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Different types of stealing, from larceny to burglary

When charged with stealing something in Connecticut, it's important to know the exact charges that you're facing. There are a few different terms that can be used, depending on how the situation played out, and they may indicate what type of sentence you may be facing.

First off, you have theft or larceny, which are quite similar and often used in place of one another. This just means taking something that someone else owns, that you don't have the right to take, and doing so intentionally. For instance, if you're invited to a party by a friend and you steal an XBox on the way out the door, when heading home, that's theft.

Next, there is burglary. This involves going into a building or area where you're not allowed, and you typically have to break in to do it. Once inside, you steal an item from that building. A lot of times, force is used to break in. For example, you could face these charges if you saw the XBox at the party but then came back when the owner was away, kicked in the locked door, and stole it.

Finally, you have robbery. This is when threats and/or force are used to obtain something from a person directly. For example, if the homeowner who was having the party was holding the XBox, and you pulled out a knife—or said you had one—and demanded to be given it, that is robbery.

As you can imagine, the lines get a bit blurry at times, especially when there is disagreement regarding the details of what happened, making these details—and your knowledge of your legal defense options—crucial to the outcome of the case.

Source: FIndLaw, "Property Crimes," accessed May 13, 2016

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