What is Larceny?
Larceny, also known as shoplifting, theft or stealing is the dishonest taking of something (personal property or money) that belongs to someone else with the intention of permanently depriving them of the item. That is, there is no intention of returning the item to the owner. If you find something of value and decide to keep it, this may constitute larceny by finding.
Pursuant to Section 117 of the Crimes Act 1900, the offence of larceny is defined as the theft of personal property or money belonging to another and is punishable according to the value of the property taken.
Is Larceny a Serious Crime?
Larceny is a serious offence. Facing a charge of larceny can be very stressful and may have an impact on your future. If you are convicted of larceny it will result in a criminal record which can limit your career prospects and ability to travel.
What must the Police Prove?
You can only be found guilty of larceny if the Police can prove the following elements:
- That you took and removed the property; and
- That the property taken belonged to another person; and
- You took the property without the consent of the owner; and
- You did not intend to return the item; and
For the Police to make out the offence of larceny there must be a theft of an item, or money. For example, this provision would not cover the theft of information.
Are there any Defences to Larceny?
All the elements above need to be established beyond reasonable doubt for a prosecution to be successful. If one or more of the elements cannot be made out, there cannot be a finding of guilt for larceny.
You will be found not guilty to a charge of larceny if you can prove the following:
- The victim mistakenly gave you the property or money and you kept it
- You honestly believed that you have a legal right to the property,
- You did not actually take the property or money away
- You were unaware that you had possession of the property or money
- Duress or necessity
What if I Plead Guilty to Larceny?
If you wish to plead guilty to larceny it is important to speak with an experienced criminal lawyer at the earliest opportunity. There are a number of strategies we may utilise to maximise your chances of avoiding a criminal record even when pleading guilty.
1. Early Plea of Guilty
Pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity will entitle you to a discount of 25% at sentencing resulting in the lightest possible sentence. This significantly increases your chances of avoiding a criminal conviction. The longer you wait to plead guilty the lower the discount becomes. An early plea of guilty is also seen as an expression of your remorse.
2. Character References
Effective character references should refer to your remorse, shame and show an insight into your offending behaviour. They should also reflect your otherwise good character and present you in the best possible light. Character references can be written by your employer, work colleagues, family and friends. We will provide you with reference guidelines to follow and our solicitors will review each reference before they are finalised.
3. Negotiate the Charges
An experienced criminal lawyer will thoroughly review the available brief of evidence and point out any problems the Police have with their case. This may be done by way of representations to the Police with a view to having the charges downgraded or dropped completely.
4. Negotiate the Facts
The “Police facts” are a document drafted by the Police outlining their version of what happened. These Facts are what the Magistrate or Judge reads when considering an appropriate penalty. Sometimes the Facts drafted by the Police are heavily biased, exaggerated or untrue. Our experienced criminal lawyers often negotiate with the Police and settle upon a version of “agreed facts” which put you in a better position.
5. Psychological Report
If mental health issues may have influenced the offending behaviour, a psychologist’s or psychiatrist’s report to the Court may be beneficial. We use a select team of professionals who have extensive experience writing forensic mental health reports to assist the Magistrate or Judge to understand your mental health issues at the time of the offending and take this into consideration when considering an appropriate penalty.
What are the Maximum Penalties for Larceny?
The maximum penalty for larceny depends on two factors, the value of the property taken and the Court the matter is heard in.
- If the matter is heard in the District Court, the maximum penalty for the offence of larceny is 5 years imprisonment.
- If the value of the property taken is more than $5,000 the maximum penalty that may be imposed by the Local Court is 2 years imprisonment, or a fine of $11,000.
- If the value of the property taken is valued between $2,000 and $5,000, the maximum penalty that may be imposed by the Local Court is 12 months imprisonment, or a fine of $5,500.
- If the value of the property taken is less than $2,000, the maximum penalty that may be imposed by the Local Court is 12 months imprisonment, or a fine of $2,200.
We are here to help
If you have been charged with Larceny or Stealing, don't take risks with your future.
Our solicitors specialise in Larceny & Stealing matters and represent clients in Courts throughout the Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter Regions. We have the experience and expertise to guide you through the court process from beginning to end to get you the best possible outcome.
If you are not guilty of the charges our criminal lawyers can help you clear your name and if you wish to plead guilty, we can help you avoid or minimise any gaol term.
If you need urgent advice from an experienced lawyer, call one of our criminal law specialists immediately on 1300 529 444 or fill in our contact form to arrange a free initial consultation with a solicitor today. Contact us now! 24-hour legal advice 7 days a week.
Kevin and Jane are without a doubt 100% there to support you through Your whole ordeal reassuring you all the way My experience from finding Fourtree Lawyers on Google in a fairly unsure position, reading the reviews to the successful outcomes was the only referral I had, believe me when I say you will be happy with their experience in all fields of law which is insurmountable and they will obtain the best favourable outcome in any circumstance. Fourtree Lawyers are there for you to bring things back into perspective...
“Kevin and Jane were my “knights in shining armour.” I can’t thank these two people enough. They gave their everything and most important believed me when I told them my story. I am forever grateful for their professional attitude and for giving 100% to free me from my nightmare. I was able to plead guilty but also most importantly was not forced to lie and compromise my integrity and own personal values and standards. I was very happy with the outcome and the way I was treated. They communicated constantly...
