Connecticut Theft Charges

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Theft Defense Lawyer Serving Fairfield and New Haven County

Theft, stealing, and shoplifting are all property crimes that fall under the definition of larceny. Larceny can include stealing something relatively inexpensive, like a package of gum to complex financial crimes like fraud, embezzlement, or money laundering. Depending on the circumstances of the crime and the value of the property at issue, theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, with punishments ranging from a $500 fine for misdemeanor larceny to 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine for larceny in the first degree. Regardless of the value of the items you are accused of stealing and the severity of the penalties you face, a theft defense lawyer can protect your rights, help you navigate the criminal legal system, and work to achieve a positive outcome in your case.

Admitted to practice in 2011, Attorney Stephen Lebedevitch is a staunch and tenacious theft defense lawyer who has a thorough understanding of Connecticut criminal law. He will scrutinize the evidence against you, help you evaluate your options, and fight to protect your rights.

Understanding Connecticut Larceny Charges

Theft crimes are classified under the umbrella of property crimes. They involve taking someone else’s property without permission. Examples of Connecticut theft offenses include:

  • Car theft
  • Embezzlement
  • Extortion
  • Failing to pay for transportation services
  • Failure to return property that was leased or rented
  • Receipt of stolen property
  • Shoplifting
  • Stealing utility services, like cable or electricity
  • Taking property under false pretenses
  • Theft of services
  • Theft of vehicle or motor fuel

Degrees of Larceny in Connecticut

The severity of a theft crime and the potential punishments you face will depend on the value of the item or items stolen.

  • Larceny in the first degree – Class B Felony – Items valued at $20,000 or more. 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
  • Larceny in the second degree – Class C Felony – Items valued between $10,000 and $20,000. 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
  • Larceny in the third degree – Class D Felony – Items valued between $2,000 and $10,000. 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
  • Larceny in the fourth degree – Class A Misdemeanor – Items valued between between $1,000 and $2,000. 1 year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
  • Larceny in the fifth degree – Class B Misdemeanor – Items valued between $500 and $1,000. 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Larceny in the sixth degree – Class C Misdemeanor – Items valued less than $500. 3 months in jail and a $500 fine.

Connecticut Theft Defense

Just because you were accused of larceny does not mean you are guilty. Many theft defenses are available, and the viability of a particular defense will depend on your unique situation. Common defenses include:

  • Claim of Ownership – You are the rightful owner of the property that was allegedly stolen.
  • False Allegations – You were wrongfully accused of theft. This defense commonly arises in connection with domestic relations proceedings where one spouse accuses the other of theft to try to gain an advantage in a divorce or child custody case.
  • Intoxication – If you were intoxicated at the time of the theft, you may not have been able to form the intent necessary to prove larceny.
  • Lack of Intent – Even if you did commit theft, you did not have the intent to be convicted of larceny.
  • Entrapment – You only committed the alleged theft because a police officer asked you to.
  • Asportation – Asportation is the act of transporting stolen property. If the theft crime requires that the property be taken from its original location but you did not transport the property, you cannot be guilty of larceny.
  • Flawed Valuation – This defense calls into question the value of the stolen items and can be used to try to have the charges dismissed or reduce the severity of the penalties you face.
  • Return of Property – If you return the property before you are charged with theft, you might be able to avoid theft charges. However, if you have already been charged with larceny, do not return the property until you have discussed doing so with your lawyer.

The success of a theft defense will depend on the unique circumstances of your situation. The theft defense lawyer team at The Lebedevitch Law Firm can evaluate the case against you, assess which theft defenses give you the best chance of beating the charge, and fight in court to defend your rights.

How a Fairfield, Connecticut Theft Defense Lawyer Can Help

A theft conviction can seriously change your life. In addition to the possibility of jail time and substantial fines, having a theft conviction will appear on a criminal background check and could result in loss of employment opportunities, challenges finding housing, and, in severe cases, loss of many of your civil rights.

The Lebedevitch Law Firm defends people accused of theft in Fairfield and New Haven counties, and throughout Connecticut. To begin building your defense and put theft defense lawyer Lebedivitch’s expertise to work for you, contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.