In Connecticut, an individual is guilty of the property crime known formally as larceny (and less formally as “theft”) if he or she, without the use of violence, takes another person’s property without consent and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession.
Embezzlement – Bookkeeper thefts from business checking accounts are a common example
Taking by false pretenses or promise – Applicable to many fraudulent schemes
Retaining misdelivered property – Holding onto that Amazon delivery that came to you by mistake is a bad idea
Theft of services
Receiving stolen property
Theft of utility services
Theft of motor fuel. – “Drive offs” caught on surveillance cameras will be prosecuted
First Degree: above $20,000
Second degree: $10,000 – $20,000
Third degree: $2,000 – $9,999
Fourth degree: $1,000 – $1,999
Fifth degree: $501 -$999
Sixth degree: $500 or less
As one would expect, potential punishments increase with the value of the property amount taken. As such, a larceny conviction or guilty plea can result in anything from probation and community service to significant jail time.
There are some specific exceptions to the general rule regarding the value of the stolen item. For example, theft of a public record is a third-degree larceny regardless of the value (if any) of the stolen record. Also, theft of certain types of property may be considered a separate offense under Connecticut law. Theft of a handgun or rifle may result in a larceny charge as well as a separate Class C felony charge of stealing a firearm. The minimum sentence for the latter offense is two years in prison, regardless of the value of the weapon.
Additionally, in the case of a series of thefts by one individual, the degree will ordinarily be determined based on the aggregate value of all items taken. A series of small thefts can therefore rather quickly escalate into the first-degree larceny.
While steadily being replaced by electronic payments, checks are still commonly used to pay for goods or services. Issuing a check against insufficient funds can be the basis of a larceny charge in Connecticut. Depending upon a number of factors, the results can range from no criminal charge at all to imprisonment for up to five years and a $5,000 fine.
How many checks were issued since a single check returned “NSF” will often be dealt with informally by having the payee agree to redeposit it (provided it will be paid on the second presentment, of course), particularly if the payee is known to the issuer
Whether the payee was an individual or a merchant
If the payee was a merchant, whether it had posted in its premises a notice of the consequences of issuing a bad check
Whether the checking account was closed (as opposed to just overdrawn) when the check was written
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.