Larceny definition is the wrongful taking of money or property of another with the intent to convert or to deprive the owner of its possession and use. Unlike in embezzlement schemes, in larceny definition, the defendant never has lawful possession of the property to establish a larceny meaning. The elements to define larceny typically include:
- Unlawfully taking or carrying away.
- Money or property of another.
- Without the consent of the owner;
- With the intent to permanently deprive the owner of its use or possession.
Larceny definition differs from embezzlement, and the difference centres on who has legal custody over the stolen articles. A larcenist takes something from its rightful owner without ever having had legal custody of the item stolen. The embezzler, conversely, takes something in which he has lawful possession. Thus, the major distinction between what is larceny and embezzlement lies in the issue of whether the thief had been lawfully entrusted with the stolen articles.
Although larceny definition was an offence under the common law of England, it has been abolished in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. In England and Wales, larceny meaning was replaced by the broader offence of theft under the Theft Act 1968, and in Northern Ireland, larceny definition was replaced by the offence of theft under the Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969. (Scotland has a separate criminal law framework that differs from the one in England and Wales.) Accordingly, the terms theft and larceny definition are sometimes used synonymously. larceny meaning does, however, remain an offence in the United States and New South Wales, Australia.