What are the Oklahoma Loitering Laws?
This article flows through the details of the meaning and definition of Loitering, what is included in loitering?, loitering in Oklahoma and Punishment and penalties for loitering in Oklahoma located in the south-central region of United States.
Meaning and Definition of Loitering
The term Loitering can be traced back to history and refers simply to the prolonged waiting or pausing at a place that may be intending to commit a particular action that is illegal or a crime. It is a serious offense to wait for a time more than required especially at public places in a suspicious way as it may be attached to a negative intention that can be for harmful and serious offenses like murder. To be present in a region without any particular reason is included under loitering. Though loitering is not a serious offense like kidnapping, murder, or robbery yet it is punishable under the laws of the United States.
A typical instance of loitering is when children who are still minors linger around in front of the local liquor store. In many places, the laws are stringent against loitering. Thus, police have the power to take in custody those children or minors under 18 years of age for loitering around the liquor store. An individual can loiter in a park but not in front of a church or school unnecessarily. Local law may consider loitering by children during school hours against the law. Loitering also includes wearing of masks or any other form of disguises in public places in order to hide the identity with the intention of performing an illicit act.
Why is Loitering Considered as an Offense?
Historically, loitering is considered as an offense that further leads to other serious offense. For example, loitering around on a public place unnecessarily may further result in mobbing, rape, robbery, disruption of the public peace, drunkenness. The charge of loitering varies with the different countries as it is considered as a crime in itself in some countries while in others it is not seen as a serious offense like robbery, disruption of the public peace, affray, arson, and mobbing, and serious criminal activities are needed to build up punishable charges.
Loitering in Oklahoma
In the United States, it is prohibited from loitering within a particular distance of schools, hospitals, parks, or other places where minors below 18 years of age may aggregate. Three elements must be present under the laws of Oklahoma, Loitering should have an intention, the performance of some act under this and failure to consummate the offense.
It is defined as to linger; to stay; to delay; to stand unnecessarily at a public place and will also include the collective term of "hanging around."A public place can be defined as a place to which the public can make use and a right to access for business purposes, entertainment purposes, or other licit purposes. Under the law, it is considered illicit or an unlawful offense for an individual to loaf, stand unnecessarily, pause, wander in a manner but a mere presence in a public area is not sufficient to prove the offense.
Punishment for Loitering in Oklahoma
Under the law, when a person commits the abovesaid as defined under the law can be asked by the police to terminate the activity immediately and move away leaving the place vacant. An individual who does not follow this is said to be causing a breach of the law and can be punished. Such a person can be penalized too. A provision of arrest or arrest on suspicion is present in the laws of Oklahoma for the offense of loitering.