Hire a Larceny Attorney Who Will Fight for Your Case
Learn about larceny and connect to an experienced attorney near you.
Were you charged with larceny or theft? If so, it is important to understand what that means. What are the potential punishments you may face, and how can you connect with an experienced attorney near you?
Working with a dedicated attorney during your case can make a world of difference. Use our attorney resources on this website and submit a request to connect with a lawyer in your area.
What Is Larceny?
Larceny, otherwise known as common theft, is the act of taking someone else’s property with no use of force. To charge you, the prosecutor must use evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant unlawfully took someone else’s property without the consent of the owner and to deprive the owner of that property permanently.
There are two main types of larceny: grand larceny and petty or petit larceny. Here is a closer look at each category.
Grand larceny is the intentional taking of someone’s property that exceeds the state’s statutory amount. This can vary depending on which state the crime occurs in. Generally, the statutory amount is between $500 and $1,000.
So, if you intentionally take property that exceeds the amount the state specifies, it is grand larceny and carries more severe penalties if convicted.
Petty larceny, also known as petit larceny, refers to the intentional taking of someone’s property which has a value that falls below the state’s statutory amount. If convicted of petty larceny, you will probably being facing less severe penalties such as fines or short probation.
Federal Grand Larceny
Depending on the type, the federal government may decide to step in. Federal Grand Larceny includes:
- Insider trading
- Fraudulent credit card programs
- Other schemes involving misrepresentation
Larceny vs. Theft
Many times, people use the terms larceny and theft interchangeably, and that is because they generally refer to the same type of crime. Theft is more of an umbrella term that larceny falls under, which means all larceny crimes are theft, but not all theft crimes are larceny.
Larceny refers to the unlawful taking of physical objects, but theft can occur even if there was no physical object taken. For example, if a person leaves a restaurant without paying the bill, that is theft, but it’s not larceny because the person did not steal a physical object.
What Happens If You’re Convicted?
If you’re charged, then you are probably worried about what the potential penalties will be if convicted. This depends on the severity of the crime and whether this is your first offense. The punishments that you may face include:
- Prison or jail time
For theft crimes, restitution is a common punishment. This results in the guilty party paying the victim back the value of the stolen objects.
Common Legal Defenses Against Larceny Charges
If charged with larceny, you should not leave your freedom up to chance. Working with a dedicated lawyer is essential if you want to avoid serious penalties. Experienced lawyers have the resources and knowledge to provide the absolute best defense for your case.
Here are some common defenses that lawyers can utilize while fighting for you in court.
Belief of Ownership or Right
Larceny occurs when a person takes another person’s property without consent. However, if the defendant believed the property to be their own or they believed they had a right to use the property, they may not be guilty because there is a lack of intent.
If the belief of owning the property is untrue or there is no reasonable proof, the defendant can still use this defense to fight the charges. The defendant would have the burden of demonstrating that they had a true belief that the property belonged to them. This can be difficult to prove if there is no evidence to back up the claim. An experienced lawyer would be able to help a defendant prove this defense to avoid jail time.
In order for an act to be larceny, one must take a person’s property without their consent. This means that if a person has consent to take or use the property, they have not committed larceny.
For example, person A may tell person B to “steal” their property with the hopes of cashing in on an insurance claim. However, they have given person B their consent to take a piece of property, therefore it would not count as larceny.
Distress refers to a person coerced into committing a crime through the threat of force, blackmailing or something else that causes a person to feel distressed enough to commit the crime.
In these cases, the defendant did not commit the act by choice. The individual felt he or she had no other option but to commit larceny for fear of something bad happening to them or someone the person knows.
Entrapment refers to when an individual coerces an innocent party to commit a crime that he or she normally would not commit. For example, if a police officer puts the keys into the ignition of a car and stops a passerby, telling them to get into the car and drive away, this would be entrapment. The passerby would never have taken the car if they were not told to do so by the officer.
This is a common defense to larceny charges and is often successful if an experienced attorney is on your side.
Connect with an Experienced Local Attorney
If you are charged with larceny, then you need an experienced lawyer who will fight for you in court and help you win your case. A dedicated attorney will have the resources and knowledge to provide you with the best defense to the charges brought against you.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!