Had the most amazing experience with Fourtree Lawyers kevin vierboom who represented my partner was helpful and understanding and we got a great result better then expected ? jane hogan, I was so blessed to have her by my side. They are an amazing team and i would recommend them to everyone also great value for money. Especially considering i only called the morning of the court case and they were all over it at my bek and call thankyou so much guys im so appreciative for all your help today
I was lucky enough to have Kevin take my case and am truly grateful for the services he and his team provided. From the outset, I was made to feel comfortable and knew from the first time meeting with them that they would go above and beyond to get the best possible outcome and that is exactly what they did. Fourtree Lawyers provides exceptional service with outstanding results and I would recommend Kevin to anyone and everyone who is in need of these services.
Common Assault, Destroy or Damage Property, Larceny | All Charges Dismissed | Wyong Local Court
Our client is a 56 year old male who holds university qualifications in education.
Our client was involved in a dispute over borrowed money and power tools.
Our client was extremely troubled by the situation in which he found himself. He was concerned about the impact that a criminal conviction would have on his career.
The maximum penalty for the offence of Common Assault is a fine of $5,500 and/or imprisonment for 2 years. The maximum penalty for the offence of Destroy or Damage Property is a fine of $2,200 and/or imprisonment for two years, and a maximum term of imprisonment in the District Court of 5 years. The maximum penalty for the offence of Larceny is a fine of $2,200 and/or imprisonment for 2 years, and a maximum term of imprisonment in the District Court of 5 years.
Principal Solicitor Kevin Vierboom attended Wyong Local Court and ran a defended hearing for our client. Kevin managed to have all three charges against our client dismissed.
The client was overjoyed with the result. It was such a relief for him to have all the charges dismissed and have the matter finalised in such a positive way.
Robbery in Company, Assault Occasioning ABH in Company, Larceny, Affray | Client Released on ICO | Gosford Local Court
Our client is a 27 year old male. He was in custody on remand charged with Robbery in Company, Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm, Larceny and Affray after an altercation between two groups of males broke out in a park one evening.
The maximum penalty for the offence of Robbery in Company is 20 years imprisonment, the maximum penalty for Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm in Company is 7 years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for Larceny, is a fine of $5,500 and/or 12 months imprisonment, and the offence of Affray carries the maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.
Principal Solicitor Kevin Vierboom negotiated to have the proceedings kept in the Local Court where the maximum term of imprisonment is capped at 2 years. He made Representations to NSW Police resulting in one of the charges being withdrawn. The Magistrate imposed a $200 fine for the offence of Larceny, and ordered that the client be immediately released from custody under an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO) in satisfaction of the remaining offences.
Our client was extremely grateful to have his matter resolved and to be released from custody to return home to his family.
2 x Section 10A, 12 month CCO + fines | 5 x Traffic Offences & Larceny | Gosford Local Court | 1/2/2019
Our client is a 45 year old male. He is currently unemployed, living alone after the end of his marriage and struggling with crippling debt.
Our client had been disqualified from driving and affixed a set of stolen number plates to his car to avoid detection from the Police. He was driving home from the shops when the Police stopped him.
He was charged with Drive Motor Vehicle on Road During Disqualification Period – Prior Offence, Use Unregistered Registrable Class A Motor Vehicle on Road, Use Uninsured Motor Vehicle, Owner use Vehicle on Road or Road Related Area with Tax Unpaid, Use Class A Vehicle with Unauthorised Number Plate Affixed and Larceny.
The maximum penalties for these offences are 12-month imprisonment and/or fine of $5,500, with a mandatory max licence disqualification of 12 months and a min licence disqualification of 6 months, $2,200 fine, $5,500 fine, $1,100 fine, $2,200 fine, 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $2,200.
Solicitor Erin Nulty attended Gosford Local Court and made submissions in mitigation of the penalty. Our client received a total of $1,650 in fines, a 6-month driving disqualification and a 12-month Community Corrections Order.
In light of his dire financial circumstances, our client’s concern was having to pay a large fine. The max applicable fines could have been up to $18,000, so our client was very relieved indeed.
Kevin and Jane were my "knights in shining armour." I can't thank these two people enough. They gave their everything and most important believed me when I told them my story. I am forever grateful for their professional attitude and for giving 100% to free me from my nightmare. I was able to plead guilty but also most importantly was not forced to lie and compromise my integrity and own personal values and standards. I was very happy with the outcome and the way I was treated.. They communicated constantly with me and kept me informed and educated each step of the way. I would recommend this firm to anyone................ They were 100% more efficient and reliable than my previous lawyers......... My previous lawyers charged me over $2000 and did not even represent me in court . .......My previous lawyers also left me when I needed them most. ........My previous lawyers also tried to pressure me into falsely testifying to something that I did not do intentionally. ....... My previous legal team are a very large well-known, well established, firm which I would never recommend to anyone as I was treated like dirt especially on the day I had to appear in court. I was bullied by the head of this well-known firm and my own solicitor did not turn up and I did not receive any communication/explanation regarding him being away. If you have a choice pick Fourtree lawyers they are the best.