Many people refer to theft and larceny as the same thing. However, the truth is that there are a number of important differences to consider regarding these crimes. One thing to consider about grand larceny is that when the amount or value of a stolen item exceeds $250, the crime changes from a misdemeanor into a felony, which transforms it into a grand theft or grand larceny charge. There is also a difference between grand larceny and grand theft. Grand theft refers generally to the taking of any property that is over $250 in value, and this can include burglaries, larcenies, and robberies. Grand larceny involves a person taking the property of some other person then moving that property to another location with the intent to steal ownership.
While grand larceny is a type of theft, and all grand larcenies are a form of theft – not all thefts are larcenies. What’s more, grand larceny may include many different types of theft, including pickpocketing, purse-snatching, and even the theft of vehicles or vehicle parts.
Laws and Penalties
Grand larceny is a serious crime, and once a conviction has been made with the state of Ohio, a trial will conclude with a sentencing period that is used to determine the penalty and conditions of any conviction that is given. At sentencing, various factors may come into play that help to determine the extent of the penalty that the defendant will receive, including aggravating and mitigating factors, and whether the crime is counted as petit, or grand larceny.
The laws in Ohio cover a list of potential sentencing options, and the type of larceny affects the severity of the sentence imposed. For example, a violation that is deemed as petty theft is regarded as only a first degree misdemeanor, but if the value of services or property stolen is more than $1,000 but less than $7,000, the violation becomes a fifth degree felony. If the value of the service or product stolen is more than $7,000 but less than $150,000, it becomes a third-degree felony. The penalty for each type of felony is:
- Misdemeanor of the first degree – a conviction of up to 180 days in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000
- Felony of the fifth degree – a conviction of up to one year in jail and/or fines of up to $5,000
- Felony of the third degree – a conviction of up to five years in jail, and/or fines up to $10,000.
- Felony of the second degree – a conviction of up to eight years in jail, and/or fines up to $15,000
- Felony of the first degree – a conviction of up to ten years in jail, and/or fines up to $2,000
Grand Larceny Defenses
In some cases, charges of grand larceny may be dropped if a certain defense is proven. Some defenses applicable for grand larceny in Ohio include:
- Convincing the court that the amount of property stolen only amounts to a petty theft
- Proving lack of criminal intent that shows the defendant didn’t intend to deprive the other person of property or money
- Suggesting that the property stolen actually belonged to the defendant in the first place.
- Showing that the defendant was given permission to take the property
- Indicating that the defendant was falsely accused of the crime
An important aspect to remember about grand larceny in Ohio is that the accusing party must be able to prove that the alleged thief had the intent to convert the item into his or her possession permanently, or completely deprive the original owner of the use of that item. Obviously, this can be quite difficult, as it is often complicated to prove that one item belonged to an individual in the first place. In some cases, the risk of permanent loss can be enough to charge individuals with larceny even in situations wherein the defendant did intend to return the property.
Statute of Limitations
As mentioned above, theft in Ohio is broken into different degrees, with the lowest level of theft involving items with a value under $1,000. The term grand larceny is only used in Ohio law when the stolen property, or service was worth over $7,500, and deemed to be a third-degree felony. For grand larceny, the statute of limitations period is approximately three years.
Importantly, under most definitions of grand larceny, the stolen property must be regarded as personal property, and prosecutors must be able to prove that the stolen item was in the possession of the defendant without the consent of the original owner.
Ohio Grand Larceny Cases
- Cleveland automobile worker charged with stealing thousands of tire sensors from Ford plant
- Ex-attorney in Canton found guilty of grand theft
- Couple in Reynoldsburg being sought for stealing almost $10,000 from Best Buy by using fake licenses
- Woman in Delaware, Ohio indicted on more than 100 charges for stealing items from assisted living residents
- Employee of John Carroll University indicted for grand larceny for stealing jewels from a museu