Defending Juveniles Charged with Theft in Canadian County, Oklahoma County, and throughout Oklahoma
The term “theft” covers a wide range of offenses involving stolen property and certain types of fraud. The seriousness of the charges is typically tied to the value of the stolen items and how they were misappropriated.
A juvenile’s future may be at stake if they are charged with petit larceny, grand larceny, or any other type of theft charge. The Shoemake Law Firm focuses its practice on juvenile criminal defense and advocates for minors throughout the state. Sheila Shoemake is an experienced Oklahoma City juvenile theft lawyer who previously served as a public defender. She how these cases are prosecuted and can leverage her knowledge of the unique juvenile criminal process to negotiate an optimal outcome.
If you or your child are facing theft-related charges, do not wait to call (405) 451-1372 or contact the firm online. The firm offers free initial consultations, same-day appointments, and legal services in English, Spanish, and French.
Common Theft Crimes in Oklahoma County
When a juvenile defendant faces a delinquency petition for a criminal offense, they could face serious consequences, including juvenile detention or transfer to adult court. For less serious theft crimes, juveniles typically face significant community service hours, probation, and fines.
Common theft crimes in Oklahoma County include:
- Petit Larceny: Petit larceny refers to any situation where someone steals property worth less than $1,000. For these charges to apply, the defendant must not have taken the property directly from someone else.
- Grand Larceny: Grand larceny is more serious and involves the theft of property valued at $1,000 or more. These charges may also apply if the defendant directly steals something from another person, even if the property’s value does not exceed $1,000. For example, if someone pickpockets a wallet containing $300 from another person, the pickpocket can be charged with grand larceny even though the value of the stolen property is less than $1,000. Penalties will depend on the circumstances of the theft and the value of what was stolen.
- Shoplifting: Shoplifting involves the theft of merchandise from a retail store. This type of larceny is usually charged as a misdemeanor if the value of the stolen merchandise is less than $500. If the value exceeds $500, shoplifting could be charged as a felony. The severity of the penalties will depend on the defendant’s criminal history. Do not wait to call the Oklahoma City juvenile theft attorney at the Shoemake Law Firm if you or your child is detained and charged with shoplifting.
- Larceny from a Person at Night: In Oklahoma, if a person steals something directly from another person at night, the perpetrator will be charged with felony larceny.
- Larceny from a Building: When someone steals property from a building – including a residential house, tent, or booth – they can also be charged with a felony.
- False Declaration of Ownership to a Pawn Broker: If someone steals an item and attempts to sell the stolen property to a pawnbroker, thereby representing themselves as the item’s true owner, they have committed an additional crime and can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony (separate from any larceny charges). This offense is a misdemeanor if the stolen property’s value is less than $1,000 and a felony if it exceeds $1,000.
- Theft of Cable or Telecommunications Services: Some juveniles will seek to access cable, streaming platforms, or other Internet services through illicit means. Regardless of whether the theft is facilitated by manipulating physical equipment or digital access, the offense is considered a misdemeanor.
How Juvenile Theft Charges Are Handled in Oklahoma
Suspected juvenile crimes are handled differently than offenses committed by adults in Oklahoma. When a law enforcement officer believes a juvenile has committed some act of theft, they may choose to detain, warn, and release the juvenile at their discretion. In many cases, juveniles will only be released directly to their parents or legal guardian. In other words, a juvenile may get off with a stern warning and not need to worry about a trial. This preferable outcome tends to be more likely if the juvenile has no criminal history and/or the offense did not involve especially valuable property.
A law enforcement officer may also choose to hold the juvenile in custody and refer the case to a juvenile court. Should this occur, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible. A prosecutor will decide whether to dismiss the case, resolve it informally, or formally charge the juvenile. Depending on the circumstances, a juvenile in a theft case could be tried as a juvenile delinquent, a youthful offender, or an adult.
An Oklahoma City juvenile theft lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors and seek leniency in how your case is handled, especially if this is your first offense. No matter your situation, Sheila Shoemake knows how to handle juvenile theft cases and will fight for the best possible result.
“Sheila kept us informed as to her approach to resolving this matter which kept us at ease. She was receptive to receiving additional information that came to us and followed through.”- Former Client
“The people that work there are really responsive and nice. I got some good advice and when I was done I had a outcome that I was really happy with.”- Hope F.
“Expediency, effectiveness, and affordability all rolled up in a truly positive experience.”- Melissa Z.
“Shoemake will always answer her phone and your questions.”- Chuck L.
“She genuinely cares about her clients and is always professional.”- Former Client