The Many Faces of Larceny
If you have been charged with the crime of larceny, the only action of a reasonable person should be to run-not walk-to the office of an attorney. That’s because the Connecticut statutes that govern larceny are amongst the most comprehensive in the nation. Only a person seriously devoid of concern for their well-being would attempt to engage a prosecutor on a larceny charge without legal representation.
In everyday language, larceny consists of everything that most people would associate with stealing or theft. Larceny is essentially a nonviolent action that involves several specific elements:
- someone else’s property;
- an illegal appropriation of that property;
- the lack of consent of the owner of the property that was spirited away; and
- an intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property.
Simply put, you can be charged with larceny if you take personal property from someone else without his or her consent and you intend to permanently keep that property for yourself.
In addition, that is only the beginning. Although larceny in Connecticut can involve almost any nonviolent misappropriation of property, each incident of larceny can involve six separate levels of severity. Each level, or degree, of the crime carries a specific amount of potential jail time. Therefore, if you are charged with a larcenous offense, you could be facing anywhere from three months to 20 years in jail. At the very least, if you are facing such charges, you should take advantage of our free telephone consultation to get an idea of what you might be up-against.
The six degrees of larceny charges range from the minimally serious to the very, very serious. Moreover, the severity usually depends on the type and value of the property stolen, as well as the method used to steal the property. The application of the statutes to your specific crime may not be easy to understand, and is the principal reason you need a legal representative to sort it out for you. For instance, the aggregate sum of the larceny usually determines the level of severity:
- Above $20,000, first degree larceny
- Above $10,000, second degree larceny
- Above $2,000, third degree larceny
- Above $1,000, fourth degree larceny
- Above $500, fifth degree larceny
- Below $500, sixth degree larceny
The higher the degree of larceny, the more severe the punishment?but that is for most property. There are special categories of property (e.g. motor vehicles, scientific and technical, etc.) for which the six degrees of larceny carry and entirely different monetary value. Even more strangely, the theft of a public record in Connecticut carries only a third degree larceny charge-no matter what the intrinsic value of the stolen record. Go figure. Even the most accomplished of attorneys can find it taxing dealing with this smorgasbord of larceny statutes. Just do not make the mistake of going into court alone on a larceny charge. Particularly if you have been convicted of a larceny offense twice before. In this case, you might very well fall prey to the Persistent Larceny Offender laws. The courts take seriously their roles of the rehabilitation and attempt to make examples of those who cannot seem to learn their lessons from previous encounters with the law. Under the Persistent Offender statutes, you could wind up with some serious jail time. Do not be penny wise and pound-foolish.
Issuing a Bad Check
Unfortunately, because of these difficult economic times, many more people than ever before are finding themselves facing the charge of “issuing a bad check” Then too, modern technology can cause us problems. Regular ATM withdrawals and paying for purchases with debit cards can often leave you uncertain of your account balance: causing you to issue a bad check totally without intending to do so. The problem is, however unintentional your intent, this action is against the law. How you deal with it will determine the consequences you face. These consequences can be as small as a $100 fine or as serious as five years in jail (with an additional $5,000 in fines). It all depends on the amount of the check and the circumstances surrounding your issuance of the bad check
Connecticut law allows for the charge of issuing a bad check to be treated as a form of larceny. How you deal with this problem should begin with soliciting sound legal advice to determine the extent of your liability. Did you issue a bad check to a merchant or an individual? It makes a difference. A merchant, for example, must have a notice posted in their establishment reflecting the consequences of issuing a bad check. Was your checking account active or closed? Did you try to avoid paying for the check? Was the issuance of the bad check an honest mistake, or were the circumstances beyond your control (e.g. a bank error). The answers to these questions could go a long way towards determining your liability. Spending only a few minutes with our free telephone consulting service can begin to put your mind at ease regarding the potential road you have to travel in dealing with this matter.
Stealing a Firearm
In much the same way as other crimes in the state of Connecticut, “stealing a firearm” can be a two-fer: a charge of larceny being added to the principal charge of stealing a firearm. When you have the intent to permanently alleviate another person of their firearm (or otherwise deprive an individual of the lawful possession of their firearm), the law says you are guilty. What you say may not matter if you do not have someone representing you who knows the ins and outs of the law. Regardless of the intrinsic value of the firearm, stealing a firearm is considered a class D felony with jail time of from one-to-five years and a fine of up to $5,000.
Certainly if you consider yourself innocent, and even if you think you may be guilty, the active representation of knowledgeable counsel can mitigate your pain when facing prosecution. The law gives the judge wide discretion in the sentences imposed, and only a strong defense will serve your best interests. Your legal representative can guide you through the determination of the circumstances of the alleged crime, or the lack thereof. What type of firearm was it and was it used during the commission of a crime? Were you prohibited from owning a firearm? Did you break into a house to steal the gun? The circumstances may be entirely in your favor and we may allow us to preserve your way to freedom. Only when we know the full facts of your involvement, can we begin to help you determine a proper course of action.
Contact the Law Offices of Andrew J. Cates, LLC toll free at (800) 330-4988 or (860) 522-7044, or contact us online today.