What Are the Most Common Property Crimes in Oklahoma?
When most people think of crime, they imagine violent crimes or drug-related charges. However, the most common types of crimes committed in Oklahoma, and throughout the United States, are property crimes, namely theft. Statistics show that 85% of crimes committed within the country are property crimes, which is a staggering number.
There are many types of property crimes, however, larceny theft accounted for most property crimes committed within the state throughout the past 10 years. Depending on the type of property crime you have been charged with, you could be faced with serious consequences if convicted, such as lengthy prison sentences and huge fines.
If you are facing property crime charges in Oklahoma, it is important that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Prosecutors crack down tough on those charged with property crimes and without a strong criminal defense attorney, you could face a lengthy prison sentence. The lawyers at Cannon & Associates are ready to help you fight your property crime charges and ensure that your life is not ruined by a criminal conviction.
Our focus is on getting your charges dismissed and avoiding any type of criminal penalty. Our Fierce Advocates will investigate your case, assess the evidence brought against you, negotiate with the prosecutor, and build a strong criminal defense on your behalf. We have a proven track record of getting positive results, and we want to help in any way we can.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 405-591-3935.
What Are Property Crimes?
Property crimes occur when one person violates, steals, or damages another person’s property. There are many different property crimes with different levels of severity and risk of harm to the public. These crimes can occur on personal property, commercial property, motor vehicles, structures, ideas, and more. Property crime offenses may involve threat, violence, harm, or intent to commit harm.
There does not have to be property damage for it to be a property crime. Simply stealing or attempting to steal suffices to amount to a crime in Oklahoma. Examples of property crime offenses can include burglary, larceny theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, vandalism, embezzlement, and shoplifting.
Property Crime Statistics Oklahoma
Property crime rates are incredibly high in the United States. In fact, crime data from the FBI indicates that property crimes are the most common type of crime in the US. Compared to violent crimes, which are reported an average of every 22 seconds, property crime cases are reported by victims every 3 seconds.
Within the state of Oklahoma, these statistics remain almost the same. The OBSI’s Uniform Crime Unit (UCR) reported in 2020 that overall property crime offenses are the most common crime in Oklahoma. The report also noted that larceny theft remained the most common property crime in Oklahoma, with an average of 74,251 thefts happening annually between 2011-2020. In 2019, there were 2,845 property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Although the property crime rate has dropped substantially in the past 20 years, it still remains high. The number of people convicted for property crimes is quite low, in addition to the number of people that report these crimes. However, if convicted of a property crime in Oklahoma, the penalties can be severe.
Most Common Property Crimes in Oklahoma
There are many different types of property crimes committed in Oklahoma. All of these crimes carry different penalties depending on their severity, the value of the property involved, and the risk of harm to the public. However, there are some property crimes that are committed more frequently than others, including:
Larceny theft is the most common property crime in Oklahoma and throughout the country. Statistics show that in the year 2020 there were 4.6 million reported cases in the US. In Oklahoma, this number was an average of over 70,000. Larceny theft is regarded as non-violent theft. It occurs when a person takes personal property by stealth or fraud with the intention of stealing or depriving the owner.
Larceny theft is divided into two types of crimes: grand larceny and petit larceny. Grand larceny theft involves the theft of higher assets, such as vehicles, livestock, televisions, trade secrets, livestock, computer equipment, or any property worth more than $1000. A person may also face grand larceny theft charges if they directly steal something from another person. Because grand larceny deals with high-value property and assets, the authorities charge it as a felony. The penalties for a conviction can include up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
In comparison, petit larceny theft, or petty theft, involves the theft of lower-value assets worth less than $1000. Petty theft is charged as a misdemeanor and a conviction can result in up to 6 months in prison and a maximum fine of $500. However, if a property worth less than $500 is stolen directly from a person, the crime may be charged as grand larceny.
The crime of burglary occurs when a person enters a building or another person’s home unlawfully, intending to steal or commit another crime. There are typically three different burglary crimes: first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, and breaking and entering.
First-degree burglary is the most serious type of burglary offense in Oklahoma. This crime occurs when a person enters another person’s home or dwelling, while there is a person there, with the intent of committing any crime. It is not required to prove that they intended to commit theft or that they used force to enter the home. First-degree burglary is regarded as a violent crime because it is a home invasion. As such, it is charged as a felony crime and can result in up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Second-degree burglary is the crime of breaking and entering any building, vehicle, room, or structure with the intent of committing theft or another felony crime. Burglary in the second degree is still charged as a felony and carries with it up to 7 years in prison, with a minimum 2-year sentence. However, it is not considered a violent crime because it does not involve a home invasion.
