Theft and Property Crimes

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CT defense lawyerThere are multiple different types of offenses that are categorized as property crimes, and they usually involve taking or damaging someone else’s property. In addition to facing criminal charges for larceny or theft, a person may also be charged with burglary, which involves entering someone else’s property with the intent of committing a crime. Those who have been accused of these types of offenses will want to understand the specific charges that may apply in their situation and the potential consequences they could face if they are convicted.

Burglary and Related Offenses

Burglary charges may apply in situations where someone enters a building, vehicle, watercraft, trailer, railroad car, or another structure while planning to commit a crime inside that building. Burglary offenses are grouped into three categories:

  • First-degree burglary - This charge will apply if a person was armed with a deadly weapon or explosives, if they inflicted bodily injury on someone else or attempted to do so, or if they entered or remained in a building at night. This offense is a Class B felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. The maximum sentence is 20 years with a fine of up to $15,000.
  • Second-degree burglary - This charge will apply if a person allegedly committed burglary while another person who was not participating in the crime was in the building. This offense is a Class C felony, which can result in a prison sentence of 1 to 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. If a person was armed with a firearm and either used or threatened to use it against someone else, they will face a mandatory minimum sentence of one year that cannot be suspended or reduced.
  • Third-degree burglary - This charge will apply in any other situations where a person entered or remained in a building unlawfully with the intent of committing a crime. This offense is a Class D felony, which can result in a prison sentence of one to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. If a person was armed with a firearm and either used or threatened to use it against someone else, they will face a mandatory minimum sentence of one year that cannot be suspended or reduced.

If, while committing burglary, a person allegedly committed or attempted to commit a felony against someone else who was in the building (other than a person who was participating in the crime), the offense a person is charged with may be elevated to home invasion. This is a Class A felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum sentence of 25 years, as well as a fine of up to $20,000.


Fairfield CT criminal defense attorneyMany people buy items through Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Craigslist, or other online marketplaces. Others go to garage sales, flea markets, or simply ask neighbors or friends when they are interested in purchasing something. What happens when someone buys property that was stolen? Can the buyer face criminal charges for theft even if he or she paid for the item? What if the buyer did not know that the item was stolen?

Receiving Stolen Property Can Be Charged as Larceny

Consider the following situation: John buys a motorcycle from his neighbor, Jill. Unbeknownst to John, Jill stole the motorcycle from someone else. Can John face criminal theft charges? Many people are surprised to learn that the answer to this question is “yes.” An individual can be charged with theft in Connecticut if they buy or otherwise receive property that has been stolen.

Connecticut Law Regarding Receipt of Stolen Property

Connecticut uses the term “larceny” to refer to theft of property. An individual may be charged with larceny if he or she receives, holds, or disposes of stolen items “knowing that it has probably been stolen or believing that it has probably been stolen.” The language used by Connecticut law leaves room for interpretation. Most people charged with larceny for receiving stolen property claim that they did not know that the item was stolen. However, prosecutors often counter that the defendant should have known that the property was stolen. Prosecutors may point to the fact that the item was sold for much less than the market value or that the circumstances of the transaction were suspicious.


Fairfield criminal defense attorneyTaking something from a store without paying for it is a crime. However, shoplifting is shockingly common. Some studies report that as many as one in 11 people have stolen merchandise from a retail store at least once in their lives. Many people think that shoplifting cannot result in severe criminal penalties. They assume that the act will only get them a slap on the wrist. In reality, shoplifting can lead to considerable consequences, including jail time.

Is Shoplifting a Misdemeanor or Felony in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, shoplifting is one of several offenses categorized as larceny, meaning the wrongful appropriation of property with the intent to deprive the owner of it. The severity of a larceny charge is determined by the value of the goods allegedly stolen. According to Connecticut law:

  • Theft of goods valued at $500 or less is a Class C misdemeanor, with penalties of up to three months in jail and a $500 fine.


Fairfield County auto theft defense lawyerAlthough it is often trivialized by movies and video games, stealing a motor vehicle is a serious criminal offense. In Connecticut, “carjacking” or theft of an automobile is punishable by imprisonment, heavy fees, and other grave consequences. If you or a loved one has been accused of stealing a car, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. A skilled attorney will help you understand the charges laid against you and how best to fight them.

Carjacking and Auto Theft Laws in Connecticut

Carjacking is a colloquial term used to describe the theft of a vehicle. There is no law in Connecticut specifically addressing carjacking; rather, theft of a motor vehicle will fall under the laws prohibiting larceny or robbery depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime. Robbery refers to the forcible taking of property away from the rightful owner, while larceny describes theft that takes place without the property owner’s immediate knowledge. If you allegedly stole a vehicle directly from an individual through the use of force or the threat of force, the crime will likely be classified as a robbery. If the owner or driver was not present at the time of the alleged offense, the crime will likely be classified as larceny. A robbery or larceny conviction can have profound consequences on your life. You may face considerable jail time, steep fees, and other criminal consequences. Having a theft-related conviction on your record can also reduce your employment opportunities, prevent you from finding quality housing, or even impact child custody matters.

What to Do During a Robbery or Larceny Arrest

If you have been arrested for auto theft, you should know that you have certain rights. Criminal defendants have the right to avoid self-incrimination, meaning that you do not have to answer police questioning or submit to interrogations. You have the right to stay silent, and one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of avoiding a conviction is to decline police questioning until your lawyer is present. Your lawyer will ensure that you are not coerced or tricked into incriminating yourself. Your lawyer can also help you build a strong defense against the charges you are facing.


Posted on in Theft and Property Crimes

CT defense attorneyWhen the average person talks about crime, they may use the terms ‘robbery’ and ‘theft’ or ‘larceny’ interchangeably. However, in Connecticut law, the two have very different meanings. Larceny is what one might think of as simple theft, while robbery is a more serious offense, often carrying a much more serious penalty. If you have been charged with any kind of theft crime, it is crucial to understand your options in terms of how to defend yourself against such charges.

Larceny Crimes In Connecticut Law

“Larceny” is not a specific crime in Connecticut; rather, it is used to describe a large group of offenses in which someone takes, obtains, or withholds another person’s property with the intent to deprive them of it permanently. There are several crimes contained under the umbrella of larceny, and to reflect this, there are six different degrees of larceny crimes under Connecticut law. Examples include embezzlement, shoplifting, conversion of a motor vehicle, theft of services, and several other offenses.

Some larceny crimes are misdemeanors, while others are felonies; the classification of the crime will usually depend on the value of the property stolen. However, there are other factors that might play a role as well, such as the age or disability of the victim and the presence or absence of fraud. For example, larceny involving false pretenses and a disabled victim is second-degree larceny, regardless of the value of the property stolen.