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What’s the difference between theft and larceny?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

There are different types of theft crimes a person can be charged with in Florida and other areas. You might wonder whether larceny and theft are the same thing.

What is theft?

Theft is a broad term that describes crimes involving property being taken from the owner without their express permission. There are a variety of different theft crimes with different criteria. However, the act of theft refers to someone taking another person’s property with the intention of permanently depriving that person of the property.

There are also varying degrees of theft. A person can face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the value of the property taken. When the property’s value is lower, worth under $500 or $1,000, it’s known as petty theft. However, if the value of the stolen property is much higher than those amounts, a person could face grand theft charges.

What is larceny?

Larceny is a theft crime that also involves taking property from the owner with the intent of permanently depriving them of it. However, there are other types of specific crimes that fall under the category of larceny such as embezzlement, extortion, writing a bad check and more. Like theft, larceny crimes can be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the stolen property’s value. For example, if a person commits embezzlement and ends up stealing tens of thousands of dollars, it would be considered a form of grand larceny based on the amount of money involved in the crime.

The difference between theft and larceny is usually that one involves property that can be physically taken while the other involves taking property through various means: online, physically, through a promised service and in other ways.

Regardless of whether you face theft or larceny charges, either of these crimes is serious and needs to be taken seriously. A charge can be life-changing even if you’re not convicted.