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Grand Rapids Larceny Lawyer

Under Michigan law, stealing property that belongs to someone else is classified as the crime of larceny.  Other states refer to the same crime as theft but the concept is the same – taking the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property (as opposed to borrowing it).

Depending on the value of the property or other circumstances involved, larceny can be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony punishable by jail time and a heavy fine. State law specifies several different levels of larceny, so understanding the statutes and how they apply to different situations is extremely important.

A knowledgeable Grand Rapids larceny lawyer will be able to explain what is involved in a larceny case and the defenses that are most likely to succeed in particular circumstances, so it is important to establish a working relationship with an attorney as quickly as possible.

Types of Property Subject to Larceny

Section 750.356 of the Michigan Penal Code defines larceny as stealing the following types of property:

  • Money
  • Goods or other personal property
  • Bank notes, promissory notes, bills or certificates
  • Account books stating when bills are due or goods are to be delivered
  • Deeds for the sale of land or other valuable contracts
  • Receipts or releases from debt
  • Public records, writs, or processes
  • Scrap metal

The details and nuances of a larceny charge are broad, but a larceny attorney in Grand Rapids can help a person navigate its complexities and work towards reducing penalties if a conviction were to occur.

Misdemeanor

If the stolen property is worth less than $200, then the crime is considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500 or three times the value of the property, whichever is greater.

In instances where the stolen property is valued between $200 and $1,000, the jail time can extend up to a year and the fine can be as high as $2000 or three times the value of the property.

In the case of scrap metal theft, the value of the property includes not only the cost to replace the metal but also the cost to repair any damage caused during removal of the metal.

It is worth noting that prior convictions increase the penalty. For example, theft of property worth less than $200 will be treated as a larceny of property worth more and can be punished by up to a year of jail time and a $2000 fine if the person committing the crime has attempted or committed a similar crime in the past. An experienced larceny lawyer in Grand Rapids can work towards building the best possible defense based on the facts and circumstances of each individual’s case.

Larceny as a Felony

Larceny is treated as a felony in Michigan when the property involved is either worth more than $1,000 or the offense is a second offense and the property is worth $200 or more.  If the value of the property is between $1,000 and $20,000, the crime is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, and the prison time doubles if the amount is over $20,000.

Other circumstances can also classify a larceny as a felony. For example, stealing tires, stereos or other designated parts from a car, trailer or other motor vehicle will be considered felony larceny with a penalty of up to five years in prison.

Consult With  a Larceny Lawyer Today

In a larceny case, the way the court views the circumstances involved can make a tremendous difference in the degree of the offense. There are certain elements that must be proven for the court to find that a larceny has been committed, and many defenses that may be raised.

Anyone who has been charged with the crime of larceny should contact an experienced Grand Rapids larceny attorney to help work toward the best possible resolution.