If you are charged with Larceny over $1,000 but less than $20,000 in Livonia, Michigan, you need the help of an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney. I can provide you with nearly 20 years of experience and a willingness to fight and take cases to trial.
Larceny > $1,000 < $20,000 is a class E felony that carries up to 5 years in prison (60 months). If you are arrested and charged with Larceny over $1,000 but less than $20,000, your first court appearance will be an arraignment in the 16th District Court in Livonia, Michigan. Learn more about an arraignment now. At the arraignment, your case will be scheduled for a probable cause conference and a preliminary examination. Bond will also be addressed at the arraignment. The probable cause conference must be scheduled within 7 to 14 days of the arraignment with the preliminary examination scheduled within 5 to 7 days after the probable cause conference.
Following the preliminary examination, further proceedings are held in the Wayne County Circuit Court at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. If there is virtually any evidence supporting the prosecutor's case, it is extremely likely that the matter will be bound over in the district court. Nonetheless, I almost always challenge cases at the preliminary examination because it is the best opportunity that the defense is presented for challenging the evidence and developing the facts that will support defenses in the circuit court. DO NOT WAIVE THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION WITHOUT MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION.
The charge of Larceny over $1,000 but less than $20,000 is detailed in the Michigan compiled laws, MCL 750.356(3). The provisions of MCL 750.356 state:
(1) A person who commits larceny by stealing any of the following property of another person is guilty of a crime as provided in this section:
(a) Money, goods, or chattels.
(b) A bank note, bank bill, bond, promissory note, due bill, bill of exchange or other bill, draft, order, or certificate.
(c) A book of accounts for or concerning money or goods due, to become due, or to be delivered.
(d) A deed or writing containing a conveyance of land or other valuable contract in force.
(e) A receipt, release, or defeasance.
(f) A writ, process, or public record.
(g) Scrap metal.
(2) If any of the following apply, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $15,000.00 or 3 times the value of the property stolen, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:
(a) The property stolen has a value of $20,000.00 or more.
(b) The person violates subsection (3)(a) and has 2 or more prior convictions for committing or attempting to commit an offense under this section. For purposes of this subdivision, however, a prior conviction does not include a conviction for a violation or attempted violation of subsection (4)(b) or (5).
(3) If any of the following apply, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00 or 3 times the value of the property stolen, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:
(a) The property stolen has a value of $1,000.00 or more but less than $20,000.00.
(b) The person violates subsection (4)(a) and has 1 or more prior convictions for committing or attempting to commit an offense under this section. For purposes of this subdivision, however, a prior conviction does not include a conviction for a violation or attempted violation of subsection (4)(b) or (5).
(4) If any of the following apply, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $2,000.00 or 3 times the value of the property stolen, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine:
(a) The property stolen has a value of $200.00 or more but less than $1,000.00.
(b) The person violates subsection (5) and has 1 or more prior convictions for committing or attempting to commit an offense under this section or a local ordinance substantially corresponding to this section.
(5) If the property stolen has a value of less than $200.00, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00 or 3 times the value of the property stolen, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine.
(6) If the property stolen is scrap metal, then, as used in this section, the value of the property stolen means the greatest of the following:
(a) The replacement cost of the stolen scrap metal.
(b) The cost of repairing the damage caused by the larceny of the scrap metal.
(c) The sum of subdivisions (a) and (b).
(7) The values of property stolen in separate incidents pursuant to a scheme or course of conduct within any 12-month period may be aggregated to determine the total value of property stolen.
(8) If the prosecuting attorney intends to seek an enhanced sentence based upon the defendant having 1 or more prior convictions, the prosecuting attorney shall include on the complaint and information a statement listing the prior conviction or convictions. The existence of the defendant's prior conviction or convictions shall be determined by the court, without a jury, at sentencing or at a separate hearing for that purpose before sentencing. The existence of a prior conviction may be established by any evidence relevant for that purpose, including, but not limited to, 1 or more of the following:
(a) A copy of the judgment of conviction.
(b) A transcript of a prior trial, plea-taking, or sentencing.
(c) Information contained in a presentence report.
(d) The defendant's statement.
(9) If the sentence for a conviction under this section is enhanced by 1 or more prior convictions, those prior convictions shall not be used to further enhance the sentence for the conviction pursuant to section 10, 11, or 12 of chapter IX of the code of criminal procedure, 1927 PA 175, MCL 769.10, 769.11, and 769.12.
(10) As used in this section, scrap metal means that term as defined in section 3 of the scrap metal regulatory act, 2008 PA 429, MCL 445.423.
Larceny over $1,000 but less than $20,000 under Michigan sentencing guidelines is scored under crimes against property (Property). Under the guidelines, a person who is convicted of Larceny > $1,000 < $20,000 with no prior record and no aggravating factors looks to the low end of the guidelines which call for up to 3 months. With no prior criminal record but horrible facts, the defendant can face 17* months. With a terrible criminal record and terrible facts, the accused can be looking at 38 months under the guidelines.
The jury instructions set forth the following elements for Larceny > $1,000 < $20,000 that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecuting attorney:
M Crim JI 23.1 Larceny
(1) The defendant is charged with the crime of larceny. To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
(2) First, that the defendant took someone else's property.
(3) Second, that the property was taken without consent.
(4) Third, that there was some movement of the property. [It does not matter whether the defendant actually kept the property or whether the property was taken off the premises].
(5) Fourth, that at the time the property was taken, the defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property.
(6) Fifth, that the property had a fair market value at the time it was taken of:
[Choose only one of the following unless instructing on lesser offenses:]
(a) $20,000 or more.
(b) $1,000 or more, but less than $20,000.
(c) $200 or more, but less than $1,000.
(d) some amount less than $200.
[Use the following paragraph only if applicable.]
(7) [You may add together the values of property stolen in separate incidents if part of a scheme or course of conduct within a 12-month period when deciding whether the prosecutor has proved the amount required beyond a reasonable doubt.]
I can't emphasize enough how important it is to focus on the jury instructions while preparing a defense to the offense of Larceny over $1,000 but less than $20,000. While there are a number of defenses to Larceny > $1,000 < $20,000 that we can explore during a consultation, the elements contained in M Crim JI 23.1 provide a roadmap for defending the case. This is true in almost every single case, and really great defense attorneys focus early on these jury instructions.
As a cautionary note, you might be completely innocent but still face criminal charges. Even worse, you might be denied bail, forced to spend months in jail before you are vindicated. I have seen many cases where a truly innocent client is baffled, angry and scared, completely unable to understand why police and prosecutors are gunning to get a conviction. So long as probable cause is established at the preliminary examination, then the matter will be bound over for trial in the 3rd Circuit Court for the County of Wayne and further proceedings will be held in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. This is why it is so important that you contact an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney to help you defend against criminal charges in the 16th District Court.
*represents an aberration under the guidelines that might result in county jail time or violate the 2/3rd maximum minimum rules under the guidelines, which is something that must be discussed with your attorney.