July 1, 2020
The Nevada crime of larceny from a person (or “pickpocketing”) is a very serious felony carrying high fines and possibly prison time. It also stands out on your criminal record and may dissuade prospective employers from hiring you.
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers discuss Nevada “larceny from a person” (NRS 205.270) laws as well as how we might be able to have your charges reduced to a lesser crime or even dismissed so your criminal record remains clear.
The legal definition of “larceny from a person” in Las Vegas, Nevada applies when “a person who, under circumstances not amounting to robbery, with the intent to steal or appropriate to his or her own use, takes property from the person of another, without the other person’s consent.” In other words, a “pickpocket.”
The main difference between the Clark County crime of “larceny from a person” and the more serious Nevada crime of “robbery” is that robbery requires that the alleged thief use violence, force, or fear of force against the victim to accomplish the taking. Often the victims of a “larceny from a person” crime do not even discover that they have been wronged until after the taking has occurred.
There are several arguments your criminal defense attorney may be able to take advantage of when fighting a Nevada larceny from a person (NRS 205.270) charge. The following are just a few common defenses that could help win your case:
- You owned the property. If the property you took from another person belonged to you, you cannot be convicted of larceny from a person. (If you allegedly used force while taking it, however, you may face other charges such as battery in Nevada (NRS 200.481).)
- You did not take anything. Obviously, you should not be convicted of larceny from a person if no taking took place. Your attorney may try to admit evidence such as eyewitnesses and video-recordings to show that you never took another’s property.
- Consent. If the “victim” gave you their consent to take the property, then any charges against you for larceny from a person should be dismissed.
- Lack of intent. Larceny from a person is an intent crime in Las Vegas, so you cannot be convicted of it if you genuinely did not mean to take the property. Accidental takings are not a crime.
Larceny from a person is a category C felony in Nevada, carrying:
- restitution of the items allegedly stolen, and
- 1 to 5 years in Nevada State Prison, and
- maybe up to $10,000 in fines
The court may not grant probation if the victim had an infirmity.
Depending on your case, Clark County prosecutors may be willing to reduce your “larceny from a person” charges to a lesser offense such as petit larceny in Nevada. The judge may also grant probation and a suspended sentence unless the “victim” of the larceny had an infirmity caused by age or another physical condition.
If you are initially charged with the Nevada crime of robbery, the prosecutor may offer a plea bargain where you instead plead guilty to larceny from a person. It may be a decent deal to accept because robbery mandates two to fifteen years in prison, which is harsher than the typical sentence for larceny from a person.
Larceny from a person (NRS 205.270) may qualify as a deportable offense in Nevada, so aliens who have been arrested for it should retain counsel to try to get the charges changed to a non-removable crime. Click on the following link to read our information page on Nevada criminal defense of immigrants.