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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in larceny

Posted on in California Laws

California defense attorney, California criminal lawyerWhile incidents of theft do not often make the front page news, theft is still one of the most common misdemeanors that occurs in the United States every year. There are actually several different types of theft, all that ladder up to the blanket charge, though each type may carry different punishments and sentencing, based on the severity of the crime, the circumstances, and the person’s past record.

The most basic type of theft is also known as larceny. This is defined as the unlawful taking of property that does not belong to the person in question — that is, taking something from another person or entity without that person’s permission, or with the intent of that person not knowing. The vast majority of theft cases are considered larceny. The law defines “another entity” as either a person or a place. Simple shoplifting is considered larceny, for example. If the value of the stolen item is considerable, the charge may be elevated to grand theft, which will result in more severe punishments. Grand theft auto is larceny of a moving vehicle.

Identity theft is another common type of theft — the rate of which is continually increasing as personal information, usually stored online, becomes easier and easier to obtain. Using anyone’s personal information, including a credit card number or debit card at an ATM, is considered identity theft, if the other person did not grant express permission to do so. Because identity theft can be so damaging to the victim, charges of identity theft are sometimes considered a federal crime. This can result in long jail sentences and the confiscation of any property allegedly obtained with stolen funds.


Posted on in California Laws

petty theft, larceny, San Jose criminal defense attorneyTo not steal may be a commandment embedded in the social fabric, but not all stealing is considered equal in the eyes of the law. There are different levels to stealing, and they are punished as such. The simplest type of theft is known as petty theft, or more formally, larceny. Petty theft is the taking of someone’s property without that person’s consent. It is considered larceny if it can be determined that the person took the object permanently—which is considered a crime against the right of possession. When someone steals a wallet left on a restaurant table, or takes an unlocked bike, it is considered petty theft or larceny. Shoplifting from stores is also considered larceny or petty theft. Petty theft can be violent, however—a person may take the object by force or fraud. Fraud, however, is considered a different crime, even if it involves money, such as the crime of embezzlement or forgery.

While petty theft and larceny are a serious issue, the rate of incident appears to be decreasing in recent years. There were over 6 million recorded incidents of petty crime in 2010, though that number was a 2.4 percent decline compared to the year before and a 6.6 percent decline from the 2006 estimate. Stealing from cars or motor vehicles was the most common type of one specific place from which petty theft occurred, with shoplifting ranking close behind. Petty theft from a building (including a home or a place of business) was significant, with pocket-picking, theft from coin-operated machines, purse-snatching, and the theft of vehicle accessories and bikes ranking as well.

While the seemingly disparate punishment for petty crime often makes the news, the average loss experienced by petty theft crime is nearly $1,000 per incident—a significant amount. And that adds up—in 2010 alone, the national total value of items stolen in incidents of petty theft averages over $6 billion.


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