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What is a larceny or petty theft charge?

| Jan 21, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

If you are struggling to make ends meet or experience an unexpected financial emergency, you might feel like you can get away with skimming some cash or property from your employer. Though you may feel that your employer is not going to notice or miss anything or that you can repay it before they do, stealing someone else’s property is known as larceny/theft and can land you in jail.

There are two types of larceny criminal charges you could end up: petty and grand. Theft that involves property worth $950 or less is small enough to classify as petty. Incidents, where the stolen property is worth more than $950, is grand theft and considerably more serious than petty larceny.

Theft conviction penalties

A theft charge can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. Also, there are a variety of factors that can increase a petty theft misdemeanor charge up to a felony grand larceny charge, such as if there was the threat of bodily harm, the use of a weapon, or prior criminal record.

Petty theft carries a sentence of up to six months imprisonment, restitution and etc. A grand theft conviction can result in an imprisonment sentence of up to three years. However, if there are prior criminal offenses, the incarceration sentence for a grand theft charge can exceed three years in some jurisdictions.

Statute of limitations

Some people confuse not getting caught in the act of criminal activity is enough for them to avoid the legal consequences. To reduce the likelihood of fraudulent charges and to help deter new and repeat offenses, the law allows victims of theft crimes to pursue criminal prosecution against the potential offenders for up to one year for misdemeanor offenses and three years for felony offenses. There are circumstances that can extend the statute of limitations for felony charges beyond three years.