Criminal offenses are further classified as property crimes or personal crimes. Elected officials on the federal, state and local level pass laws that establish which behavior constitutes a crime and what the punishment will be for someone who is found guilty of those crimes.
Embezzlement of property worth less than $950 is a misdemeanor, subjecting a defendant to a possible jail sentence of six months or less, and a fine of up to $1,000. Embezzlement of property, money, or services, and many enumerated items, worth more than $950 is grand theft.
Forgery (also known as "uttering a false instrument") is a serious offense, punishable as a felony in all fifty states and by the federal government. Forgery involves the making, altering, use, or possession of a false writing in order to commit a fraud.
Larceny is a specific intent crime, which means that the person taking the property must specifically intend to commit larceny. So in a situation where a person reasonably believes that they own the property they are taking, they would not have the specific intent of required for larceny.
Possession of stolen goods is a crime in which an individual has bought, been given, or acquired stolen goods anyway. In many jurisdictions, if an individual has accepted possession of goods or property and knew they were stolen, then the individual is typically charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the stolen goods.
Grand theft or comparable violations, such as grand larceny, are classified as felonies in all states. This is the most serious category of offenses and can have severe consequences for individuals convicted of such crimes. Additional Categories of Theft. Jurisdictions may create additional classes or categories of theft to address a particularly troublesome types of theft.