“Theft” can apply to many different criminal situations, including a crime known as larceny. Larceny is the taking of someone else’s property without the use of force from a location other than the inside of their home. Larceny could include stealing a car from a lot with the intention of taking it from the person forever. There are many elements included in larceny, such as the unlawful taking and carrying away of someone else’s property without their consent with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. In the past, you may have heard of larceny cases, including some that were actually grand larceny on a much larger scale. For instance, a few years ago a man impersonated his deceased mother in a grand larceny case that shook the nation. The man collected $115,000 in benefits after he provided the funeral director with the wrong Social Security number and date of birth for his mom with the intention of preventing her death from being noted in government databases. He would then go on to collect her social security checks, take out a mortgage using his mother’s identity, and file for bankruptcy to obtain city subsidies to pay rent. He also attempted to renew her driver’s license wearing a dress and a wig just to keep the scheme going!

Larceny Further Explained

Somebody had to physically steal something to constitute larceny. Therefore, if a bank decides to repossess somebody’s property for nonpayment, this will not stand as larceny. The item also has to be somebody else’s property. If somebody lends an item to another person and that other person does not give it back, you have a right to retrieve your item legally. This is why you must ask: Was the item completely yours? Did you have the owner’s consent to take it? Larceny Theft There are degrees of larceny, which was mentioned previously. Petty larceny applies to items that are not worth much, and grand larceny refers to items that are higher-value. States will specifically decide upon the requirements to meet either petty or grand larceny. Some states have decided, for example, that stealing a $3,000 item is grand larceny. This means that any item worth less than that is petty larceny in action.


Felony charges of larceny, which typically apply to grand larceny cases where much more money is up in the air, will usually carry very serious penalties. This can include a prison sentence of about a year as well as criminal fines. There are also various degrees that may apply. For a 3rd degree larceny, you may have to steal an item of up to $5,000, $5,000-$50,000 for a 2nd degree, and above $50,000 for a 1st degree case. It really depends on the situation and what crimes were committed to get there.

Defenses to Larceny

Theft crimes are always serious. This means that they are extremely difficult to defend against for the sole fact that high amounts of money are involved in these cases and many wonder how it will be paid back. One of the most common defenses used in these cases is that the other person didn’t actually intend to steal the property and took it by accident.   No matter what the case, you should always have an experienced attorney on your side through the process. If you are involved in a larceny case, you may have questions and feel like there is no end in sight. Call The Law Office of Peter Blair today for more information on what you should do. The journey is difficult but not hopeless.