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Understanding larceny

Many states no longer label larceny as a specific punishable offense, but rather place it under the broader umbrella of theft. However, the state of North Carolina still recognizes larceny charges. According to the National Paralegal College, larceny is the movement of personal property with the intention of never returning it to its owner. This does not include the use of force. In this case, personal property is distinguished from real property, which is a permanent structure or something attached to the ground. For example, a car would be considered personal property, while a building is real property. There are many specific facets that define larceny.

First, there must have been movement on the part of the person who was charged toward removal of the object. If the defendant picks up an object with the intent to take it and moves toward the exit, he may be convicted of larceny. However, if he picks up the object and moves away from the exit in order to look at something else, he may not be convicted of larceny yet, because his movement was not toward the direction of property removal.

Additionally, some jurisdictions require proof that the original intent was permanent removal of the property. If the defendant takes an object, even without the owner's permission, but intends to return it, he may not be convicted of larceny. On the other hand, someone who is given permission to borrow an object, but then later decides never to return it may not be convicted of larceny either, if it can be proven that he did not originally intend to keep it permanently. However, the defendant may be convicted of another offense for the same actions. points out that a person who takes something from a store is shoplifting, and not committing larceny. Burglary, which involves the intent to steal something when trespassing onto private property, is also differentiated from larceny.

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