Larceny Penalties And Sentencing 

Larceny is one of the most common criminal offenses in the United States. In fact, it’s considered a Class A misdemeanour, which means that it’s punishable by law.

But what are larceny  penalties and sentencing  for more serious larceny offenses? 

In this article, I will explore the different penalties that are available for larceny offenses and how you can best protect yourself and your property. 

What Is Larceny?

Larceny is a crime that involves the theft of property with the intent to deprive the owner of that property. 

The punishment for larceny can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the value of the stolen property and the severity of the defendant’s criminal record.

Larceny is considered a Class C felony if it occurs in a state where larceny is a Class A felony. 

Larceny is also considered a Class C felony if it occurs in any other situation where theft is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. 

If the stolen property amounts to less than $500, larceny is classified as a misdemeanor offense. However, if the value of the stolen property is greater than $500 but less than $1,000, larceny is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor. 

Larceny becomes a first-degree misdemeanor when the value of the stolen property exceeds $1,000 but does not exceed $5,000. Larceny becomes an indictable offense when the value of the stolen property exceeds $5,000.

Sentencing for larceny varies based on factors such as whether or not there was violent or sexual contact involved in the commission of the crime, whether or not any weapons were used during the commission of larceny, and whether or not damage was done to any property during or as a result of larcenous behavior. 

Larceny Penalties And Sentencing 

There are a number of penalties that may be imposed for larceny, including fines, prison time, or both. The severity of the penalty will depend on the value of the property that was stolen, as well as any additional factors involved in the case.

 There are different types of larceny, which will lead to different penalties. The most common type is theft, which is when someone takes something that belongs to someone else without their consent and with the intention of keeping it for themselves. 

Theft penalties can vary depending on the value of the item that was stolen, as well as any other factors involved in the case.

For example, if someone steals $100 worth of merchandise from a store but also damages it in some way while they’re stealing it, they may face more severe punishment than someone who commits theft of less valuable items.

 In addition to criminal penalties, people who have been convicted of larceny may also be subject to civil penalties from their victim(s). 

These can include financial compensation for damages caused by the larceny as well as legal costs incurred in trying to get those damages paid.

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Sentencing Guidelines For Larceny

The sentencing guidelines for larceny are based on the severity of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history. 

The court will consider a variety of factors, including the value of the property stolen, whether any injuries were caused, and whether the defendant was convicted of a prior felony theft.

The most serious form of larceny is grand larceny, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Other forms of larceny are categorized as either petty or non-petty offenses, and each carries its own set of penalties.

 Petty larceny, for example, is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of $1,000. 

Non-petty offenses, such as shoplifting, are punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

The length of time that a person may be incarcerated for a theft offense depends on several factors, including the value of the property stolen and the defendant’s criminal history.

 In general, people who have been convicted of felonies are likely to spend more time in jail than people who have only minor crimes on their records.

The Elements Of Larceny

The elements of larceny are: (1) intent to deprive another of the property that belongs to him or her; (2) taking the property without the owner’s consent; and (3) a deprivation of property.

There are specific penalties associated with each element of larceny, depending on the value of the stolen property and whether there was violence or injury involved in the theft. 

In most instances a  person convicted of stealing less than $500 worth of goods will most likely face a misdemeanor charge with a sentence between three months and one year in jail, while a person convicted of stealing more than $500 but less than $10,000 will most likely face a felony charge and a sentence between one year and five years in prison.

Are There Any Defenses to Larceny Charges?

There are a few defenses to larceny charges that a defendant may be able to use in court. 

1.  One defense is if the defendant took the property with the intent to return it. This means that the defendant believed that they had the right to take the property and that they would eventually return it. If this is true, then the charge of larceny may not be appropriate.

2.  Another defense is if the property belonged to someone else and was stolen while the owner was not present. This defense only works if the owner can prove that they were legitimately entitled to possess the property at the time it was stolen. 

3. Another defense is that the accused was not actually in possession of the item when they were caught.

4.  If you were under the coercion or threat of harm from the person who accused you of larceny, then you may be able to avoid punishment.

 This defense can be difficult to prove, but if you can convince the court that you were not free to choose whether or not to commit the act of larceny, then the charge may be dropped.

5. Intoxication is a common defense to larceny charges. In order for intoxication to be a defense, the defendant must have been under the influence of an intoxicant at the time of the alleged crime. 

There are many different types of intoxicants, and each can produce different levels of intoxication. It is up to the individual prosecutor to decide which type of intoxication is relevant in a particular case.

6. Finally, if the defendant can show that they did not know that the property was stolen, then they may not be guilty of larceny.


What Is The Penalty Of Larceny In Michigan?

In Michigan larceny  is a punishable offence and the penalty is 1 year in jail if the the worth of stolen  goods is $ 1,000 to $ 20,000 while 5 years in jail if it’s  worth $20,000 or more.

Is  Larceny A Felony In NC?

Yes, larceny is a felony in NC and it is punishable by law.

What Is The Punishment For Larceny In North Carolina?

The potential sentence for a class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina is a term ranging from one to 45 days of incarceration.

What Is The Difference  between Larceny And Theft?

Larceny is another form of theft without violence and in most cases it doesn’t  involve  taking a property directly  from the person.

Which Is Worse Larceny Or Theft?

Larceny is a minor crime compared to theft, however  most states classify both larceny and theft as being the same.

What Is Simple Larceny?

This is the taking away of someone’s property  without the  act of violence or coerce.

What Is The Most Common Type Of Larceny?

In the United States the most common type of larceny is the theft of  property from a vehicle. Which includes items inside the car.

What Level Misdemeanor Is Larceny In NC?

Larceny  in NC is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor where items that are stolen are worth not more than $ 1,000.

Why Do People Commit Larceny?

Generally, people commit larceny with the motive of deprivation of one’s property. 

Which Is An Example Of Larceny?

Examples are thefts of bicycles, thefts of motor vehicle parts and accessories, shoplifting, pocket-picking, or the stealing of any property or article that is not taken by force and violence or by fraud.


Larceny is a criminal offense that can have serious consequences, both for the perpetrator and for the victim. 

If you are found guilty of larceny, it is important to seek legal assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you build a strong case for innocence.

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