What Should Military Personnel Do If Accused Of Larceny?

Larceny is one of the most common crimes in the United States, and the punishments that go along with a larceny conviction are incredibly severe. While civilians can expect a court to punish them if they convict them of larceny, members of the military may face additional forms of punishment or penalties if a police officer charges and arrests them. If you are hoping to join the military, a criminal conviction like larceny can prevent them from accepting you. Or, if you are already a member of the military, a criminal conviction like larceny may mean a dishonorable discharge. One should always take criminal charges like larceny seriously, but military personnel may have even more to lose. When an officer is charging you with larceny and you are an active member of the military, you should hire a military defense immediately.

What Is Larceny?

Is larceny any different than theft? While many people use larceny and theft interchangeably, larceny is a more specific type of theft. Theft can describe numerous types of property crime, but larceny happens when you steal someone’s physical property without their consent or permission and never intend to return it to them. There are many different degrees of larceny which will depend on the value of the item(s) you stole. This can also determine how a civilian court and how the military will choose to punish you.

What Happens When an Officer Charges You With Larceny?

Even though you are military, a civilian law enforcement agent may be the one to arrest you. When this is the case, you can expect certain things to happen.

1. They Will Arrest You. If the police officer has reason to believe that you are guilty of larceny, they will arrest you. This will likely lead to the officer taking you to jail. In addition, a judge may hold a bail hearing to determine the price of your bond. Remember, just like civilians, military personnel have the right to remain silent and request their military defense attorney.

2. You Will Gather Evidence. Hiring a military defense lawyer is one of your best options when you gather evidence for your defense.

3.  Your Lawyer Negotiates. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf before the trial even begins to determine if a plea bargain will work in your situation.


As a member of the military, you will likely face civilian penalties and military punishments. Civilian penalties may be as severe as up to 20 years in prison and carry very hefty fines. A conviction can also lead to military penalties that your command may decide on. In fact, if someone charges you with larceny on base, you can face a court-martial procedure and the military will determine what kind of punishments it wishes to impose.

Where Can I Get Help?

If someone charges you with larceny and you are in the military, you should seek help from a military defense attorney who can work with you to devise a solid defense for your unique case. For more information, speak with a military defense lawyer at Camp Pendleton, like one from The Federal Practice Group.