriding is a very different crime. Joyriding is legally defined as driving or attempting to drive another person’s car without consent. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1787
While both involve taking a person’s car without permission, larceny of an automobile involves an intent to steal. Joyriding does not.
Joyriding is a misdemeanor in Oklahoma City. It is punishable by a fine between $100 and 500 up to a year in county jail, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1788
In some cases, larceny of an automobile is pleaded down to joyriding when the prosecution is having trouble proving one of the elements of the crime. Your Oklahoma City attorney can be instrumental in exploring this option and in protecting your rights and freedom.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney
Our lawyer is well positioned to advise you accordingly, as he has the necessary training and experience. He has the wit and tenacity to match the skill of the Oklahoma City prosecutors.
For a free consultation with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City at 405-888-5400.
You can also submit an email question from the top right corner of this page. We will respond to all questions as soon as possible.