What is larceny? Is there any Difference Between Burglary and Larceny?

The United States comes across millions of theft and larceny cases annually which often include shoplifting, pick-pocketing, bag-snatching, vehicle snatching etc. Similar to the year 2021, despite lockdown and certain limitations, there were millions of theft and larceny crimes reported throughout the year in almost every state.

But what is larceny? Or Burglary? How can somebody differentiate among them while mostly they are used interchangeably? If you are charged with a larceny crime and don’t know what it is, then you may not work with your attorney to reduce your charges. Look further to know what is larceny and burglary and whether you can be convicted of both if the crime you have committed refers to the scenarios discussed below.

What is Larceny?

Larceny refers to an illegal activity executed to withdraw someone from his property or personal items. State laws are varied depending upon the severity of the crime. Many times it is interchangeably mixed up with the theft but to convict an accuser with larceny, some specific elements should be met;

  • Intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of the property of its use
  • Sale or gift someone else’s property without his/her permission
  • Intent to steal the property of someone’s possessions
  • Preventing the owner of the property from reaping the benefit of the possession
  • Convert the stolen property under their own name

Examples of Larceny include:

  • Pick-pocketing
  • Carjacking
  • Shoplifting
  • Purse-snatching
  • Theft of parts of vehicle – or vehicle
  • Stealing in any form

Attempted larceny is also a form of larceny where a felon attempted to commit theft but could not succeed. This also makes the executor legally responsible for the theft.

Types of Larceny

Larceny is significantly divided into two types;

Grand Theft larceny

Grand theft larceny is one of the serious criminal offenses, which translates a grand theft crime as an illegal activity of taking personal possession of a person whose value is more than the state decided value. For example, if a snatcher snatches a gun in California from a person whose worth is more than $950,  it would be called grand theft larceny.

Grand larceny executors can be charged with both misdemeanor and felony charges based on the criminal activity someone is involved in. Also, the conviction may contain a fine along with a minimum of one-year imprisonment.

Petty Theft

These types of larceny crimes are opposite to what grand theft larceny crimes are known for. Petty theft refers to crimes where the value of the stolen property is lower than the state specified value.

The petty theft larceny crimes are often considered misdemeanors and the convictions could end up anywhere between one year or less. This means when someone steals a tin of milk while shoplifting they will not be treated with the same treatment someone would have after stealing a motor vehicle.

Keep reading to know about Burglary in order to comprehend the difference between burglary and larceny better.

What is Burglary?

Burglary is more like an illegal act of committing a robbery by breaking into someone’s property with the intent to steal. It can be done during the day or night regardless of the time and value of the property.

The property where a person illegally invaded can be commercial property such as a shop or factory or personal property such as a home. The invasion would be called burglary.  Burglary crimes include but are not limited to;

  • Trespassing into the structure or building
  • Committing rape after breaking in
  • Causing bodily harm to the owner of the property
  • Stealing products and valuable items from the property

Burglary, however, is a felony crime according to the state laws and if the offender hurt the property owner by any means or commit sexual assault, then a burglar may be convicted of capital punishment.

What constitutes a charge of both larceny and burglary?

As you may have figured out from the above discussion, both larceny and burglary are separate crimes. Therefore, if anyone is found guilty of larceny and burglary in different or the same events, they can be charged with both charges.

For instance, if someone breaks into a property and steals a laptop, he will be charged with burglary and larceny. Also, the accused can get separate convictions for the two separate crimes.

The main difference between Larceny and Burglary

The term that separates the two is ‘breaking in’. A burglar breaks into someone’s property with the intent to commit a larceny crime – which referred to stealing someone else’s possession.

As said, the state laws differ across the United States for burglary and larceny and an accuser would be charged separately for both crimes. But when it comes to convicting someone for larceny, the charges may be further segregated according to the value of the stolen item and would be considered grand theft or petty theft larceny.

Besides, some states have severe punishment and penalties for the burglar and accusers of larceny and burglary crimes. While some prefer leniency depending on the crime and the criminal history of the accuser(s).

Requirements to prove larceny crimes

1. Illegal taking of property

To be successful in a lawsuit against a larceny case, a defendant should prove that the property was acquired illegally. In these events, the property should be something that can be moved from one place to another like clothes, bags, cars, accessories, etc. Houses and lands are not considered in a larceny suit.

2. The property was acquired without the defendant’s consent

Not only the legitimacy but the proof of consent will also be required to prove the larceny-theft. The defendant must prove that the property was taken without their involvement or permission. Nevertheless, if the accused proves that the defendant knew about the act and allowed the entrance, the claim can be dismissed.

3. Deprivation of the property

For a larceny charge against an accused, the defendant must also prove the intention of permanent deprivation of his property. They have to prove that the accused used the property as their own and prevent them from benefiting from the property.

They may also need to prove the reluctance of the accused in returning the property.

4. Conversion of property

The last thing that a defendant needs to prove is the intent to convert the defendant’s property into their own. For instance, if an owner of a vehicle sees his missing car in the accused parking area or other events they use the car for their own purpose. In the case, the accused has willfully stolen the car and the intent to deprive the owner of the benefits of the vehicle clearly shows the determination of converting the property as their own.

To prove the larceny crime, a defendant would need to prove these elements. And without hiring an experienced attorney, this may be difficult for a defendant to gather all the evidence or hold someone liable for their actions.

If you have suffered from larceny crimes while living in the United States, it is suggested to hire a personal injury attorney for the best outcome of your case.

If you are convicted of a felony crime, see how an attorney can help in saving your constitutional rights.

Recent Posts