Larceny in a Civil Case

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What is Larceny in a Civil Case?

If you are trying to get justice in a civil case, adding theft to the mix can make things more difficult for you. Even though a seasoned attorney can assist you in navigating the challenges that an additional larceny case presents, it is still beneficial for you to have an understanding of what this will mean for you.

What Is Larceny?

Theft, also known as larceny, is a term that can be interpreted in a number of different ways within the legal system. Larceny is a crime that, depending on the circumstances, can result in either a fine or time spent in jail. Larceny cases brought under civil law, on the other hand, do not involve sending anyone to jail but rather concentrate on recovering the value of the property or the property that was stolen.

Before you can pursue legal action in a civil court, the Official Code of Georgia mandates that you must first send a letter to the offender demanding payment. You have the legal right to initiate legal action within a period of thirty days if the thief does not return your property or pay you the money that is owed to you.

If you have been the victim of theft, filing a civil larceny suit may help you recover the financial resources necessary to replace the items that have been taken.

What Situations Call for Civil Larceny Lawsuits?

Many different types of cases involve civil larceny suits, such as: 

  • Car Break-Ins
  • Muggings
  • Stolen Vehicles
  • Home Break-Ins

A similar procedure can be used for property destroyed by someone else’s criminal actions, such as in an arson case or in cases involving diminished-value property.

How Do I Prove That Someone Stole From Me?

When compared to a criminal larceny case, a civil larceny case is much simpler to prove. Convicting someone of a crime “beyond a reasonable doubt” is a very high standard to meet. In civil cases, all that is required to prove your case is that “the preponderance of the evidence” supports it. When all of the evidence is taken into consideration, this simply indicates that it appears more likely than not that the other party is responsible for your loss.

It will be very simple for you to win your larceny suit if the person who stole from you has previously been found guilty of theft in a separate criminal proceeding. You can use the conviction itself, as well as any evidence that was presented during their criminal trial, as evidence in your civil case.

You have the right to file a lawsuit against the person for losses even if they have not been found guilty of the crime yet or have avoided conviction altogether. In a criminal case, it is not uncommon for thieves to get a plea deal or get off on a technicality but still be found liable in the civil case. This happens quite frequently.

In a Lawsuit for Larceny, What Kinds of Costs Can I Seek Reimbursement For?

It is dependent on what has been lost and where it has been taken. For instance:

  • If the property that was stolen from you was returned to you in the same condition that it was in when it was taken, then it is highly unlikely that you will be awarded any money at all.
  • If the item was returned damaged, you may be eligible to receive compensation sufficient to pay for its repair or replacement.
  • In the event that the lost property is not located or can no longer be utilized, you are entitled to receive the total amount necessary to purchase new items that are comparable in value. You are not required to purchase an older or previously owned item to serve as a replacement for an older or otherwise well-used piece of property. You are entitled to the cost of purchasing a new replacement that is of equivalent quality.

Notably, the court does not typically treat items that carry significant personal value any differently than they would any other property. If your grandmother’s engagement ring is stolen, for instance, you are entitled to the cost of a diamond ring that is comparable to the one that was taken, but you are not necessarily entitled to any additional money for the loss of an heirloom.

You may be eligible to receive additional compensation from the party responsible for the loss, theft, or damage to your personal property.

You will need the help of an experienced attorney if you are the victim of larceny. Contact our firm if you’d like to schedule a free consultation to find out how an attorney can assist with the recovery of your losses. 

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