A larceny lawyer is person who is authorized to practice law and who specializes in a particular crime — larceny. The term refers to a defense attorney as opposed to a prosecutor. Larceny lawyers represent people charged with larceny — the unlawful taking of another person's property by trespass.
Larceny lawyers are a type of criminal lawyer. In fact, it is more common to refer to lawyers by a more general categorization, rather than a specific crime. For example, there are criminal lawyers, civil lawyers, and intellectual property lawyers. Still, one can be called a larceny lawyer if he or she has particular experience or interest in larceny charges over other types of crimes.
The term larceny lawyer can technically refer to prosecutors or defense attorneys involved with legal procedures relating to larceny charges. Since prosecutors typically have to bring criminal action over a variety of crimes, they are not usually referred to as larceny lawyers. As a result, the term is usually used in reference to defense attorneys — lawyers authorized to represent people charged with the crime of larceny.
Different jurisdictions may have different definitions of the crime of larceny. Most, however, define it as the willful taking of another person's property without the owner's consent, and with the premeditated purpose of depriving the individual of his or her property. Larceny is different than the more well-known property crime of robbery which requires force or threats of force. It is also distinguished from embezzlement because larceny requires that the property be in the rightful owner's possession; embezzlement requires that possession of the personal property be in the rightful, though temporary, possession of the person charged with the offense.
A larceny lawyer is not responsible for determining the innocence or guilt of a client. Rather, these attorneys must collect details of the particular case at hand and apply the law to those facts, ideally in a way that favors their clients. The applicable law includes statutory law, common law, and any relevant case precedence. Their client's innocence is typically proven either by showing that one of the elements of the crime is not present, or by successfully arguing a defense or justification.
While larceny charges are subject to resolution through a criminal court case, most cases are not resolved by a full trial. Larceny lawyers, therefore, do not always argue a case to judgment before a judge or jury. Much of their role in a larceny defense involves filing proper motions and other paperwork related to the case. Often, a larceny lawyer will be responsible for engaging in a plea deal on behalf of his or her client.
In the US, the client is in charge of his or her case. As a result, larceny lawyers, like all lawyers, are charged with being advocates. That is, they advise their clients based on their understanding of the facts of the case and the law on the charges involved. The ultimate decision and direction of the defense, however, rests with the person charged.