What is larceny?
Most people use the word “stealing” to describe the act of taking someone else’s property or money without their permission. The law in Nevada calls it something else: larceny.
What is larceny? Larceny, as described in the Nevada Revised Statutes, covers a range of criminal offenses, including theft, shoplifting, and embezzlement. It’s a serious offense that, depending on the amount of the theft, can bring a punishment of up to 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
The amount of the property or money taken determines whether prosecutors file a charge of larceny or grand larceny. No matter the exact charge, if you’re accused of larceny, you need guidance from the experienced criminal defense attorneys at De Castroverde Law. Here’s what you need to know about larceny and grand larceny.
What Is Grand Larceny?
Grand larceny is a criminal offense that applies when someone “intentionally steals, takes, and carries away, leads away, or drives away” personal goods or property belonging to another valued at $1,200 or more. As defined under Nevada Revised Statutes, this includes:
- Theft of bedding, furniture, or other property at a place of lodging owned by someone else.
- Real property that someone converts to their own by severing it from real property owned by another.
- Using someone else’s ATM card or another device to withdraw or transfer money that belongs to someone else.
Grand larceny also applies to livestock, domesticated animals, and birds. For instance, prosecutors can charge you with grand larceny if you take animals or lure them away from their rightful owners. You can also face charges if you alter or deface a brand or marking to hide its true ownership.
Grand larceny also applies in circumstances where someone kills one or more heads of livestock owned by another person but runs at large, regardless of whether the livestock is marked or branded.
Penalties for grand larceny increase as the property increases in value. The lowest level of grand larceny is a Class D felony, carrying a prison sentence of one to four years for property between $1,200 and $5,000. The others are:
- Grand larceny involving property between $5,000 and $25,000; this is considered a Class C felony, carrying a sentence of one to five years in prison.
- Grand larceny involving property valued between $25,000 and $100,000. Prosecutors can file a Class B felony for this offense, which carries a prison sentence of one to 10 years.
- The most serious grand larceny charge for property of $100,000 or more is considered a Class B felony and has a prison sentence of one to 20 years.
What Is Simple Larceny?
A standard charge of larceny, known as petit larceny, applies when someone “intentionally steals, takes, and carries away, leads away, or drives away” personal goods or property valued at less than $1,200. The law covers the same types of goods or property, including bedding or furniture from a lodging place or stealing or carrying away a domesticated animal or bird. Under Nevada law, petit larceny is categorized as a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
What Is Theft in Nevada Law?
In addition to grand larceny and petit larceny, Nevada also has laws against theft. While the offenses of larceny and theft have similarities, there are some significant differences. Broadly speaking, theft involves taking someone’s property through fraud or deceit. Specifically, the law defines theft as when a person:
- Controls any property of another person with the intent to deprive that person of the property.
- Converts, transfers an interest in, or controls someone else’s property without authority or through misrepresentation.
- Assumes control of property while failing to make efforts to identify the valid owner.
- Takes control of tangible, personal, or intangible property or the services of another person by a material misrepresentation with intent to deprive that person of the property or services.
In the specifics of the law, Nevada considers “material misrepresentation” to mean the use of any pretense or the making of any fraudulent promise, representation, or statement of fact to control or transfer property or services.
Prosecutors can also charge you with theft if you took control of someone else’s property when you knew or should have known the property was stolen or try to pay for goods or services with a check when you know the underlying account doesn’t have enough money in it. Driving away from a gas station without paying for gas is also theft.
Penalties for theft are also based on the value of the stolen property. The punishment ranges from a misdemeanor for thefts under $1,200 to a Class B felony for over $100,000. The latter charge carries a potential penalty of one year to 20 years in prison.
Other Types of Larceny Under Nevada Law
Nevada Revised Statutes include other offenses similar to larceny but fall under different laws because they have distinct circumstances.
For instance, the offense of embezzlement covers instances where someone takes property originally entrusted to them, such as if someone takes a car from a car rental or a cashier skims money from a cash register. Penalties for embezzlement are the same as those for theft, ranging from a Class D felony for items between $1,200 and $5,000 to a Class B felony for stolen property valued at greater than $100,000.
Larceny Defense at De Castroverde Law Group
If you’re accused of petit larceny or grand larceny, you need counsel from a criminal defense attorney experienced in Nevada law. The veteran team at De Castroverde Law Group has defended clients against all types of misdemeanor and felony larceny and theft charges. We’ll stand behind you as your case proceeds in court and work closely with you to develop a proper defense. Our team has experience in all forms of criminal defense law, especially charges common in Las Vegas and elsewhere in Nevada. Call us or contact us online to schedule a consultation to begin composing your defense.
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