Ross C. Goodman is a Las Vegas native who served as a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 2001, Ross started a boutique criminal defense practice following his father Oscar B. Goodman who was a nationally acclaimed criminal defense attorney.Learn More
Theft Crimes Information
Theft Crimes in Las Vegas: Introduction
Theft is the unlawful appropriation of another person’s property without the person’s consent, and with the intent of depriving the person of said property permanently. There are many types of theft crimes with their appropriate laws, definitions and penalties under Nevada law. These theft crimes vary in severity, from the simple crime of petit larceny to the more serious crime of burglary and the severe crime of grand larceny of a motor vehicle
Petit Larceny and Grand Larceny
Petit Larceny Stealing money or property that is valued at less than $650 is called Petit Larceny. This is the lowest form of theft crime in Nevada. Most of the time, prosecutors will dismiss the first-time offenders in exchange for restitution, fines, and completion of Petit Larceny School. Despite this, having a petit larceny record still puts the person in a bad light; people with larceny records find difficulty seeking employment because employers find it hard to trust them, for example. Grand Larceny Stealing money or property valued at more than $650 is called Grand Larceny. It is a more severe offense than petit larceny due to the higher value of property involved in the case. Stealing rare paintings from art galleries or private owners is a typical example of grand larceny.
Shoplifting, officially referred to in Nevada law as Retail Theft, is the taking of merchandise from any store without providing payment. Shoplifting is closely related to larceny, and is in fact referred to and punishable under larceny as well. This means that a shoplifting cases can either be a case of petit or grand larceny depending on the amount of merchandise stolen. There are times that prosecutors will reduce or dismiss the charges if the restitution is paid and the defendant completes the mandatory class for theft crime.
Burglary refers to the unlawful entry into another person’s home or vehicle with the intent to steal. Because of the nature of the crime, burglary is punishable under the statutes of both trespassing and larceny. It receives harsher punishments than the earlier crimes because of its two-crime nature. On the other hand, burglary can be easier to deal with if the prosecution fails to provide solid evidence of an intent to steal items after attempting to break into private property.
State law defines robbery as taking another person’s property with the use of force or threats. The use of force or intimidation when stealing someone else’s property in their presence is considered as one of the more serious theft crimes in Nevada. It can be made worse by threatening a victim with a weapon, such as a knife or a gun. This escalates the crime into aggravated robbery, which garners stricter penalties.
Larceny from a Person/Pick-pocketing and Possession of Stolen Property
Larceny from a Person/Pick-pocketing Larceny from a person means stealing stealthily, or stealing without the victim knowing about the incident until they look for the items taken. Possession of Stolen Property It is considered illegal to possess or receive stolen property, punishable by penalties comparable to stealing the item yourself
Possession of Stolen Vehicle and Grand Larceny of Motor Vehicle
Possession of Stolen Vehicle Possession of stolen vehicles is a specific sub-crime under possession of stolen goods. This crime is defined as knowingly purchasing and or owning vehicles, knowing them to be stolen. Again, many people have unknowingly purchased or obtained stolen vehicles from friends or third-party individuals, and have been falsely accused because of it. Once more, a simple background check is the first step to avoiding this charge. Grand Larceny of Motor Vehicle Motor vehicle grand larceny, also referred to as auto-theft, is the willful taking of a vehicle with intent to steal it. This is a major crime because of the value of the item stolen, with the severity rising along with the vehicle’s value. Miscommunication can arise from these situations as people who fail to return their rented vehicle or pay out their purchased car can be charged with auto-theft after a certain amount of time has passed.
This is one of the rarer theft crimes to be brought up in Nevada. Generally speaking, looting is the taking of any item during riots, natural disasters, and other emergencies. Looting is not the crime that is punishable in itself, but is more of a generalization of various kinds of theft crimes that can be committed during the event, which can range from petit larceny to outright aggravated robbery. As such, penalties for looting also cover the most of the penalties equating to other theft crimes. Due to the chaotic nature of looting incidents, mistaken identity scenarios are common.
Penalties for Theft Crimes
Theft crime penalties in Las Vegas vary depending on the severity of the crime and the value of the possessions stolen. The punishment is also dependent on whether the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony. A previous booking and the factors leading to the theft or the arrest can also affect what penalties are imposed. For misdemeanor cases, the punishments usually amount to • A maximum $1000 fine and/or 6 months in prison • Possible addition restitution for all stolen properties Felony cases involving theft crimes usually fall into either category B or category C, with the corresponding penalties thus: • 1 to 5 years in jail • Heavy fines for the State • Restitution for all the stolen items
Defense against Theft Crime Allegations
Defending against theft crimes can be easy if the accused knows the particulars of the case, and has solid evidence to back it up. For most charges, there are a couple of defenses that can be used: • Lack of Intent – The defendant has no intention to steal the property, or has no intention to keep the property given to him or purchased by him if he finds out it is stolen. • Item was not taken – The accuser may have mistaken that his personal item was taken when in fact, he may have misplaced it due to his carelessness or lack of focus. • Rightful ownership or full authorization – An item that the accused has in custody is in fact, his own personal property, or was put into his care by a person with full ownership over said item.