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Detroit Larceny Lawyer

Theft, robbery, and larceny—these are all different words to describe the basic crime of taking something that doesn’t belong to you. Under the laws we inherited from England, all theft was considered as larceny. In some states, the term larceny gave way to theft. In Michigan, however, theft is still called larceny. What makes larceny and theft different from robbery in Michigan’s criminal statutes is that robbery involves the use or threat of force.

There are several categories of larceny, whose penalties range from moderate to severe. No matter what you’ve been charged with, however, having a skilled and determined Detroit larceny lawyer at your side can secure your freedom or get you reduced penalties.

What the Law Says About Larceny

Michigan Penal Code § 750.356 defines larceny as the act of stealing any of the following things that belong to another:

  • Money, goods, or possessions
  • Bank notes, bank bills, bonds, promissory notes, due bills of exchange
  • Books of account
  • Deeds and other writings of conveyance
  • Receipts, releases, and defeasances
  • Writes, processes, or public records
  • Scrap metal

Larceny as a Felony

If the value of the thing stolen is greater than $20,000, or if this is the third offense, the larceny is considered as a felony punishable by up to ten years imprisonment and/or a fine of $15,000 or three times the value of the stolen property—whichever is greater.

If the thing stolen has a value between $1,000 and $20,000, or after the second offense of misdemeanor larceny involving property over $200, prosecutors will charge a felony punishable by up to five years of imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine or three times the value of the of the stolen property—whichever is greater. The penalty applies for larceny from an automobile or other vehicle—regardless of the value of the things stolen.

Larceny as a Misdemeanor

If the theft involves property worth between $200 or $1,000, or if this is a second offense of the following section, the larceny is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and/or a $2,000 fine or three times the value of the stolen property—whichever is greater.

When the thing stolen is worth less than $200, the larceny is considered a misdemeanor punishable by 93 days of imprisonment and/or a fine of $500 or three times the value of the property—whichever is greater.

Civil Liability

Under the laws of criminal restitution, anyone convicted of larceny may be liable to compensate the victim for his or her monetary losses resulting from the theft. This applies in addition to the fines and jail time. Thus, if you steal an object worth $500.00 and it is not returned to the victim, you may be liable to pay the victim $500.00—in addition to the $2,000 fine for committing misdemeanor larceny.

When it comes to theft from retail stores, specific civil liability rules apply. Even if the property stolen is of negligible value, the person charged may have to restitute the store owner for ten times the retail price of the property, in an amount not less than $50 and not more than $200.

What Defenses May Be Available

According to a recent ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court, judges can apply penalties that they believe are “reasonable” for the crime. Thus, judges don’t necessarily have to follow the penalties recommended by the legislature.

Having worked as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, Maurice Davis knows how prosecutors build their cases, and how to defeat them. If you’re facing Michigan larceny charges, he may be able to apply several defenses to your case, which may include:

  • Having the evidence against you thrown out because it was obtained illegally or without a proper warrant
  • Objecting to crucial evidence of the prosecution’s case based on the rules of evidence and procedure
  • Showing that your arrest and subsequent detention and interrogation were unconstitutional
  • Proving that you did not commit the actions of which you are accused, or that the property belonged to you
  • Claiming that you did not act with criminal intent
  • Advocating for a lenient sentence by highlighting mitigating factors for the judge at the sentencing hearing

At Davis Law Group, we’re passionate about helping our clients through the criminal justice system. If you’ve been charged with a crime, do not talk to the police or the prosecutors until you’ve spoken with a Detroit larceny lawyer. If you want to talk to Maurice Davis about your charges, you can call him today at for a free and confidential consultation.

Charged with larceny? Contact us today.

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Attorney Maurice Davis