Fraud, Theft, Property & Dishonesty Lawyers

Theft, Property, & Dishonesty Lawyers

What is a larceny. It is the offence at common law of fraudulently, and without either the consent of the owner or a claim of right made in good faith, taking and carrying away anything capable of being stolen. That action takes place with the intent at the time of the taking to permanently deprive the owner of the property.[1] Larceny is commonly known as ‘stealing’. In some jurisdictions there is an equivalent offence known as ‘theft’. In New South Wales, it remains a common law offence with a penalty prescribed by statute.[2]

The six elements of the offence of larceny are:

  1. The taking and carrying away;
  2. Something capable of being stolen;
  3. In someone’s possession (whether or not the owner);
  4. Without the consent of the person in possession;
  5. An intention to deprive the true owner of the property in the thing; and
  6. Fraudulently, without an honest claim of right.
In other words, these are the things that the police must prove beyond reasonable doubt.

Stealing is the common name for the offence known at common law as ‘larceny’ or ‘theft’.

Theft is a term normally describing the offence of stealing or larceny.

[1] Ilich v R (1987) 162 CLR 110; 69 ALR 231; [1987] HCA 1.

[2] Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) s.117.

Robbery is stealing property, either from the victim’s person or from the immediate control and presence of the victim,[1] by means of violence or threat of violence to that person.[2] All the elements of the offence of stealing must be proved.[3] At common law, the violence or threat of violence must coincide with the theft of the property, and it is not sufficient if the violence occurs after the theft.[4]

[1] R v McNamara [1965] VR 372.

[2] R v Salameh (1986) 26 A Crim R 353; Criminal Code (Cth) s.132.2.

[3] R v Salameh (1986) 26 A Crim R 353.

[4] R v Foster (1995) 78 A Crim R 517.

The commission of a robbery while in possession of a firearm, or an offensive weapon, or explosive.[1] Armed robbery may be committed even though the weapon is not used.[2]

[1] Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) s.97.

[2] R v Foster (1995) 78 A Crim R 517.

How we Can Help

O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors is a full-service criminal defence law firm meaning that we provide legal advice on both criminal and civil law. After the completion of your criminal case, we can continue to represent you in your civil matter (if one exists). We have represented many clients in their criminal matters and then proceeded to assist them in making a civil claim against the police for unlawful arrest and false imprisonment, or suing a publisher for defamation.

Your first consultation with one of our criminal lawyers is free. This is your opportunity to speak to us about your case and for us to discuss with you what your options are. If you choose to proceed with our services we will provide you with a cost agreement that sets out your legal fees. O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors provides cost-effective and professional legal advice compared with other law firms. In some instances, we offer reduced fees or pro bono services at the discretion of our Principal. We can also assist you in applying for Legal Aid if you are eligible. Speak to us if you have concerns regarding your ability to pay your legal fees and we can discuss the possibility of accommodating your circumstances.

Our criminal lawyers have handled cases in courts across NSW at Local Courts, District Courts and the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal. They have a wealth of experience in assisting clients with bail applications, trials, sentencing hearings and appeals to name a few.   

Criminal Law Accredited Specialist Lawyers Our team includes Accredited Specialists in Criminal Law.

Specialist Accreditation is a structured peer to peer assessment process enabling legal practitioners to be recognised for their expertise. To be accredited specialists must pass a series of meticulous assessments on both legal knowledge and its application in practice. To retain their accreditation specialists must undertake significant additional professional development in their area of expertise each year.

O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors utilises a trauma-informed lawyering approach when interacting with our clients. We understand that you have dealt with traumatic events and that engaging with authorities and courts is a stressful experience that might re-traumatise you. For this reason we are sensitive to your mental and emotional needs and will assist you in an appropriate manner. Read more about our thoughts on trauma-informed lawyering.


O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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