Breaking and Entering
Breaking and entering is a lower-level burglary crime. This crime occurs when a person unlawfully enters a person’s home, building, vehicle, or another type of structure intending to commit felony or larceny thefts, or malicious mischief. Breaking and entering charges are often used when there is insufficient evidence to show that the accused had the specific intent to commit a crime. This crime is charged as a misdemeanor and can result in a maximum jail time of 1 year.
Motor Vehicle Theft
Motor vehicle theft, or grand theft auto, is a common property crime in Oklahoma. In 2020, the number of motor vehicle thefts reported was 14,748, making up 14% of all non-violent crimes. This crime involves the theft or larceny theft of a motor vehicle, such as a car, truck, or aircraft, with the intention of depriving the vehicle owner of their property.
A person may be charged with motor vehicle theft if they intentionally steal another person’s vehicle and drive it to a car body shop or ‘chop shop’, for example. This type of property crime is charged as a felony and can result in up to 20 years in prison and fines that are three times the value of the vehicle, not exceeding $500,000.
Arson is regarded as a serious property crime in Oklahoma, which can have devastating effects. This crime involves setting fire to, exploding, or attempting to set fire to property, which can include buildings, vehicles, or personal property. Arson statistics from 2020 show that there were 816 reported offenses of arson in Oklahoma.
The crime of arson is divided into categories depending on the level of seriousness, the risk posed to human life, and the value of the property. First-degree arson crimes are willfully and maliciously setting fire or exploding property while another person is inside. Because of the risk to human life, this crime is charged as a first-degree felony with a potential prison sentence of 35 years.
In comparison, second-degree arson involves setting fire to a property with no inhabitants present. If the crime was committed on residential property, where there would usually be an inhabitant present, it will be charged in the first degree. The penalties for second-degree arson include up to 25 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.
What are The Consequences of Being Convicted of a Property Crime?
Depending on the type of property crime you are convicted of, the consequences can be severe. The criminal penalties for a property crime conviction will depend on the type of crime you have been convicted of, whether it was a felony or a misdemeanor conviction, and several other factors. If you are convicted of a first-degree felony for burglary, for example, you could face up to 20 years in prison.
Besides the criminal penalties resulting from a property crime conviction, you will also face the following consequences:
- Permanent criminal record – Most property crimes result in a permanent criminal record. With a permanent criminal record, you will be subject to background checks from employers, schools, banks, state organizations, and other financial institutions. As such, you will face difficulties accessing employment, getting a loan for a house, accessing public housing, and much more.
- Revocation of rights – If convicted of a felony, such as grand larceny, burglary, arson, or motor vehicle theft, you will lose certain constitutional rights, such as the right to vote and to bear arms.
- 85% rule – Some property crimes in Oklahoma are 85% crimes. People convicted of an 85% crime are required to serve at least 85% of their sentence, without the possibility of parole or release before this has been served. Some 85% of property crimes include first-degree arson and first-degree burglary.
- Fines – Depending on the property crime you are convicted of, you may have to pay huge fines worth more than the original value of the property. With motor vehicle theft, for example, you may have to pay three times the original value of the car, which could be anywhere up to $500,000.
The consequences of a property crime conviction are serious and will have an enormous impact on your life and future opportunities. If you are facing criminal charges for a property crime, it is vital that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. They will do everything in their power to get your charges dismissed and help ensure that you do not spend time in prison and receive a permanent criminal record.
What Should I Do If I Am Accused of a Property Crime?
Being accused of a property crime can be terrifying. Many people are unsure how to behave when arrested for a property crime and are unaware of their legal rights. There are several things you should do to ensure that you do not implicate yourself or others in the crime and that your rights are protected.
Know Your Rights
All individuals accused of committing a property crime have the right to innocence until proven guilty. Many people wrongly assume that because they have been arrested for a crime, they will automatically be convicted. However, prosecutors and police officers must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt”, using substantial evidence, that you are guilty of a crime before they can convict you.
When you have been accused of a crime, police officers and prosecutors will use tactics to try to get information out of you or to secure a conviction. As such, it is important to be aware of your rights if arrested for a property crime:
- The right to remain silent – You should always stay silent until you are in the presence of a lawyer. Even if you are completely innocent, do not speak with police officers without your attorney present. Police officers often use tactics to coerce a confession or implicate you. A prosecutor cannot use your silence against you during your trial.
