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      Best Larceny Lawyers

      Our specialist Larceny lawyers understand that being charged with stealing can be extremely distressing. A criminal conviction for larceny can affect your employment prospects as well as plans you have to travel overseas.

      Contact us now to speak to our Law Society accredited specialist criminal lawyer who can immediately assess whether you have any defences open to you and begin preparing your case.



        What is Larceny?

        Section 117 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) sets out that if you steal property (including money) with the intention of keeping it, you can be guilty of an offence.


        How Do You Beat a Larceny Charge?

        You can fight a Larceny charge in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

        1. You took and carried away property (including money); and
        2. That property belonged to another; and
        3. You had the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property when you took it; and
        4. You did not have permission to take the property; and
        5. You took the property dishonestly.


        If any of these elements are not made out, then you can be found ‘not guilty’.

        Secondly, you can rely on one of the defences.


        What Does ‘Intent to Permanently Deprive’ Mean?

        An intention to permanently deprive means that at the time you took the property, you intended to keep it (ie. Not return it at a later stage).

        If at the time you took the property you had not decided whether you were going to keep the property or not, you would not have formed an intent to permanently deprive and will be found ‘not guilty’.


        What are the Defences to Larceny?

        The following defences apply to Stealing or theft cases:

        1. Identification: The prosecution cannot prove you were responsible for the stealing. If your DNA or fingerprints were found at the scene, we can instruct our team of DNA and fingerprint experts to cast doubt on the prosecution evidence.
        2. Claim of right: If you held an honest belief that the property taken was yours.
        3. Larceny by Mistake:If the property was taken by mistake, you can be found ‘not guilty’. A common example is where you received an overpayment, but only became aware after receiving the money. If once you discover the overpayment you decide to keep the money, you will not be guilty of larceny as you only formed the intention to permanently deprive after the taking of the money.
        4. Abandonment: Where property was abandoned, you will not be guilty of larceny. Further, if you find property and there are no reasonable steps you can take to determine the owner of the property, you will not be guilty of larceny (eg. finding a $20 note in an empty area)
        5. Duress: You were forced to commit the offence
        6. Necessity: You needed to commit the offence


        We have had countless clients found ‘not guilty’ of these offences. We can quickly assess whether you have any defences open to you and begin preparing to represent you in Court.

        Contact us now to speak our specialist stealing lawyers.


        Before pleading guilty, you should obtain advice from a solicitor experienced in stealing offences. The reason for this is that once you have entered a plea of ‘guilty’, it becomes very difficult to change your plea to ‘not guilty’.

        We regularly have clients come to us after being advised to plead guilty to larceny despite having a defence open to them.

        If you have spoken to our team, you will then need to prepare for sentencing. You can refer to our general guide. However, you will need to speak to a specialist larceny lawyer for representation in Court and advice specific to your case. 


        What is the Penalty for Larceny?

        The maximum penalty for Larceny is 5 years imprisonment if your case is heard in the District Court.

        If your case is heard in the Local Court the maximum penalty for stealing will depend on the value of the property taken:

        • If the value of the property is over $5,000, the maximum penalty is 2 years jail;
        • If the value of the property is under $5,000, the maximum penalty is 2 years jail and/or a fine of $5,500;
        • If the value of the property is under $2,000, the maximum penalty is 2 years jail and/or a fine of $2,200.

        What are the Possible Sentences for Larceny?

        The following list sets out the potential sentencing options the Court will have for a charge of Larceny:

        1. Section 10 dismissal
        2. Conditional release order without conviction (previously known as Section 10 good behaviour bond)
        3. Fine
        4. Conditional release order with conviction (previously known as Section 9 good behaviour bond)
        5. Community Corrections Order (previously known as Community Service Order)
        6. Intensive Corrections Order
        7. Home Detention Order (no longer used in NSW)
        8. Full Time Imprisonment

        Will You Go to Jail for Larceny?

        Looking at statistics since 2018, 9% of offenders received no criminal conviction for larceny. All remaining offenders received criminal convictions. 19% of offenders were sentenced to some form of imprisonment and 13% of offenders were sentenced to full-time jail.

        Clearly, avoiding a conviction is far from a guarantee for this offence. That is why you should engage Australia’s best criminal lawyers for larceny charges


      What are some examples of larceny?

      The most common example of larceny is taking an item from a shop without paying for it (ie. Shoplifting).


      What is stealing called in Court in NSW?

      Stealing and theft are often called ‘larceny’ in the legal world.


      Is stealing a criminal offence in NSW?

      Yes, stealing is a criminal offence and carries the possibly of a criminal conviction and jail time if you are found guilty. See penalties for Larceny above for more information.


      Can you be charged with stealing if you return the item?

      In order to be found guilty of larceny, the prosecution will need to prove that you had the intention of permanently depriving the owner of the item at the time you took it. As such, if you always intended to return the item, you will be found ‘not guilty’ of stealing.

      However, if at the time you took the item you intended to keep it and it was only later that you decided to return it, you will be found ‘guilty’. For see whether you have a defence to stealing,

      Contact us now to speak to our team of theft lawyers.


      How long does a criminal record last for theft in NSW?

      If you are convicted of stealing in NSW, the charge will usually remain on you record for 10 years from the date of conviction. However, if you receive a sentence of imprisonment of more than 6 months, it will stay on your record for the rest of your life.

      To see how you can avoid a conviction, contact us now to speak to one of our specialist stealing lawyers.


      Is it stealing if you find something?

      ‘Larceny by finding’ is an offence where you find and keep property despite believing that the owner can be found by taking reasonable steps. If you do not take those reasonable steps, you can be found guilty of stealing.


      Can you steal back your own property?

      In some circumstances, yes, you can. This defence is known as a ‘claim of right’ defence.

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