While we commonly use the term “theft,” the legal term for stealing under Michigan law is “larceny.” Despite the difference in name, the underlying act is pretty straightforward: taking something owned by someone else without their permission. Larceny is an expansive term and includes several different offenses with varying degrees of punishment. It is critical to understand the existing offenses and the potential penalties in order to defend your larceny case. The sooner you contact me and ZAYID LAW the sooner we can aggressively defend your larceny case and build the winning strategy.


Larceny occurs when a person commits the act of stealing any of the following things that belong to another:

  • Money, goods, or possessions
  • Bank notes, bank bills, bonds, promissory notes, due bills of exchange
  • Books of account
  • Deeds and other writings of conveyance
  • Receipts, releases, and defeasances
  • Writes, processes, or public records
  • Scrap metal

MPC 750.356


The penalties for larceny charges in Michigan are tiered, and the severity of the punishment depends upon the value of the money/property stolen:

  • $200-1,000: Misdemeanor
    • Up to 1 year in jail
    • Fines up to $2,000 or 3 times the value of the property stolen, whichever is greater.
  • $1,000-20,000: Felony
    • Up to 5 years in prison
    • Fines up to $10,000 or 3 times the value of the property stolen, whichever is greater
  • $20,000 or more: Felony
    • Up to 10 years in prison
    • Fines up to $15,000 or 3 times the value of the property stolen, whichever is greater

Repeat Offenders: The prosecutor may seek an enhanced sentence above what is noted above. MPC 750.356(8).

Paying Back the Victim

Michigan’s restitution laws entitle the victim of a larceny crime to seek repayment from the defendant for any monetary losses resulting from the theft. This repayment is separate and above any statutory penalties that come with committing the crime. In many cases a person convicted of a larceny crime will have to pay thousands in fines and subsequently thousands to a victim. It is important to understand the circumstances in which you may be compelled to pay restitution. If you have been accused or charged with a larceny crime, contact me today to begin building a winning defense strategy.

ZAYID LAW’S Defenses to Larceny

Larceny charges, like most theft charges, are tricky because there is a lot of room for discretion. That being said, I have experience using this “gray area” to mitigate a defendant’s culpability. ZAYID LAW utilizes a multi-faceted approach to attacking the prosecution’s case and poking holes in the investigation. Some of the common defenses I deploy include:

  • Questioning intent. Did you actually mean to steal something? Was it a miscommunication? Did you intent to return it?
  • Challenging the ownership to the property. Many times, there is a genuine dispute over the ownership, which may lead to accusations of larceny.
  • Objecting to evidence illegally obtained, be it through a warrantless search, invalid search warrant, or improper confession

This is not an exhaustive list of defenses, and the only way to fully understand the tools at your disposal is by calling me and ZAYID LAW today. The sooner you call me, the sooner we can build your winning defense strategy and achieve the best possible outcome of your larceny case.