Grand theft is the crime of taking someone else's property against their will with the intent of permanently depriving them of the property. In order to be considered grand theft, the total value of what was taken must exceed a certain dollar amount. The value of the property stolen to constitute the crime as grand theft varies by locale and other specifics. The term "property" in the grand theft definition can include money, labor, real, or personal property that lawfully belongs to another individual or group of individuals.
Grand Theft vs. Petty Theft
When the value of the stolen property does not exceed the specified dollar amount, the crime is considered petty theft. The law in all jurisdictions draws a legal distinction between petty and grand theft. In most cases, petty theft is a misdemeanor crime that is punishable by no more than one year of incarceration and a maximum fine. Most states consider grand theft a felony crime that carries the possibility of a much harsher penalty. The specific punishment for the felony crime of grand theft will often depend on the applicable state laws and the type of theft that took place.