Nebraska residents may have heard the terms theft and larceny. While they some states still differentiate between larceny and theft, they are generally the same crime. In both instances, an individual who commits theft or larceny intends to steal property and permanently keep it away from the owner of that property. To prove that theft or larceny occurred, it may be necessary to prove that an individual intended to keep the property.
There are two types of theft cases that may be tried in court. The first type is petty theft, which involves crimes involving less than $1,000 in goods stolen. Grand theft is any theft above the limit for petty theft and is considered a felony in any state where it happens.
The fair value of the stolen merchandise is used to determine whether a theft is a petty theft or a grand theft. To address niche thefts, it may be necessary to add narrower categories of theft charges. For instance, an individual who is charged with stealing a car may be charged with grand theft auto.
Individuals who are charged with theft crimes may wish to talk to a criminal defense attorney. It may be possible for legal counsel to come up with a defense to such a charge. For instance, it may be possible to prove that the defendant did not intend to take or keep property. It may also be possible to prove that witness testimony was faulty or that information in a police report generated in the case was inaccurate. This could be enough to have the charge dropped prior to going to trial.