Los Angeles Larceny Lawyer

Much like the crime of theft, larceny in California is a crime against property. Historically California treated larceny and theft as separate crimes. Modern laws have consolidated the two under PC 490a to state that the terms “larceny, embezzlement or stealing” should be considered to contain the term "theft".

Definition of Larceny (Theft) Pursuant to California Law

Therefore, petty larceny is the same as the crime of theft in California, which is defined as “theft of another's property or money.” Under California statutes the defined value of the taken property determines if the crime will be tried as petty larceny (petty theft) or grand larceny (grand theft). Charges of theft are most often distinguished from false pretenses and embezzlement in that the actual taking of property is done illegally and without the consent of the victim and besides just taking the property, the perpetrator must carry off the property as well. Larceny and theft are distinguished from burglary because a larceny or theft doesn't necessarily involve the act of unlawful breaking and entering.

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Grand larceny (grand theft) penalties and definitions are found under California PC 487 and include the unlawful taking of the property of another valued above $950. If the property taken has a value of $950 or less, it is considered a petty larceny (petty theft). Most often a straightforward process, grand larceny charges does not have to apply to one taking during just one incident. For instance, if you take money, labor, personal property, or land from an employer, in an amount of more than $950 during any 12-month time period, you can be charged with grand larceny. Most grand larceny property items that are seen in California courts include the following.

  • Firearms
  • Automobiles
  • Livestock, like horses, sheep, or pits
  • Property carried by another person, either in his or her clothing, a container or on his or her body

If the property taken is one of the following items you can face a grand larceny charge even if the item is just valued in an amount as small as $250.

  • Certain kinds of foods like domestic fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, farm crops and other aquacultural products; and
  • Real estate taken from another person that has been converted into your own personal property, like taking oil or water from another’s property

The penalties for larceny in California are the same as the penalties for theft, making grand larceny a felony offense, with penalties of up to 3 years in state prison; and petty larceny a misdemeanor which is punishable by up to, but not more than, 1 year in prison, probation, and fines.

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Contact The Manuelian Law Firm for Assistance if You have been Charged with Larceny

The Manuelian Law Firm is a Los Angeles criminal defense firm that handles larceny defense. R.J. Manuelian is a dedicated, experienced larceny criminal defense attorney who you want on your side if you have been charged with any criminal offense in California. With ample experience in both state and Federal court, R.J. is able to see that your rights are protected and that your case receives the most favorable outcome possible. Contact him today at 213-401-2777 for a free consultation concerning your larceny case.

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