Theft, larceny and other factors

When someone in Michigan is facing a criminal charge for theft, there are multiple ways to categorize theft. Theft generally refers to taking someone's property without permission and not intending to give it back. The type of theft may vary based on one's intent and what was taken.

According to Findlaw, larceny and theft are similar, but larceny specifically includes the property owner's consent. Theft involves taking property from someone else without consent while intending to permanently deprive the owner of said property. Larceny and theft cases may involve one's intent as it must be proven that someone was trying to take and keep property, so possible defenses for accused persons might involve borrowing an item or one thinking the item belonged to oneself.

The type of stolen goods and their worth determine if a crime is a felony or misdemeanor, and property is usually valued by the item's current market value. Thefts involving items below a certain value are called petty thefts and can result in a misdemeanor charge. While the amount varies, property worth less than $1,000 might qualify as petty theft. Grand theft is more serious and applies to any items above the petty theft threshold, and grand theft charges are usually felonies.

Charges for larceny are serious, and the potential consequences likely depend on what was allegedly taken, its worth and whether the person charged has previous convictions. Other factors also influence the court process, and some cases are dropped before they go to trial. A prosecutor may decide not to pursue charges if he or she thinks there is not enough evidence to show that someone committed the crime. One may wish to consult an attorney during a criminal investigation or when facing charges.