Branford Theft Lawyer 

Criminal convictions have far-reaching consequences. Beyond the difficulty of overcoming a criminal trial, defendants have to deal with fines, incarceration, and the social dilemmas posed by admitting your conviction to friends, family, and employers. If you have been accused of a theft-related offense, speak with a Branford theft lawyer to discuss your legal options, learn about the law, and minimize your risk. A skilled criminal attorney can help you set realistic goals for your case.

Understanding Theft Law

People often use the word stealing as a catch-all to describe the taking of another’s property. In Connecticut, the legislature has seen fit to parse theft offenses into several narrower categories, each with their own set of elements that must be proven at trial. These charges also have an array of consequences a potential defendant could face, as each crime has a different penalty.

Branford theft lawyers have seen some crimes carry misdemeanor penalties of a fine and up to one year in prison. Felonies are reserved for more serious offenses, including heavier fines, and more than one year in prison as a result. Smaller crimes can sometimes be pled down or dismissed in exchange for a fine, participation in a diversionary program, or community service. Types of theft related property claims include larceny, burglary, and embezzlement.

Types of Larceny Charges

Under Connecticut law, larceny refers to the taking or withholding of an item, property, or money with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of its ownership. Larceny includes offenses like shoplifting and the theft of utilities like illegally obtaining cable television.

Petty larceny refers to the smallest amount that can be taken and still constitute a theft, or larceny. The value or money taken must be less than $250. The maximum penalty is up to 3 months incarceration or a fine of up to $500.

Much different from petty larceny, grand larceny refers to a larger taking, generally more than $1000. The penalty is much more severe for a felony than a misdemeanor. A grand larceny conviction carries a potential term of punishment of up to 20 years incarceration or a fine of up to $15,000.

Defining Burglary and Embezzlement

Burglary adds additional elements to the other theft offenses. A burglary involves entering a building or dwelling with the intent to commit a crime. A store worker hides within the warehouse of a store with the intent to take items from the warehouse for their own benefit. If someone is caught before actually taking the items from the warehouse, they could still be convicted of burglary for their intention and location within the warehouse.

Embezzlement is defined as unlawfully retaining money or property entrusted to the defendant where the defendant and victim are bound by a fiduciary relationship, such as the duty owed by officers or directors of a corporation. If you are facing a larceny charge, be aware that your life and finances are at stake. Speak with a Branford theft lawyer who can help you understand what you are up against and how to leverage your defenses into a plea bargain or trial strategy.