Theft crimes are referred to by an ominous name in Connecticut – they’re called larceny. Something as seemingly minor as shoplifting is considered larceny. Failing to balance your checkbook accurately and writing a bad check is larceny. If you’ve been arrested for any type of theft – taking someone else’s property by any means, including false pretenses – you need an experienced Southport law firm to come to your defense. You need to understand what you’re up against.
Connecticut law is set up to categorize theft crimes according to the value of the property taken or stolen. Larceny is broken down into degrees that can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors.
Larceny in the first degree is the most serious charge you might face if the property is valued at $20,000 or more. First degree larceny is a Class B felony in Connecticut.
Second degree larceny involves property whose value is between $10,000 and $20,000. It’s charged as a Class C felony. But it’s not quite that simple in Connecticut – if you’re charged with taking money or property by fraud committed on a public community, the dollar limit drops to $2,000. It’s also a Class C felony if the victim is elderly (defined as over the age of 60) or disabled, and the property was acquired by embezzlement or fraud. Theft of electronic communications falls into this category if it disrupts emergency services.
Third degree theft is a Class D felony in Connecticut. It involves property whose value is between $2,000 and $10,000; vehicles worth less than $10,000; or the theft of public records.
Larceny in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor under Connecticut law and is charged when the property stolen has a value of between $1,000 and $2,000.
When the property is valued at less than $1,000 but more than $500, it’s larceny in the fifth degree, a Class B misdemeanor.
Petty larceny involves property values of less than $500. It’s considered larceny in the sixth degree and is a Class C misdemeanor.
Even being charged with a Class C misdemeanor in Connecticut can derail your life and cause problems for your future. Being charged with first degree larceny can be catastrophic. Here’s how penalty ranges break down for various Connecticut theft offenses:
• A Class B felony is punishable by one to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
• If you’re charged with a Class C felony, you risk receiving one to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
• A Class D felony is punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Misdemeanor penalties are less severe:
• You risk a prison term of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,000 if charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
• A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000.
• A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to three months in prison and a fine of up to $500.
You don’t want to face charges like these on your own when the stakes are so high. The law firm of Alexander H. Schwartz will work hard to minimize the damage to your life if you’re charged with a theft crime, and we have a number of options at our disposal. We may be able to negotiate a first offense down to a lesser charge in exchange for restitution – i.e., you pay the victim back – and community service or participation in a rehabilitation program. It’s possible that you could come out of your ordeal without a criminal record, but we won’t know until we assess the facts of your case. Call us at 203-307-0537 so we can get down to work. The initial consultation is free, and we offer flexible payment plans if you decide that you want us to represent you. With over 30 years of trial experience, we can provide the help that you need.
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