What categories of theft are there?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2020 | Firm News |

Dealing with the legalities of theft as a young adult may be confusing. However, not all types of theft are similar. Knowing each category and learning what impact each one has on your defense is important.

Defining theft

According to FindLaw, theft is stealing the property of someone else with the intention to not return it. Theft is often the first major crime college students find themselves dealing with, which may impact your sentencing. Many times, your past criminal history impacts the intensity of the sentence you receive. Mitigating circumstances and the amount of valuables stolen are also factors judges carefully scrutinize.

Petty theft and grand theft

The two most common categories that theft can fall under are petty theft or grand theft. Petty theft typically deals with taking a smaller amount of money or stealing a less valuable item. Most states set the monetary limit for petty theft charges at $500 to $1,000 per person. For grand theft, a more serious crime, the limit is larger. If you steal property belonging to another person and it exceeds $1,000, then you are at risk for getting a felony and your sentence in jail may be longer.


Some crimes that typically occur include shoplifting, accepting stolen property from another party with full knowledge of it being someone else’s property, stealing an ID or credit card, and other various examples. For some particular items, such as weapons or vehicles or even certain chemicals, it is automatically seen as a felony in the eyes of the law if they get stolen.

Learning more about the differences between petty and grand theft is imperative for anyone looking for legal defense.