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What is a Larceny Conviction?

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  • Written By: Phil Shepley
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A larceny conviction occurs when a person has been tried and determined to be guilty of larceny in a court of law. Any monetary theft, property theft, or combination thereof can be considered larceny. A convicted party generally will receive a sentence dependent upon several factors. These can include the severity of the crime, the opinion of the judge who administers the sentence, the region where the incident took place and prior criminal record. Laws regarding a larceny conviction can vary greatly, even within a specific region or country.

The primary factor that often determines the consequence of a larceny conviction is usually the type of larceny committed. Petty, or petit, larceny involves the theft of either a small amount of money or a low-valued item. Conversely, grand larceny is the theft of a high amount of money, or a high-valued item or set of items.

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There is no common set value to determine when theft increases from petty to grand larceny. As an example, a particular area may consider anything under $500 US Dollars (USD) to be petit larceny, while anything above that level would be referred to as grand larceny. Another area may consider anything below $300 USD to be petit larcency; the definitions vary greatly from area to area. Most larceny convictions will involve restitution of damages to the victim of the crime. This can happen by returning the stolen money or property, or by paying the value of any lost or damaged property involved with the crime.

A grand larceny conviction, considered a felony, typically has much more sentence flexibility than a petty larceny because the amount stolen can be practically any amount. A grand larceny conviction for a theft valued at $501 USD, for example, can potentially carry a vastly lighter sentence than a theft of one million USD. Sentencing guidelines are typically set within the jurisdiction where the theft occurred.

Another factor sometimes considered in sentencing someone for a larceny conviction is the offender's criminal record. A conviction for a first-time petit larceny offender often can include fines and probation, allowing the offender to avoid jail time if he stays out of trouble. Repeat offenders will often see stiffer sentencing that can include high fines, long probationary periods, and mandatory jail time. A grand larcenist can receive much more severe punishments as a multiple offender, commonly receiving a sentence of many years in jail.

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