Attorney Angela Singleton - Oklahoma City Criminal Defense

Everything You Need To Know About Auto Theft Charges In Oklahoma


Everything You Need To Know About Auto Theft Charges In Oklahoma

There are several different laws in Oklahoma that most people would classify under the banner of auto theft. Auto theft is, of course, the outright stealing of a car, but Oklahoma law also recognizes a variety of situations that may be charged and punished as technically different crimes.

Depending on the circumstances, a conviction for an auto theft charge in Oklahoma can result in a sentence as light as a fine up to the very serious penalty of life in prison. In most cases, theft of a motor vehicle is not the only charge. It is often combined with other charges that can contribute significantly to the overall sentence if you are convicted. In the case of auto theft, It’s extremely important to understand exactly what you have been charged with and the possible consequences.

Auto Theft In Oklahoma

The definition of the crime of automotive theft and the possible punishment are outlined in Oklahoma Statutes Title 21 §21-1720. This law makes it a felony offense to steal any of the following:

  • Aircraft
  • Automobile or other automotive driven vehicles
  • Construction equipment
  • Farm equipment

A conviction, in this case, carries penalties from 3 to 20 years in the state penitentiary or a fine equal to three times the value of the property stolen (but not more than $500,000), or both. The convicted person must also pay restitution to the victim for losses incurred because of the theft.

Auto Theft By Carjacking In Oklahoma

Carjacking in Oklahoma can bring far more serious consequences. Carjacking involves stealing a vehicle by force, by threatening force, or while armed with a weapon. This type of crime can be punished under Oklahoma’s robbery laws which carry much stiffer penalties for a conviction. Any type of robbery is a felony offense under Oklahoma law. Title 21 §21-797 defines the legal differences between first and second-degree robbery.

Second Degree Robbery

Possible punishment for robbery in the second degree is defined in Title 21 §21-799. Anyone convicted of robbery in the second degree may be held in the state penitentiary for up to ten years.

First Degree Robbery

Title 21 §21-798 sets the possible punishment for robbery in the first degree. A first-degree robbery conviction in Oklahoma carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in the state penitentiary.

Armed Robbery

Robbery or attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon or imitation firearm has the harshest possible penalties, outlined in Title 21 §21-801. A conviction for this charge carries a possible sentence ranging from five years to life in prison. Additionally, anyone who’s been convicted of three felonies faces a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison with no possibility of any type of sentence reduction until the first ten calendar years have been served.

Joyriding In Oklahoma

Joyriding may be a type of theft in the minds of most people, but Oklahoma law differentiates between joyriding and theft because, in the case of joyriding, the intent is not to deprive the owner of their property. It is more like borrowing without permission than stealing.

The act of joyriding is specifically made illegal under Title 21 §21-1787 in the Oklahoma Statutes and the penalty is outlined in §21-1788.

The penalty for a conviction of joyriding consists of a fine ranging from $100 to $500 or up to one year in county jail, or both.

Failure To Return A Rental Car In Oklahoma

You can be prosecuted for theft under §21-1720 for failing to return a rental car. Additionally, you can be charged specifically for renting a car and making payment with a false or bogus check under §21-1521.

Depending on the value of the check written, a conviction for paying for a rental car with a bad check can bring penalties ranging from a small fine and/or time in county jail up to a multi-thousand dollar fine and/or up-to seven years in state prison.

Don’t Take Chances With Auto Theft Charges

As you can see, auto theft charges in Oklahoma are anything but simple. Don’t take chances with your defense and your freedom. If you’ve been accused of any type of auto theft in Oklahoma, you should seek the counsel of a qualified Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer immediately.

I have extensive experience with Oklahoma criminal law and I can help you mount the best possible defense against the charges you may be facing, but acting quickly is essential for success. Consultations are always free. Contact me any time online or call (405) 510-0345 to schedule an appointment.