Grand Larceny

Meaning and definition

The phrases larceny and grand larceny are used in law to distinguish between the theft crimes of taking anything worth less than a particular amount of money and something worth much more. Whether or not a theft qualifies as grand larceny depends on where you reside and whether the property was stolen.

Grand larceny is a felony grand larceny that can be committed, for instance, in New York when something worth more than $1,000 is taken; in Virginia, it can also be done when more than $5 is taken directly from a person.

 Grand Larceny Definition and Theories

As mentioned above, there are several hypotheses and levels of seriousness upon which prosecutors can base their charges. As a result, the maximum punishment for this felony in New York ranges from up to twenty-five years in prison for the most serious degree, PL 155.42, to a peak penalty of up to four years in jail for the minimum level violation, PL 155.30.

No matter what “kind” or “theory” the Attorney General chooses to pursue, it’s critical to remember that the cornerstone of the law is that you cannot take someone else’s property without their consent. You did so to maintain or withhold it.

The crime can take many different turns based on the sort of property involved in attempted grand larceny or how it was committed, in addition to the value of the property that was unjustly taken. Your lawyer and advocate must understand these distinctions since they affect the potential punishments you could receive.

For example, the most common “kind” of crime is one based on value, putting aside for the moment any related felonies that may have been charged during an arrest, indictment, or trial, such as forging business records, forgery, and criminal possession of the stolen property, to mention a few.


When the value of the taken goods surpasses $1,000,000, the theft is considered grand larceny in the first degree. Such an offense is categorized by the law as a class B felony, which is punishable by up to 25 years in jail and a fine.

The four separate degrees are as follows using the definition in the above sentence:

  Grand larceny in the fourth degree:

PL 155.30(1) makes it illegal to take something without permission that is worth more than $1,000 but not more than $3,000.

Grand larceny in the Third Degree :

PL 155.35 as taking items worth more than $3,000 but less than $50,000.

 Grand larceny in the Second Degree:

PL 155.40(1) is a felony theft when the value of the theory property is greater than $50,000 but less than $1 million.

  Grand larceny in the first degree:

It is the most serious crime and is defined by PL 155.42 as stealing anything worth more than $1 million in any manner.

 What Separates Grand Theft from Petty Theft?

 Grand larceny is a more serious violation since the stolen property is of a high monetary value or category.

 Monetary thresholds: the property’s value

 States have different thresholds for when a theft qualifies as a grand theft instead of a theft offense. The range for this amount in several states is between $1,000 and $5,000. $2,500 is the dividing line between big and petty theft. Theft of property valued at $2,499 or less is considered petty theft, according to this definition. An important consideration in many petit larceny cases is figuring out how much the stolen item was worth.

The attorneys at Saland Law have the experience, knowledge, and persistence to help you move past a theft allegation as former Manhattan prosecutors and New York criminal defense lawyers who have both defended and prosecuted clients accused of larceny crimes.

The accused cannot be found guilty of grand theft unless the prosecutor can demonstrate that the amount of the stolen property exceeds the minimum required. Worth is established using various techniques, including figuring out the fair market value of the asset, the greatest reasonable value, or the retail value.

 Theft rampage.

In some theft offenses, a single person steals several objects as part of the same theft, or a group of persons collaborates to steal several items. In some states, the law may classify as a single set of objects, all things taken from a single owner, one location, or as a result of a single criminal lawyer impulse. In these states, the total worth of the seized property is combined to determine whether the theft constitutes grand theft. In some places, if there are various victims or no overarching scheme to commit robbery, the value of several goods cannot be combined.

 Grand Larceny Defense Firm in Los Angeles

 In Los Angeles, most theft offenses are severe enough to be prosecuted as felonies. The amount of the property or item taken, whether a weapon was used in the crime, and your criminal history all play a role in determining whether the prosecution will charge you with a misdemeanor or felony.

It’s crucial to remember that grand larceny can take many forms, including embezzlement or stealing someone else’s property. By saying that you took the property by theft, deception, trickery, or that which was given to you, prosecutors will fight tooth and nail to elevate a charge of petty theft to grand larceny. The jury must decide that the accused stole the property to find them guilty; they are not required to concur with the prosecution’s theory. Regardless of your circumstances, we strongly advise you to contact our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers right now.

 Felony larceny examples and hypothetical

Some brief scenarios and examples are the best way to help you visualize how you might break the law. Once more, assuming you did not have the right to behave in the manner stated below yet did so knowingly:

 At a bar, you take a credit card out of a bag. You charge more than $1,000 in illicit purchases to a business card.

 By threatening to reveal embarrassing and naked selfies she sent you to her employer if she does not pay you a set amount of money, you effectively blackmail an ex-girlfriend. By transferring checks or money from your employer’s company account to your account, you embezzle $125,000.You spend more than $1,000 to remove a painting from a hotel or restaurant.

 If you are accused of or charged with any grand larceny offense, thoroughly researching the elements and potential defenses is essential to your success in contesting the allegations because numerous factors raise the severity of the crime or degree you can face.

 Penalties for Grand Larceny in California

 In California, grand larceny is a wobbler crime. This means that a crime can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. If found guilty of misdemeanor grand theft, the maximum sentence is one year in county jail.

 Grand larceny is a more serious crime with longer jail sentences—16 months, 2 years, or 3 years. Being detained or facing a grand larceny charge does not guarantee a conviction. A skilled criminal defense attorney is equipped with several strong defenses. Your attorney might contest the allegations by arguing that you didn’t intend to steal, that you were wrongly charged, that the owner of the goods you took gave their approval, or that the item you’re accused of stealing truly belonged to you.

Even if the evidence against you can appear overwhelming, a knowledgeable and experienced attorney can decide how to defend you against the accusations best and avoid harsh criminal penalties.

 Even if you have never been in problems with the law before, being accused of grand larceny is always a solemn occasion. Even if you are not given a significant prison term after being found guilty of a felony, your life will become more difficult. Anytime you are accused of grand theft, you need to consult with an accomplished criminal defense lawyer.

The laws of your state and the evidence the prosecution can use against you play a significant role in these offenses. Only a qualified local attorney with knowledge of your particular area’s criminal justice system can assess your victim and client in light of the law, the available evidence, and other relevant factors.

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