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What’s the Difference Between Larceny and Theft?

No Criminal Record. No Jail Time.
Man putting stolen jeans in his jacket

When thinking of theft and larceny, you may feel the two terms are interchangeable. However, there are many forms of theft — theft by conversion, theft by deception, theft by extortion, and theft by taking, for example. In Georgia, theft by taking is known as larceny and is the most common form of theft.

What is Larceny?

Larceny is the taking of someone’s property or services. In regards to property, the property can be personal property (someone’s belongings) or actual property (such as land). Stealing someone’s services is when someone does not pay for services used. It is not considered theft if you are at least a partial owner of the property.

Theft can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the value of what was taken. If what was taken was valued at $500 or less, then the theft would be a misdemeanor. Theft of more than $500 is usually a felony, but a judge has the discretion to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.

Misdemeanor theft is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment of up to 12 months. Felony theft is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and imprisonment of one to ten years.

In addition to those punishments, victims can pursue civil charges against the alleged offender. That could include:

  • Compensatory Damages: receiving damages for the value of the property that was taken and any other loss correlated to the theft.
  • Liquidated Exemplary Damages: receiving damages for up to twice the value of the property that was taken (as long as the value is less than $5,000).
  • Lawyer Fees and Court Costs

Atlanta Theft Crime Lawyers

The Atlanta theft crime lawyers at The Abt Law Firm, LLC want to help you if you’ve been charged with theft. No matter the type of theft charge you are facing, our attorneys are here to fight for you. Let us discuss your case during a free consultation — reach out today online or by calling (678) 582-2272.