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Is shoplifting a felony or misdemeanor in Oklahoma?

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

Shoplifting arrests don’t just occur after someone intentionally hides merchandise and exits a store. Managers, security professionals and loss prevention workers sometimes make pre-emptive arrests of individuals who have not yet successfully stolen anything. People can end up accused of shoplifting over how they place merchandise in their carts or mix-ups with the tags on products. Many people accused of shoplifting feel deeply embarrassed and consider pleading guilty as a way to correct the issue as quickly as possible.

A guilty plea leaves someone at the mercy of a judge and also leads to a criminal record that can affect their career for years. Some people downplay those risks because they assume shoplifting is always a minor infraction. Is a shoplifting offense likely to be a misdemeanor or a felony in Oklahoma?

Shoplifting can be a serious offense

Two factors influence the nature of shoplifting charges. The first is whether someone is discreet or physically takes an item from a store clerk. The second is the overall value of the items involved.

Under Oklahoma state statutes, grand larceny occurs in two scenarios. The theft of items worth an aggregate total amount of $1,000 constitutes grand larceny. Physically stealing resources from another person, such as yanking a device out of the hands of a store clerk, could also lead to grand larceny charges. Otherwise, shoplifting is typically petite larceny.

Petit larceny is a misdemeanor offense in Oklahoma. The potential penalties might include up to $500 in fines and jail time. Grand larceny, on the other hand, is a felony offense. The fine a defendant has to pay could be as much as $5,000, and they could spend up to five years in prison.

It is worth noting that state lawmakers have more than one bill on the docket that could alter shoplifting rules. One may expand the window of time in which the state can add the total value of the items stolen together. The second might reduce the cutoff for grand larceny to $500.

Anyone accused of a shoplifting offense or similar crime in Oklahoma may benefit from looking at their options for defending against those allegations. Avoiding a criminal conviction can help someone ensure the best quality of life possible after an unexpected encounter with law enforcement professionals or store employees.