Types Of Theft Under Louisiana Law
Most theft offenses fall under embezzlement, robbery, or theft by pretense. Although Louisiana has a general theft statute, theft crimes are classified into misdemeanor theft or felony theft according to the value of the stolen property. The terms grand theft and petty theft are not generally used in Louisiana.
Under Louisiana statutes, La R.S 14:67, the general Theft statute, Theft is defined taking anything of value that belongs to another person, either without consent or by fraudulent conduct. Offenders are culpable to a sentence of imprisonment, with or without hard labor. In additional to the general Theft statute, Louisiana statutes identify other specific types of theft as follows:
La. R.S. 14:67.1 Theft of livestock
La. R.S. 14:67.2 Theft of timber
La. R.S. 14:67.15 Theft of a firearm
La. R.S. 14:67.16 Identity theft
La. R.S. 14:67.26 Theft of a motor vehicle
Theft of Livestock
Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:67.1 notes the acts that constitute the theft of livestock as follows;
Misappropriation or taking of livestock belonging to another or proceeds derived from the sale of such livestock without the owner's consent or through fraud.
Failing to pay for purchased livestock or acquire without the permission of the agent, dealer, or owner within 30 days of the date the livestock was purchased or date payment was due.
Punishment: Whoever commits livestock theft shall be fined not more than $5000, imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than ten years, or both.
Theft of Timber
According to La. Revised Statutes 14:67.2, Theft of timber refers to the misappropriation or taking of timber belonging to another, or proceeds derived from the sale of such timber either taken without the consent of the owner, or through fraudulent conduct/ practices, or representations, with the intent to deprive the owner of the timber or proceeds.
Punishment: Whoever commits timber theft amounting to $25,000 or more shall be fined not more than $10,000 and imprisoned at hard labor for not more than 10 years. Misappropriation of timber value of less than $25,000, offenders shall be imprisoned with or without hard work, for not more than five years, fined not more than $5,000, or both.
Theft of a Firearm
Under Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:67.15, the Theft of a firearm is noted as the misappropriation or taking of a firearm (shotgun, a rifle, a pistol, revolver, or other handguns) which belongs to another, either without the consent of the other or taking employing fraud conducts.
Punishment: With intent to deprive the other permanently of the firearm, an offender can be charged with a fine of $1000 and imprisonment with or without hard labor for not less than 2 years nor more than ten years, without the benefit of parole or probation. Offenders with repeated firearm theft convictions are culpable of intense penalties.
According to Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:67.16, Identity theft means the intentional use, possession, transfer, whether contemporaneously or not, credit, money, goods, services, or valuable information without the authorization or consent of the other person.
Punishment: Offenders committing identity theft when credit, money, goods, services, or anything else of value is obtained or transferred are culpable to imprisonment with or without hard labor for not more than10 years or may be fined not more than $10,000 or both. Further strict punishment measures are induced for offenders with victims beyond 60 years of age, under seventeen, or persons with disability.
Theft of a Motor Vehicle
Louisiana Revised Statutes 14:67.26 indicates that intentional theft of a motor vehicle occurs under the following circumstances;
Taking a motor vehicle that belongs to another, either without the owner’s consent or utilizing fraudulent conduct, practices, or representations, with the intention to deprive the owner permanently.
Taking control of a motor vehicle that is lost or mis-delivered under circumstances that provide means of inquiry as to the true owner
Taking control of a motor vehicle when the person knows or should have known the vehicle has been stolen
Punishment : Whoever commits the crime of theft of a motor vehicle or taking amounts to a value of $25,000 or more shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than 20 years, or fined not more than $50,000, or both.
Despite Louisiana law failing to divide theft into either petty or grand, some theft offenses are treated as a misdemeanor. For a theft to be treated as a misdemeanor, the theft offense should entail a property valued at less than $1,000. Sometimes, people use the term misdemeanor theft to mean petty theft.
Shoplifting or taking property of less than $500 can be classified as petty theft, therefore, attracting misdemeanor charges and relative penalties.
Punishment: Petty theft/ theft of properties valued at less than $1,000, offenders can incur a sentence of imprisonment of not more than 6 months, a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.
This felony entails property theft with a dollar value of $1000 or greater. Under La. § R.S 14:67, offenders are punishable depending on the value of the alleged theft.
Punishment: If the value of the alleged stolen property is between $1,000 - $5,000, the defendant can be sentenced to up to 5 years, a fine of not more than $3,000, or both. As the property value increases to over $5,000 but less than $25,000, the offender is culpable to sentencing ranging up to 10 years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
Felonies with property valued at more than $25,000, the offender can receive sentence imprisonment of not more than 20 years, a fine of not more than $50,000, or both.
If you face any form of theft, consider seeking help from legal counsel attorneys within Louisiana for overall support and defense.
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This information has been provided for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be construed to constitute legal advice. Please consult your attorney in connection with any specific situation under Louisiana law and the applicable state or local laws that may affect your legal rights.
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