Crime Overview Theft/Larceny

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There are as many as 9,983,568 crimes involving property reported across the United States each year, and there were roughly 447,403 robberies in the United States in 2006 alone. Additionally, there were approximately 2,206 thefts or larcenies reported around the nation in 2006.

So what exactly is theft, or larceny? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary's definition of theft is: the act of stealing; specifically: the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the right owner of it or an unlawful taking (as by embezzlement or burglary) of property. Larceny, similarly, is defined as the unlawful taking of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it permanently.

Modern statutes in most states consolidate the common law theft offenses into a single crime known as theft or larceny. Depending on the state, the general term theft may encompass a number of different crimes, including larceny, embezzlement, false pretenses, extortion, fraudulent conversion and receiving stole property.

Historically, there were three classifications of theft crimes in the common law. This included larceny, embezzlement, and false pretenses. Larceny is the trespassory taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the intention of permanently depriving the person of it. Embezzlement is the fraudulent conversion of the property of another by someone who lawfully possess it. False pretenses is a false representation of a material present or past fact, which causes the victim to give title to his or her property to the defendant, who knows the representation is false and intends to defraud the victim.

Nowadays, those three are, for the most part, all categorized under larceny. If you have been accused of theft/larceny, whether you are guilty or not, you should hire a criminal lawyer or attorney to help you with your case. Criminal lawyers and attorneys represent individuals who have been charged with crimes by arguing their cases in courts of law. A criminal lawyer or attorney will typically have a private practice concentrating on criminal law.

If you have been arrested for theft/larceny, you should request an attorney as soon as possible after the arrest. There are many things to look for when hiring a criminal lawyer or attorney. A good criminal attorney will be familiar with important theft/larceny laws of the state in which the crime took place. Additionally, criminal lawyers will be familiar with prior legal precedents and all relevant statutes surrounding the crime of which you have been accused.

If you are suing a convicted thief for damages resulting from the crime, you will need to hire a civil lawyer or attorney. Even if the person was not convicted and you feel they should have been, and you want to sue them for damages, you should hire a civil lawyer or attorney.

If you are ready to contact a criminal lawyer or attorney to help you with your case, visit the American Bar Association. The American Bar Association website offers free access to their lawyer locator. The lawyer locater can help you search for a suitable criminal lawyer or attorney in your area.