When it comes to criminal law, there are many different terms in reference to the type of crime you might have committed. All of these different terms can be confusing, and sometimes people might be wondering what they all really mean in legal terms. Two criminal terms that often get confused with one another are larceny and theft. There is a slight difference between these two types of crimes, and it’s important that you know these differences if you are charged with one of them.
What Is Larceny?
Larceny is actually a type of theft. It involves a person taking property such as goods or money without the owner’s permission or consent for personal use. There are two types of larceny: petty and grand larceny. Petty larceny is a misdemeanor crime where an individual takes property valued at a small amount. Grand larceny, however, includes stealing property at a much higher value. In general, you can define larceny as the stealing of personal property such as items, jewelry, or money just with the intent of having the item for themselves. Larceny would not involve seizing other property such as real estate.
What Is Theft?
Theft is the taking of property from an individual without permission or consent with the intent to use or sell. For example, a person who steals an item from a store and then attempts to sell this item later has committed theft. Theft can also be seen as more of a generic term involving all property crimes, including larceny. It can also be divided into petty and grand thefts. Unlike larceny, however, theft can involve many different types, such as robbery, identity theft, burglary, embezzlement, fraud, etc.