Did you know the United States, in 2019, there were approximately 5,086,096 larceny thefts? In a similar vein, nearly a million burglaries were reported in 2021.
While each US state tries to manage these crimes, it’s critical to differentiate and understand the offenses they are dealing with.
Larceny is a word that most people have heard of at some point in their lives, but what is larceny exactly, and how does it happen? Carry on reading for a complete list of the offenses it covers and its punishments.
What Is Larceny?
So, what is larceny? The charge of larceny is commonly referred to as “ordinary theft” by the general public. Larceny definition is the unlawful stealing of another’s goods or property without their consent to deprive them of that property permanently. It’s generally a non-violent crime.
A person committing larceny will have the following intentions in mind:
- Deprive a person of the right to use their property, either permanently or temporarily
- Transfer ownership of the person’s property to a third party
- Theft of a person’s possessions
- Attempt to deprive a person of the rights of his property
- Make the property their own by converting it into their name
Examples of larceny offenses include:
- Bicycle theft
- Motor car parts theft
- Carjacking actions
- Shoplifting actions
- Pick-pocketing people
- Any form of theft that is not forceful, violent, or fraudulent
Attempted larceny, in which the theft is unsuccessful, is also considered larceny and renders the accused liable.
What Are the Types of Larceny
There are two types of larceny. Let’s look at these:
1. Grand Theft Larceny
What is grand larceny? Grand theft larceny is defined as theft of personal possessions with a monetary value more significant than a legally prescribed amount. The amount specified will be determined by state law.
Grand larceny is punishable by a one-year or more prison sentence and a fine.
2. Petty Theft
Petty theft is when the worth of the stolen property is less than a certain threshold. Again, the amount specified will be determined by state law.
This type of larceny is typically classified as a misdemeanor and can be punishable by one year or less prison sentence.
So, stealing a tin of beans is not fall into the same category of larceny-theft as stealing a car.
As previously stated, larceny penalties and sentencing vary by state. Most petty larceny convictions are misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in jail (but other states have two or three-year maximums). When a first-time offender or a low-level offender is charged, judges may explore alternatives to prison. These could include:
- A period of probation
- A period of community service
- Compensation for the stolen item
- A fine
Repeat offenders face an additional jail term. In addition, repeat petty theft offenders can have their charges set a level up to grand larceny charges in several states.
Just Don’t Do It!
We hope we have clarified that all thefts are not the same. First, however, it’s essential to note what is larceny and the consequences that come with it.
Of course, the best way to avoid sentencing is to avoid committing the crime!
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