Shoplifting Charges in Oklahoma

Learn about the laws, penalties and civil consequences of a shoplifting charge in Oklahoma. Find out if you can avoid a conviction and criminal record

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Shoplifting in Oklahoma is a crime with serious penalties, including potential fines and jail time. In addition to facing criminal penalties, shoplifters can be sued by merchants in civil court to recover damages.

Oklahoma Shoplifting

Shoplifting in Oklahoma is a form of larceny, which is defined as the taking of personal property by fraud or stealth, with the intent to deprive another of the property. Shoplifters face criminal penalties, including jail time and fines, which become progressively more severe if the dollar value of the stolen goods exceeds certain thresholds. Shoplifters may also be civilly liable to merchants for damages, which means they can be sued by a merchant in civil court for a monetary award.

Oklahoma Shoplifting Criminal Penalties

Charge

Classification

Penalty

First conviction for goods valued at less than $500

Misdemeanor under Title 21 Chapter 68 Section 1731(1)

Up to 30 days of jail time at the county jail and/or a fine between $10 and $500

First conviction for stealing more than one item where the total value of goods stolen is less than $500

Misdemeanor under Title 21 Chapter 68 Section 1731(1)

Up to 30 days of jail time and/or a fine between $50 and $500

Second offense for shoplifting goods valued at less than $500

Misdemeanor  under Title 21 Chapter 68 Section 1731(2)

Between 30 days and one year of jail time and/or a fine up to $1,000

Shoplifting goods valued at $500 or under with two prior shoplifting convictions

Felony under Title 21 Chapter 68 Section 1731(3)

Between two and five years of jail time

Shoplifting goods valued at $500 or more and less than $1,000

Felony under Title 21 Chapter 68 Section 1731(4)

Up to one year of jail time for one or more nights or weekends, fines up to $5,000 and mandated restitution to the victim

Shoplifting goods valued at $1,000 or more.

Felony under Title 21 Chapter 68 Section 1731(5)

Between one and five years of jail time

Civil Liability

Adult and emancipated minor shoplifters in Oklahoma (or the parents or legal guardians of unemancipated minor shoplifters) can be sued in civil court by victimized merchants. Merchants are entitled to the retail price of the merchandise (if not recovered in sellable condition) or the percentage of the diminished value, as well as attorney fees, court costs, and exemplary or punitive damages. In place of paying exemplary or punitive damages, the shoplifter may be ordered to perform community service.

Diversion Programs and Plea Bargaining

Oklahoma offers diversion programs to certain individuals charged with first-time and low-level crimes, as an alternative to prosecution (22 Oklahoma Statutes § 991f-1.1). Upon completion of the diversion program requirements, which could include activities such as paying restitution and performing community service, the criminal charges will be dropped.

When diversion programs are not available, the accused may be able to arrange a plea bargain with the prosecutor assigned to the case. Plea bargains typically involve receiving reduced charges or a lighter sentence in exchange for pleading guilty. Plea bargains are available at the discretion of the prosecutor, as in cases where a prosecutor believes leniency is appropriate.

Learn more about diversion and pretrial options.

Getting Legal Help

If you have been accused of shoplifting, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced Oklahoma criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer can help you explore all of your options, including pursuing diversion programs, raising defenses, or negotiating a plea bargain, in order to minimize the consequences of the shoplifting charges.

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