Have You Been Charged with a Connecticut Theft Crime?
In 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.
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.
Juvenile Theft Charges
While the punishments for theft crimes as an adult are fairly stringent, being charged with a theft crime as a juvenile may have a different outcome, simply because Connecticut’s juvenile system is designed more to rehabilitate than punish. For example, some juveniles may steal due to mental or emotional problems, and in the juvenile system, they are more likely to receive help than punishment. Juvenile thefts are also more likely to be misdemeanors simply because most juveniles lack the chance to steal something truly valuable, which means that sentences will likely be less harsh.
Larceny charges in the fourth, fifth and sixth degree are prosecuted as misdemeanors in Connecticut, with second- and third-degree being Class C and Class D felonies, respectively. If a juvenile is charged with a Class A or Class B felony (first-degree larceny, for example, is a Class B felony), their case will usually be removed to the adult court system. For lesser convictions, the punishment for a juvenile is more likely to be intervention programs or probation, since juvenile court is a place that tries to set wayward teens back on the right path, rather than going immediately for punishment and potentially ruining their future.
Consult a Knowledgeable Attorney Today
Theft charges can feel insurmountable, but everyone is entitled to a fair trial. If you or a loved one has been charged with larceny or any theft-related offense, a skilled Stamford theft crimes lawyer can help. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner has handled many, many cases of this nature and Attorney Weiner is happy to sit down with you to try and help with yours. Call the office today at 203-348-5846 to set up an appointment.