Charged with Larceny?  

Larceny is the legal word for stealing or theft. Larceny can be committed in many ways from stealing chocolate at a supermarket to stealing cash out of a register. The value of the property stolen can be sentimental or worth millions of dollars. 

Our criminal lawyers have great success in defending larceny charges and having our clients found not guilty. We use a range of defences, including identification (it wasn’t you who stole the property), arguing the property was actually stolen or that you intended to return the property, and even that the property belonged to you. 

If you intend to plead guilty, our criminal lawyers have a proven track record of not only keeping our clients out of jail but having no conviction recorded for larceny offences. 

Larceny vs. Theft?

Larceny is simply another term for common theft.  It is the taking of somebody else’s property without the use of force.   Larceny is simply the legal word that is used for theft or stealing. 

How do I beat a Larceny charge?

You will be found not guilty of the offence of Stealing (Larceny) if the police cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. You took and carried away property; and
  2. That property belonged to another person; and
  3. You intended to permanently deprive the owner of that property; and
  4. The taking was done without the consent of the owner.

There must be an intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property which intent must exist at the time of the taking so that if the obtaining of the property is innocent a later intent to steal is insufficient. If the accused takes the property without having decided whether to keep it or not, he does not commit Larceny.

Claim of right is a defence to Larceny. A person will have a claim of right where they possess a genuine belief that they have a bona fide claim of right to certain money. If you believed you were entitled to take the property, it does not matter that you did not believe you were entitled to take it in the manner you did.

Pleading guilty to theft

If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on your sentence, and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.

What are the penalties for Larceny in NSW?

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 two 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 five years imprisonment. 

You can read about all the sentencing options that a court has, including having no conviction recorded.

Do I need references if pleading guilty to theft?

We believe references are an extremely important part of a plea of guilty in court.  Visit our Court Processes and References page for more information about how to write a good reference. 

Why choose Australian Criminal Law Group to defend you if caught stealing?

Our criminal lawyers are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Larceny offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record and freedom or jail. 

To discuss your Larceny charge, call Australian Criminal Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, and Blacktown offices or make a website inquiry today.

Case Study

Mr Correy represented a young woman who plead guilty to stealing more than $5,000.00 from a deposit box at a bank. Mr Correy submitted that stealing was impulsive and that the young woman had been neglected by her mother in that she had been taking her daughter’s wage to gamble for much of her working life, which affected her ability in that split moment to distinguish right from wrong. The Magistrate agreed with Mr Correy’s submissions and dealt with the matter pursuant to section 10, meaning no conviction was recorded.

Case Study

Mr Correy represented a man who had a gambling addiction and had been charged with stealing $15,000.00 from the account of a customer at a bank where he worked. He was not charged until four years after the stealing. Mr Correy submitted in the four years, he had addressed his gambling addiction and there was no good reason for the delay in bringing the charges, which he had lost his job over. Mr Correy submitted he had rebuilt his life and may lose his new career if a conviction was recorded. Given the delay, the Magistrate agreed and dealt with the matter pursuant to section 10, meaning no conviction was recorded.

Case Study

Australian Criminal Law Group represented a man charged with Larceny. The police found him with another person’s phone immediately after the person’s car had been broken into. The person whose phone was stolen did not wish to give evidence at court and did not. Our criminal lawyer objected to any evidence of the phone being in the car as being hearsay. As such, the police could not prove the phone was stolen and the magistrate found our client not guilty. 

Case Study

Mr Correy represented a man charged with supply of 32g of cocaine, larceny (stealing of $5,000, and possessing housebreaking implements, after he stole a safe from a drug dealer and broke into it. Mr Correy successfully argued his client was a drug user who had opportunistically ripped off another criminal, putting himself in danger to feed his habit. The judge agreed and did not send Mr Correy’s client to jail. 

Case Study

Australian Criminal Law Group represented a woman who was found with clothes in her car that still had the labels and security tags on them. There was no evidence in the brief as to what store the clothes came from. Our criminal lawyer argued that there was no evidence of who the owner was and therefore the offence could not be proved. The magistrate agreed and dismissed the charge, finding our client not guilty.



This information is intended as a general guide to law only.  It should not be relied on as legal advice and it is recommended that you speak with a qualified lawyer about your situation.

Australian Criminal Law Group and its suppliers make every reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy and validity of the information provided on its web pages. At the time of updating, this information was correct, however, given the laws in NSW and Australia are continually changing, Australian Criminal Law Group make no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. 


Don’t wait.
Get in touch now.