Many use the terms larceny and theft interchangeably. While that is acceptable, they are slightly different offenses.
What is the Difference Between Theft and Larceny?
Attorney Thomas Grajek explains...
“A great number of individuals use the terms larceny and theft synonymously. Over time, the lines have blurred between the two crimes, but they are separate crimes. Larceny involves taking another’s property, not by fraud, and intending to keep it. Property in this instance is tangible or physical property,”
explains Thomas Grajek, a Florida defense attorney.
“There is one defining difference between the two crimes. Larceny is committed without violence.”
Theft is often committed to take cash, not property from a victim, which means that if a thief gets property, like a wallet or purse, while stealing, it is not always classified as larceny, because the sole reason for the theft was to get money, not property. “Larceny is when an individual is accused of transferring ownership of property without the real owner knowing or approving the transaction,” Grajek explained.
Examples of larceny include stealing a vehicle and then selling it to someone else while portraying his or herself as the owner. There is also a category referred to as larceny by trick, which involves the real property owner giving up possession of their property willingly, because they were under the impression it was a reasonable and right thing to do. Larceny by false promise, involves a thief being given property in exchange for services. The services are never provided.
All charges are serious and the rights of the accused are on the line. Those charged with offenses such as these are entitled to have a defense mounted for them.
“To defend charges like this, the attorney will need to know what crime you have been charged with. For instance, if you stand accused of stealing a car and making money from selling it, you will most likely have a list of charges filed against you, and one of them would be grand larceny. However, if the car was stolen then recovered by police, you may face charges of theft” Grajek said.
When accused of a crime, it’s important that the charged individual retain an attorney to protect their rights.