What is a Larceny Attorney?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 14 January 2020
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A larceny attorney is a lawyer who defends individuals accused of a type of theft called larceny. Larceny is a crime in which a person takes possession of personal property that belongs to another person without the owner's permission. In order for the crime to be considered larceny, he must then remove it from the owner’s presence and exercise control over it. This may include holding onto the item, selling it, or giving it away. A person can be charged with larceny because he is accused of stealing money or physical items.

Some larceny attorneys defend individuals who have been accused of petty larceny, grand larceny, or both. Petty larceny is a charge levied against as person who is accused of stealing something that is below a specific monetary value. Different jurisdictions have different thresholds for petty theft charges. In some jurisdictions, it may be $500 US Dollars (USD), while others may set the threshold amount at $250 USD, for example.

In some cases, larceny attorneys defend clients who have been accused of grand larceny. Grand larceny is the theft of personal property that has a higher value than a threshold amount set in a particular jurisdiction. Grand larceny is typically considered a more serious crime than petty larceny. In many places, it carries stiffer penalties as well.


When an individual is charged with petty larceny, he may hire a larceny attorney to defend the charge in court. In many places, petty larceny is punishable with time in jail and fines. A larceny attorney may help his client avoid conviction or obtain a less severe penalty. In some cases, a person convicted of this crime may receive probation or a suspended sentence in lieu of jail time.

An individual who is charged with grand larceny may receive a longer jail sentence and higher fines than a person convicted of petty larceny. In some places, a grand larceny conviction may require a person to spend more than a year in jail. It may also place a serious criminal charge on a person’s permanent record, not only hurting his reputation, but also interfering with his ability to get a job. A grand larceny attorney may help a person obtain a lesser charge or lighter sentencing. He also may help a client prove his innocence.

Larceny attorneys may defend clients in a wide range of theft cases. For example, a larceny attorney may defend one individual after he is charged with stealing another person’s wallet and another who is accused of stealing jewelry. He may also defend individuals who are accused of stealing items such as cell phones, CD players, or cash. In many jurisdictions, shoplifting is considered a type of larceny as well.



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