In Nevada, larceny can be a felony or a misdemeanor offense, depending on the value of the items allegedly stolen. Petit larceny (a misdemeanor) occurs when someone steals, takes, carries, leads away, or drives away the property of another with a value under $650. Petit larceny carries a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence up to six months.
If someone is accused of committing larceny for an item worth $650 or more, they will be charged with grand larceny. If the value of the item is $650 or more, but under $3,500, the penalty is up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. If the value of the item is $3,500 or more, the penalty increases to up to ten years in prison. In determining the value of the property, the law allows the prosecution to allege value by “the highest value attributable to the property by any reasonable standard.”
A skilled team of attorneys can defend a grand larceny case in a number of ways. Sometimes accusers will attempt to inflate the value of an item with the hopes that the court will order restitution in an amount large enough for them to make a profit. In some instances, the accused may have taken the property at issue, but did not intend to steal it. Commonly, this occurs when someone borrows and item and forgets to return it within an agreed-upon time period. In instances such as contentious break-ups, property that was jointly acquired during a relationship is taken by one party, who moves out or kicks the other party out. When emotions are running high, the party who feels angry or hurt might accuse the other party of stealing an item they claim to be exclusively theirs. These are but a few examples of how innocent people find themselves accused of serious crimes—and how having the right lawyers can make the difference in preventing a misunderstanding from turning into a conviction.