This criminal charge is sometimes called ‘shoplifting’, in circumstances where it is alleged that you stole from a shop or retail store. This is the most common example of stealing. It is often surprising to many of our clients how these cases can be defended. Often ‘CCTV’ footages can be unclear, and unable to identify the person stealing the item, and therefore the charges could be dismissed.
Plead not guilty:
In order to be convicted of larceny charges, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- That the property belonged to someone other than you;
- The property was taken and carried away;
- The taking was without the consent of the owner of the property;
- You must take the property with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the property.
If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.
Further, you will be found not guilty of larceny charges if you can establish any of the following:
- The property was taken pursuant to a claim of right made in good faith;
- The property was not taken dishonestly;
Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.
If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence. Generally, a discount of 25% will apply to a plea of guilty at an early stage of your court proceedings. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to a less serious charge.
Generally, the likely penalty for larceny charges will depend on your criminal record (if you have one), the value of the goods stolen and your personal circumstances.
The offence of Stealing/larceny carries a maximum penalty of a fine of $5,500.00 and/or 12 months imprisonment in the Local Court where the value of the property stolen does not exceed $5,000.00 and a maximum penalty of $5,500.00 and/or 2 years imprisonment in the Local Court where the value of the property stolen exceeds $5,000.00. In the District Court, the maximum penalty for the offence of Stealing/larceny is 5 years imprisonment. However, stealing/larceny is an offence sometimes dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentence Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty and you will have no criminal record. To find out more about a section 10, click here.
Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are: