Grand larceny in Mississippi is defined as feloniously taking and carrying away the personal property of another of a value of $500 or more. Grand larceny is essentially theft. This law is found in the Mississippi Code 97-17-41.
To charge someone with grand larceny, there must be some evidence that the person intended on stealing the property from the owner. This can usually be inferred from the facts of the case; for instance, taking something that does not belong to you, when you know it doesn’t belong to you and it’s reasonable to assume that it belongs to someone else, would be enough to support a grand larceny charge. Obviously, taking something from a store without paying for it, or off of another person’s property, would be enough to show intent. It’s a pretty low theshold. Put it this way: if you’re at all unsure whether it’s legal, it probably isn’t.
Mississippi grand larceny is a felony punishable up to 10 years in the penetentiary and a $10,000 fine. Most of all, it is a felony that if not handled properly can have permanent damaging consequences for an individual. With a felony conviction you lose your basic civil rights, your right to buy or possess a firearm, and very likely your ability to ever have a well-paying job.
The good news is that a grand larceny conviction in Mississippi can be expunged from the offender’s record, thanks to a recent state law. You must successfully complete all terms and conditions of the sentence, including jail time, probation, restitution, or community service, then you must wait five years. Five years after your sentence you can petition the court to have the conviction removed. The court does not have to grant the petition. The court can deny it if it feels that the person is not rehabilitated from the offense.
This option is better than nothing, but five years is a long time to wait for something that’s not a guarantee. If you’ve been charged with grand larceny you should contact a Mississippi criminal defense lawyer to see about other options. A lawyer may be able to get the charge reduced to petit larceny, which is a misdemeanor and can be dealt with easier than a felony. Your lawyer may even be able to work it out where you are never convicted of a charge, but instead enroll in a diversion program which will keep your record clean.
How the case is worked out is just going to depend on the facts. If you wish to maintain your innocence and go to trial, then a thorough review of the government’s case will be needed. You’ll need to challenge whether the government can prove that grand larceny occurred, whether the property was taken, and whether it’s value exceeded $500.
Patrick Stegall is a Southaven criminal defense lawyer who handles grand larceny charges throughout North Mississippi. He specializes in representing first-time offenders who wish to avoid jail time and a permanent conviction, and can review your case to advise you of the best options available. For help, please contact him at (901) 205-9894 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.