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Theft and Larceny: When to Seek Legal Help

Punishments associated with theft are still evolving within the court system and are generally settled at the state level. While an absence of actual legislation exists pertaining to theft and larceny crimes, a criminal defense attorney can help navigate charges for individuals facing such issues.

Larceny and Theft

Larceny is the theft of personal property from another person for personal use. Theft on the other hand, incorporates the thief's intent to sell the stolen property obtained.

Michigan criminal law defines larceny by assigning a monetary value to stolen property. For instance, misdemeanor larceny may be charged when stolen merchandise is $200 or less. Up to $1,000 is still a misdemeanor however, punishment is raised to second degree and is now eligible for imprisonment and fines three times the value of the merchandise.

Felony theft constitutes a situation where stolen property exceeds $1,000 but is less than $20,000 and also includes motor vehicles and parts. This type of felony is punishable by up to five years imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000 in Michigan.

Seeking Help from a Qualified Attorney

When circumstances lead to criminal accusations, consulting a lawyer is a must. Since there are many different kinds of theft, and each one requires its own defenses, it is important to seek council from an attorney for their experience and ability to help with a complex legal system.

Attorneys understand how to define and present facts when charges are looming pertaining to larceny and theft. The way law defines such facts is how sentencing is carried out. In regard to theft and larceny, for example, an element of wrongfulness must be demonstrated in order to meet the required elements of the charges.

Petty theft in Michigan

In addition to criminal punishment, civil liabilities may also be assigned. Some of the terms associated with theft and larceny also include:
  • Petty theft
  • Grand theft; and
  • Specific theft such as grand theft auto

While petty theft is a minor crime, it is still categorized as a criminal offense. Further, the more severe situation of grand theft crime often results in serious ramifications that lead to dismal outcomes for the charged.

Types of stolen property
Presently, even electronic information can be considered theft. In the United States, one exception to the state-level regulations is interstate commerce. Interstate commerce pertains to the movement of persons, things and information across state lines. In addition to intangible goods, other types of stolen property ranges from:
  • Retail merchandise
  • Cash
  • Automobiles; and
  • Residential or commercial property

While cash is one of the most common assets involved in theft, other items like clothing, tools, automotive parts and even cigarettes and alcohol are the usual items involved in such scenarios. Under Michigan law, theft also includes real estate deeds and public records, in addition to receipts, goods and money.

An experienced attorney in Michigan can represent an accused individual and provide appropriate legal services as needed. Attorney's advocate for their clients and are prepared to engage in legal strategy in order to maneuver the legal system appropriately and favorably. Since lawyers typically specialize in a particular field of law, retaining an attorney who excels in theft and larceny is the most relevant step to take.
 
 
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About David L. Zoglio
David L. Zoglio has been practicing law in the Mid-Michigan area for nearly 20 years.

Education
  • B.S. - Univ. Cincinnati (1989)
  • J.D. - Thomas M. Cooley (1996)
Bar Admissions
  • State of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court
    - Western District, Michigan