Petty Larceny vs. Grand Larceny in the State of Utah

The definition of petty larceny and grand larceny will vary depending on the state where the crime is committed. In Utah, the cost of the item stolen will determine whether you are charged with petty or grand larceny. The penalties for each type of larceny will also vary depending on several circumstances. If you or a family member was charged with larceny, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City theft defense lawyer. With over 16 years of criminal law experience, Darwin Overson can help you defend against theft charges. Overson Law explains petty larceny versus grand larceny in the State of Utah.

Differences Between Petty Larceny and Grand Larceny

Larceny is another term for theft. Criminal statutes will usually use words or phrases like “larceny,” “petit larceny,” “misdemeanor theft,” and “grand larceny” when speaking about theft. Utah’s Criminal Code § 76-6-412 refers to all forms of larceny as theft.

Grand Theft

As mentioned above, the value of the property stolen will determine the type of theft you are charged with. Petty theft means the property was not particularly valuable while grand theft means the property was very valuable. For example, if you steal property or services that are worth more than $5,000, you will likely be charged with the highest type of grand theft in Utah, which is second degree felony theft. Second degree felony theft will also be charged under the following circumstances:

  • You stole a gun or a car that is in working condition.
  • You stole property directly off a person’s body or an item they were carrying.

Grand theft can also be charged as a third degree felony depending on certain circumstances. For example, if an offender steals services or property worth more than $1,500 but less than $5,000, they can be charged with a third degree felony. Additionally, if you steal $500 or more of services and goods and were twice convicted of a Class A misdemeanor for theft, robbery, burglary, or fraud within 10 years the new offense, you can be charged with a third degree felony.

Other circumstances that could cause you to be charged with third degree felony theft include the following:

  • Stealing an animal that is used for commercial purposes, like a stallion, cow, or sheep
  • Committing theft on property where you previously committed theft within the past five years and the property stolen was worth over $500 but less than $1,500
  • Stealing from a property when the owner of the property gave you written notice that prohibited you from entering the property

Petty Theft

Unlike grand theft, petty larceny or petty theft is usually charged as a class A or B misdemeanor. To receive a class A misdemeanor for theft, the value of the property stolen must exceed $500 but be less than $1,500. If the property taken was worth $500, but the crime was committed on property the offender stole from before, the offense will still be charged as a class A misdemeanor. Similar to third degree felony grand theft, if the offender was twice convicted of some form theft or fraud within the past 10 years, the new offense will be charged as a class A misdemeanor.

Petty theft is committed when the offender steals property that is worth less than $500. If you need to learn more about the differences between grand theft and petty theft, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City robbery defense lawyer.

If you took property from someone without consent with the intention to temporarily use it as your own, your charge may be listed as “wrongful appropriation” in Utah; Our Salt Lake City wrongful appropriation defense attorney can help you understand these charges.

Penalties for Felony Theft and Misdemeanor Theft

The most important differences regarding felony theft and misdemeanor theft are the possible penalties for each offense. The severity of a theft crime will determine the penalties you may receive.

Second degree felony theft is an offense that can land you a prison term of up to 15 years and a criminal fine of $10,000. If you commit third degree felony theft, you can receive a prison term of up to five years and a possible fine of $5,000.

Class A misdemeanors are the highest grade of misdemeanor that an offender can be charged with. If you are charged with class A misdemeanor theft, you face a possible jail term of one year and $2,500 in fines. Class B misdemeanors are the second-highest type of misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to six months in jail and $1,000 in criminal fines.

Contact an Experienced Utah Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you or a family member was arrested for petty theft or grand theft, you should speak with an experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney. At Overson Law, we are dedicated to providing you with aggressive legal representation that is tailored to your unique needs. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact us at (801) 758-2287.