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December 2017 Archives

When Can I Be Charged With Receiving Stolen Property in Oklahoma?

Receiving stolen property may sound like a minor offense - after all, it was someone else who committed the theft - but in Oklahoma, receiving stolen property can be a felony offense leading to up to five years in prison. What is and is not sufficient for the crime of receiving stolen property in Oklahoma can be surprising for those not familiar with the law, and those investigated and charged with the crime can be in for a rude awakening when activity they thought was legal turns out to be the basis for felony charges.

The Basics of Receiving Stolen Property in Oklahoma

You can be convicted for the crime of receiving stolen property in Oklahoma if the following conditions are met:

  • You received property;

  • The property was stolen, embezzled, taken by false pretenses, or otherwise withheld from its proper owner; and

  • You either knew or had reasonable cause to believe the property was improperly taken from its rightful owner.

Conviction for receiving stolen property when the property is worth $1,000.00 or more is a felony which can lead to five years imprisonment in a state penitentiary plus a criminal fine. If the property is worth less than that amount, the crime is a misdemeanor which can lead to six months in a county jail in addition to a criminal fine.

You Can Be Charged Even if You Didn’t Know the Property Was Stolen

As the elements above point out, there is no requirement that a defendant actually “knew” that the property was stolen to be charged and convicted. For example, they do not have to be told by the seller/giver of the property that it was stolen or anyone else for that matter.

What to Do If You’re Accused of Sexual Misconduct in Oklahoma

The past several months have brought one public revelation after another of famous figures in the media, politics, and entertainment who have been accused of sexual misconduct for acts that allegedly occurred years in the past. Many of these individuals have been fired from their positions or organizations over these allegations, while others are finding themselves the subject of criminal investigations for the alleged past acts, which could lead to prosecutions, convictions, and years in prison.

Can I Represent Myself in Oklahoma Criminal Court?

If you are arrested for a misdemeanor or felony in Oklahoma, your due process rights means that you will have the right to a trial in which your guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted for the crime. This is your chance to dispute the charges and force the prosecutors to provide sufficient evidence to meet the high bar of beyond a reasonable doubt. Some criminal defendants want to take advantage of this process but do not want to retain the services of an attorney, thus they attempt to represent themselves in Oklahoma criminal court.

You Do Have a Right to Represent Yourself, But it is Strongly Discouraged

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that an individual has a right to represent himself in a criminal trial under the Sixth Amendment, so long as the person is “competent” to do so. The word competent here does not mean competent to practice law, but rather only being reasonably aware of the factual allegations being made against you and of the court proceedings in general. The vast, vast majority of adults would be considered competent to represent themselves, even if very few know the first thing about criminal law.

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