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CT defense lawyerIn Connecticut, larceny, shoplifting, and standard theft are all charged as facets of the same crime, which can confuse and frighten some people. Punishment for these types of offenses usually has to do with the value of the item taken, as well as whether or not any force was used in taking it. Nonetheless, it can still be very intimidating to be accused of any theft crime, and having a Stamford theft lawyer on your side can make it easier to get through the process.

Theft Defined

Connecticut law groups multiple different theft-related crimes under the same statute, up to and including larceny, embezzlement, obtaining property by false pretenses, theft of services (for example, not paying your restaurant bill), shoplifting, conversion, and several others. While this may seem strange, the overarching rationale is that in most cases it matters very little what the crime is called, as long as the relevant criteria have been fulfilled - namely, that property is wrongfully taken, held, or withheld from its owner with the intent that the owner be permanently deprived.

It is within the same line of reasoning that the sentence for most theft crimes has to do with the monetary value of the item stolen. While it can seem unfair or inequitable that sentimental or personal value of a stolen item is not taken into account, it would be far too subjective to do that in court (in other words, an item will have different sentimental value to different people, making a just sentence too hard to create). There are six degrees of larceny charges in Connecticut, ranging from larceny in the sixth degree (punishable by a small fine and up to three months’ imprisonment) to first degree larceny, which is a Class B felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years, and a fine of up to $15,000.

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Posted on in Theft and Property Crimes

CT defense lawyerIn July 2018, Stamford police received reports of two stolen cars in the Ridges neighborhood (the calls were two hours apart). Police apprehended the suspect driving the second car and charged him with reckless driving, driving without a license, and first-degree larceny, among other offenses.

What Is Larceny?

Larceny is a type of property crime. Under Connecticut law, a person commits larceny when “he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds” property from its owner. The accused must have “intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or a third person.”

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Connecticut defense attorneyA shoplifting charge in Connecticut is a serious matter, whether levied in the holiday season or any other time of year. Depending on the value of the goods in question, penalties may be far more severe than a run-in with mall security or expulsion from a shopping center. Jail time, fines, and reputational damage capable of limiting one’s educational and vocational future are at stake. With so much on the line, a legal defense mounted by an experienced Fairfield County criminal defense attorney is an absolute must.

Shoplifting Is Larceny

If you have been arrested for shoplifting, the criminal charge you are facing is larceny. Connecticut penal law defines larceny as the “intent to deprive another of property or to wrongfully take, obtain or without hold such property from an owner.” Here, the word “intent” should jump out. Even if you are apprehended while attempted to shoplift, your intent, if proven if in a Connecticut criminal court, is grounds for a larceny conviction. In addition, larceny covers more than shoplifting; if you knowingly receive stolen property, you may be properly convicted of the offense. The same is true with regard to auto theft, embezzlement, false pretenses, and theft by fraud.

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal attorneyAs children, we are encouraged to explore our creative side. From early on we are applauded for each moment of artistic ability, even if at three years old it does not look like much. In elementary school, our teachers shower us with praise and our parents proudly display our artwork on the refrigerator and throughout the house and office. In our early teens, that creative artistic ability is not easily suppressed. Unfortunately, once the artwork is on someone else’s property, criminal mischief and vandalism charges become likely.

How Is Art a Crime?

Graffiti is any marking, such as initials, slogans, declarations of love, or drawings on public or private property not belonging to the artist. Graffiti can be something written in marker, sprayed on with spray paint, or even carved using sharp objects. Graffiti is often associated with gang presence however it is in no way limited to this population. Individuals from all walks of life have been found guilty. Although a single “tag” does not cause significant concern, where one piece of graffiti is visible, more are likely to follow. The “artwork” found on the sides of buildings, trains, and bridges costs approximately $12 billion dollars annually to clean throughout the United States.

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Connecticut juvenile lawyer, Connecticut defense attorneyWith an increasing amount of pressure on our teens, we see a rise in unusual behavior. Our children face uncertainty upon leaving high school, partly due to fluctuation in job markets as well as climbing education costs. The need for perfection in school and extracurriculars is high to obtain scholarships to pay for education. Not to mention the additional stress for social status and every mistake spread wildly across social media outlets. Many of these stressors may lead to a cry for help or an error to fit in, potentially resulting in criminal accusations, such as theft or other property crimes.

A Learning Curve

A juvenile is an individual under the legal adult age of 18. In Connecticut, anyone under the age of 18 has a proclivity to make mistakes, and many deserve punishment, although not as severe as the adult counterpart. Many consequences for those in this age bracket are designed to teach a lesson rather than remove rights. This theory applies to a certain extent encompassing mostly theft related crimes because in many other situations adult punishments are the only option.

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