Larceny is a non-violent crime where someone takes another person’s property without using force. In the state of Texas, it’s also considered larceny to buy or take a stolen good if the recipient doesn’t take some kind of action to prove it’s not stolen. This offense has a wide range of severity levels from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony depending on the amount stolen and other circumstances.
In order for a person to be convicted of larceny, it must be proven that the offender unlawfully took another person’s property without their consent and with no intent to return the goods at a later date. Therefore, larceny doesn’t apply to things like banks repossessing property, a person retrieving an item they lent out or an individual taking an item they intend to return.
When multiple items are stolen, courts have to decide whether to file a single charge of larceny or multiple charges. In cases where multiple items are stolen from the same person at the same time and location, only one charge is usually filed. A pattern of thefts involving multiple locations and across a period of time would more likely result in multiple charges.
A larceny conviction can result in a small fine and community service or prison time. Like any other theft offense, defendants have the right to an attorney. It’s the attorney’s job to ensure that the defendant’s rights aren’t violated and that prosecution adequately proves its case. Whether it’s in the defendant’s best interest to make a plea or go to trial depends on the circumstances of the case and the strength of the prosecution’s evidence against the defendant.