- The right to an attorney – If you are accused of a property crime, you reserve the right to have your attorney present at all stages of your interrogation and case. The state will provide an attorney to represent your case however, you will increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome massively by hiring your own defense attorney. Compared to public defenders, the lawyers at Cannon & Associates have the time necessary to dedicate to your case. Public defenders are often overworked and deal with too many cases at once. Because of this, they may not have the time to dedicate personal attention to your case.
- The right to be informed of the charges against you – If you are brought into a police station for questioning, you should always ask whether charges have been brought against you. If no charges have been brought against you, you are under no obligation to answer questions. Doing so could cause self-implication.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been arrested for a property crime, the most important thing to do is contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Without legal representation, you are more susceptible to self-implication or answering questions that will be harmful to your case later on. An attorney will ensure that your legal rights are protected, ensure that you do not implicate yourself, check that there was sufficient evidence against you to bring charges, and advise you on your situation.
What Are Some of The Defenses To Property Crimes?
To fight against property crime charges, you will need a strong criminal defense strategy. Defenses for property crime cases vary depending on the particular circumstances of your case, the type of charges you are facing, and the evidence against you. An experienced criminal defense attorney will use these factors to assess the best defense that should be used for your case.
At Cannon & Associates, we focus on getting charges and cases dismissed. Our aim is to prevent you from spending time in jail, getting a permanent record, and having the rest of your life impacted by a criminal record. Some defenses we may use for your property crimes case include:
- Mistake – Almost all property crime cases require the accused to have intent. If you took or destroyed property by accident, our lawyers may be able to argue the mistake on your behalf. For example, if a person walks out of a shop with property without having paid for it, a lawyer may argue that it was a mistake.
- Necessity – Sometimes, a person may need to steal or destroy property out of necessity. This defense can arise if you broke a window or door in order to escape a dangerous situation, for example.
- Coercion – This defense can be used if you were forced to commit a property crime by another person under threat of violence, injury, or death. If a person threatened to kill you unless you stole a vehicle, for example, a lawyer could use coercion as a defense.
The only way to get your property crime case dismissed or charges reduced substantially is by having a strong criminal defense. Contact Cannon & Associates today to figure out what type of defense could be used for your case.
How Can an Experienced Oklahoma Property Crimes Lawyer Help Me?
With all property crime cases, the onus is on the prosecutor to prove that you are guilty of the crime. If you can prove to a Judge or jury that you are innocent, using a strong criminal defense, your case will be dismissed.
However, trying to prove innocence without a deep understanding of the criminal legal system can be extremely difficult. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is the best way to ensure that you get your case dismissed and avoid criminal penalties for a property crime. Some ways they can help you include:
- Advise – A criminal defense lawyer will advise you on your situation by explaining the charges you are facing, the likelihood of avoiding criminal penalties, and the consequences of a conviction. They will advise you on what you should do to avoid further consequences and how best to proceed with your case.
- Investigate – To build a strong criminal defense, you need evidence to support your case. Your lawyer should investigate your case by assessing the evidence brought against you, speaking with witnesses, looking at CCTV footage, and assessing whether police officers violated your rights during the arrest and interrogation. They can then use this evidence to build a reliable defense on your behalf.
- Represent – The principal job of your attorney is to act as a strong legal representative. This means protecting your rights at all stages of your case and fighting aggressively on your behalf. Your attorney should communicate with prosecutors on your behalf, investigate all potential avenues available for your defense, and fight in court on your behalf if necessary.
If you are facing property crime charges, strong legal representation is essential. The consequences of a property crime conviction are severe, and you could face a long time in prison, a permanent criminal record, and further lifelong consequences. It is essential that you seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your future.
What Are The Most Common Property Crimes – Cannon & Associates!
Property crimes are the most common type of crime within Oklahoma and throughout the entire country. However, people often underestimate the severe consequences of a property crime conviction. Being arrested for a property crime, whether felony or misdemeanor, can severely threaten your future and freedom in multiple ways, including time in prison and a permanent criminal record.
When so much is at stake, it is important to have a Fierce Advocate defending your case. At Cannon & Associates, we have a team of Fierce Advocates who are ready to fight aggressively on your behalf to get your case dismissed. Our lawyers have been helping Oklahoman citizens fight criminal charges for over 30 years, and we have the skills necessary to win your case.
Our founder and managing attorney, John Cannon, has won multiple awards for his work in criminal defense, including the Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Oklahoma City 2022 Award by Enterprise.com. We understand how tough it is to come up against criminal charges, and we want to use our experience to help fight for your rights.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation at 405-591-3935.
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