Larceny is the wrongful taking of property from its owner with the intent to deprive that person of property or to appropriate that same property to himself or a third person. There are many ways for larceny to be committed, including shoplifting, embezzlement, extortion, receiving stolen property.
Larceny is classified into degrees based on the value of the taken property and the manner in which it was taken. First-degree larceny is a class B felony, second-degree larceny is a class C felony and third-degree larceny is a class D felony. Fourth-degree larceny is a class A misdemeanor, fifth-degree larceny is a class B misdemeanor and sixth-degree larceny is a class C misdemeanor.
Robbery is essentially an act of larceny by force or threat of force. A person commits robbery when, “in the course of committing a larceny, he uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person for the purpose of:
- (1) Preventing or overcoming resistance to the taking of the property or to the retention thereof immediately after the taking; or
- (2) compelling the owner of such property or another person to deliver up the property or to engage in other conduct which aids in the commission of the larceny.”
One does not have to be armed to commit robbery. Like burglary, robbery is always a felony and a very serious one at that. Rarely does a person convicted of robbery not receive jail time.
Criminal trespass is committed when a person enters or remains in a place after being told not to be there. Depending on the degree, it could be either a posted sign or a personal communication. Unlike burglary, criminal trespass is a misdemeanor and does not require the intent to commit a crime.
Simple trespass is not a crime but an infraction. The only potential penalty is a fine, not jail. Sometimes, with good attorney representation, this can be a substituted charge for a criminal trespass.