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Grand Larceny

Grand Larceny

Grand larceny refers to theft involving excessive value of property generally $200 – $1000 or more.  The penalty for grand larceny is greater than that for simple theft or petit larceny and is generally a felony rather than a misdemeanor.  Laws defining larceny generally differentiate by type of items stolen, intent and the even in which the theft occurred, such as shoplifting.

What is the general definition of grand larceny?

Many states will differ in their definition of grand larceny.  Generally, grand larceny is separate from burglary in that burglary involves the illegal entrance of the criminal into the structure.  Therefore, shoplifting from a store is larceny, but breaking in at night is not.  Theft of personal property outside of structures such as stealing a car or snatching valuables is also considered grand larceny.  In modern terms, the theft of one’s identity or engaging in other forms of fraud also constitutes larceny.  Conning an individual out of personal possessions and property is also larceny as this is a form of theft, even if the property was handed to the criminal under false pretenses.

How is the value of goods determined in a grand larceny case?

The market value of the goods stolen is the general benchmark used in grand larceny determinations.  The cost of replacing the item is also a measure used.  The upgrading of the charges from simple theft or petit larceny will vary depending on the state’s benchmark for grand larceny.  Grand larceny always carries harsher penalties, usually a felony.  Hen multiple items are stolen, the value of the items is added in the determination, meaning that grand larceny can be applied even when cheap items are stolen.

How does the definition of grand larceny vary by jurisdiction?

Not all states will use the terms grand larceny and petit larceny when referring to criminal theft.  Felonious larceny, as the name implies, is larceny where the penalty is a felony.  This is virtually identical to the conventional definition of grand larceny.  Other states will apply felonies to theft in special circumstances, such as burglary and muggings.  This would be a rarer instance that burglary is considered a form of larceny.

Is misappropriation considered larceny?

Generally, the misappropriation of property entrusted to another, usually by virtue of employment, is considered larceny.  Although this is not theft in the conventional sense, it does involve the illegal transfer of property, without the owner’s consent to another.  Grand larceny misappropriation cases are generally embezzlement, when significant amounts of property have been stolen through a violation of trust between the embezzler and the owner.

What is federal grand larceny?

Larceny can be tried at the federal level, related to the government’s role regulating interstate commerce.  As such, cases involving internet fraud often entail federal grand larceny charges.  Officials in the government guilty of misappropriation of members of corporate organizations that commit theft will also face federal grand larceny charges.  Federal grand larceny will have similar sentencing and distinction as the state laws.