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  • What Qualifies as Grand Larceny?

    Posted on by JACK MKHITARIAN

    Grand LarcenyIn New Mexico, there is not a specific classification for grand larceny. Instead, there are various subclasses ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony. All of these are based on the value of the products stolen, and even a misdemeanor could permanently change your life.

    Larceny under New Mexico law is a general term that covers multiple types of theft crimes. You can be convicted of larceny if you intentionally deprive a person of something of value, whether that is their possessions, physical cash, or even a family heirloom. Stealing services is also considered larceny.

    What Are the Various Classifications for Larceny, and Which Is the Most Serious?

    Because the law does not clearly state that there is a form of “grand” larceny, you must first understand the various classifications, their punishments, and how they will affect you the rest of your life – if convicted.

    Misdemeanor Petty Larceny – Not “Grand” Larceny

    Misdemeanor petty larceny is one of the lowest levels of larceny and by no means grand. You can, however, still go to jail for this crime. While it might be a misdemeanor, you will have a permanent criminal record here, too. So do not discount the seriousness of the crime just because it has the word “petty” or “misdemeanor” in the charge.

    With petty larceny, the property you stole was $250 or less. While that is very little compared to other larceny-type crimes, you can still spend up to 6 months in a county jail and you could be forced to pay a fine of $500 or both.

    Misdemeanor Larceny – Not “Grand” Larceny, but Still Serious

    Again, you are charged with a misdemeanor here, but the penalties are quite severe. If you are charged with misdemeanor larceny, that means that the value of the property you stole was more than $250 but still under $500. In this case, you could face up to one year in a county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

    Fourth-Degree Felony Larceny – Not Quite “Grand,” but Getting There

    Fourth-degree felony larceny is very serious. Not only are you now facing the life-long consequences of a felony criminal record, but you will also lose your right to carry a firearm if convicted.

    Furthermore, this form of larceny means that you were convicted of stealing property that was over $500 in value but under $2,500.

    The punishment for a felony is much more severe than a misdemeanor. Here you are facing up to 18 months imprisonment in a state facility, and you could pay a fine of up to $5,000.

    Third-Degree Felony Larceny – A Serious Offense, but Not “Grand”

    Third-degree felony larceny is closer to “grand” larceny, but not quite there yet. Here you have been convicted of stealing property worth over $2,500, but still under $20,000. Also, you may be charged with a third-degree felony if you stole livestock, regardless of its value.

    In this case, you are now facing up to three years in a state prison, and you could pay a fine of up to $5,000.

    Second-Degree Felony Larceny – the Closest to Grand Larceny

    When you hear the term “grand larceny,” they are most likely referring to second-degree felony larceny. In this case, you have stolen property valued at over $20,000, such as an automobile. You not only will face up to 9 years in a state prison, but also be fined up to $10,000.

    Regardless of the Larceny Charge, You Have Restitution

    One important thing to keep in mind is that no matter which larceny charge you face, you are likely to be forced to pay court-ordered restitution. Restitution is reimbursing the victim for their financial losses, and you may even have to repay the retail value or replacement value. If the owner of that property files a civil lawsuit, then you may be charged with punitive damages on top of the restitution. In addition, you may have to reimburse them for any lawsuit and legal fees along with any other fees associated with the recovery from your theft act.

    Larceny Is a Very Serious Charge

    Being charged with larceny is serious, and if you are convicted, it will impact you the rest of your life. Even if you are only facing a misdemeanor, you need a criminal defense team to help you with your case.

    Any prior criminal history will impact the charges you face, and if the court feels you are a habitual offender, you may receive the maximum sentence. Furthermore, past convictions for larceny allow the judge to impose a harsher sentence, and they can add one year on top of the maximum allowed if you have a previous felony conviction – whether it is theft-related or not.

    When theft crimes show up on a criminal background check, employers are less likely to consider you for their open positions. It could affect your housing qualifications, and it may force you to change professions – especially if you are in a profession that deals with retail merchandise or handling money.

    You cannot risk the long-term consequences of a larceny conviction on your record. That is why you need to enlist the help of a local defense team.

    The criminal defense attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices can help. We create an aggressive, strategic defense strategy for our clients that protects them from these life-long consequences. We try to get our clients the best possible outcome in all cases. While we cannot guarantee that you will not be convicted, we may be able to negotiate a plea bargain in your favor so that you are not spending as much time away from loved ones. We may also help you plead to a lesser crime so that it doesn’t impact your life forever.

    To explore your options and to increase the chances of a better outcome, you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Schedule a free consultation with our team today by calling us or requesting more information about our legal services online.