Taking away another person’s property without their consent is immoral. In the eyes of Australian laws, this is the crime that constitutes “larceny.” 

Under section 117 of the Crimes Act 1900, larceny occurs when an individual takes or carries away an object or an item capable of being stolen without the consent of the item’s owner.

For an item to be deemed as having the capacity to be stolen, it must possess value and be tangible.

What is Larceny and Its Penalties?

To give you a better understanding of what larceny is in the eyes of the law, the High Court of Australia provided this definition based on the jurisprudence of Ilich v R (1987) HCA 1: 

A person who steals who, without the consent of the owner, fraudulently and without a claim of right made in good faith, takes and carries away anything capable of being stolen with intent, at the time of such taking, permanently to deprive the owner thereof. 

Larceny is a legalese terminology. On the other hand, theft is a broad word that can be used to describe fraudulent and other dishonest offences. 

Once an individual is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of larceny charges, the penalty will depend on the value of the property stolen. Penalties may range from a fine to 5 years imprisonment. 

There are instances where you can defend yourself against larceny. First, the accused had a legal right to acquire or take the property in question. Second, the accused have every intention to return the property taken. Lastly, the owner consented to the taking of the property.  

What is Robbery and Its Penalties?

As described above, Larceny is a legal term for stealing or simple theft. While robbery is similar to larceny because it involves the unlawful taking of one’s property without the owner’s consent, robbery utilizes the application of assault, force, or intimidation. 

Like larceny, robbery is also punished under the provisions of the Crimes Act 1900. However, different robbery offences include the following: 

  • Stealing from a person or robbery
  • Stealing from a dwelling
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Aggravated robbery with wounding
  • Armed robbery or robbery in company
  • Armed robbery or robbery in company resulting in wounding

Since robbery is a more severe offence than larceny, a simple robbery can be penalized to a maximum of 14 years imprisonment. 

For aggravated robbery, a maximum penalty of 20 years can be imposed. As for aggravated robbery with wounding, an individual can be penalized for a maximum of 25 years imprisonment. 

What Do I Need to Do If I’m Charged with Larceny or Robbery Offence?

If you are charged with any of the offences mentioned above, you first need to seek legal advice. 

Depending on your circumstances, a criminal defence lawyer will help you achieve the most appropriate outcome. They will also help you with the best strategy and defences applicable to your case. 

Last but not least, proper legal representation will provide you with sound advice to avoid fines, penalties or even imprisonment.