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Larceny and the law

On Behalf of | May 21, 2020 | Firm News

Larceny is another work for theft, and it can refer to the theft of a wide variety of things. There are different classifications of larceny, which determines the penalty. 

Having a larceny conviction on record can affect someone’s life, so there are different defense tactics that an attorney may use. 

Larceny stats 

According to the FBI, larceny is the stealing of any type of property that does not involve fraud, violence or force. In general, there has been a decline in thefts over the last 10 years, although larceny accounts for the majority of property crimes. Although the average value associated with theft of property is $1,153 for each offense, the national estimation of loss for all victims is around $6 billion. 

Larceny classifications 

According to FindLaw, the classification for larceny can be petty or grand. Petty theft refers to stolen property that has a value of $950 or less, and grand theft refers to more expensive property. 

The penalties for petty theft may include jail time of up to six months, a maximum fine of $1,000 or both. If the stolen property was less than $50, the judge may charge it as a misdemeanor or order a fine up to a maximum of $250. For grand theft, imprisonment may range from six months to three years, either in the county jail or state prison. 

Larceny defenses 

To prove larceny, a prosecutor must show there was an intent to steal. One defense tactic is to argue intoxication with a lack of intent. Other potential arguments include owner’s consent, right of possession claim, mistake of law or entrapment.