What is the penalty for larceny?

What is the penalty for larceny in NSW?

What is the definition of larceny or shoplifting?

Larceny, also commonly known as shoplifting, is a commonly charged offence.

Section 117 of the Crimes Act states:

Whosoever commits larceny, or any indictable offence by this Act made punishable like larceny, shall, except in the cases hereinafter otherwise provided for, be liable to imprisonment for five years (this is the maximum penalty)

The prosecution must prove, beyond reasonable doubt, each and every one of the following elements:

  • that the accused wrongfully took and carried away:
  • the personal goods of another,
  • with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of such property,
  • without his or her consent.

For more information on larceny, and to see case studies where we have successfully represented others charged with larceny, go to:


What is the penalty for larceny if it is my first offence?

The statistics show that 52% of first offenders, who plead guilty to the offence, receive a Section 10 for their first offence of larceny (under the value of $2000.00). In other words, you have got a pretty decent chance and not being convicted and keeping a clean criminal record!

For more information on Section 10, and to see case studies where we have represented others, go to:


It is important not to forget that those who commit the offence of larceny very often do so out of need, rather than greed. Whilst the offence is prevalent in our community, the court must take into account the subjective circumstances of each offender, together with the overall objective seriousness of that particular offence.

Obviously, the higher the value of the property stolen, the less chance of achieving a Section 10.


What is the penalty for larceny if I have committed the offence before?

If you have previously committed the offence of larceny before, it is likely that the court will convict you of the offence, and consider other harsher sentencing options, such as the following:

  • Section 9 good behaviour bond,
  • Community service
  • Suspended sentence
  • Home detention
  • Intensive Corrections Order

For more information on penalties in general, go to our penalties page:



What is the penalty for larceny if I have committed the offence numerous times?

If you have committed the offence of larceny numerous times, the court will start considering full time imprisonment.

However, before sentencing any offender to full time imprisonment, the court must consider all other options.

In the end, the court will only give you so many chances.


If you have been charged with Larceny, it is very important that you call LY Lawyers on 1300 595 299 to speak to one of our Criminal Defence Lawyers.