Rhode Island General Assembly Amends Larceny Laws

Rhode Island's Governor, Lincoln Chafee, has recently signed a new bill into law which amends the larceny and fraudulent check statutes in Rhode Island. The bill was previously voted on by the Rhode Island General Assembly. The bill increases the amount of the property stolen from $500.00 to $1,500.00 which determines if a person is charged with misdemeanor larceny or felony larceny.

Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 11-41-1, larceny is defined as every person who shall steal any money, goods, or chattels, or any note of the general treasurer of this state for the payment of money, any bank bill, any certificate of any bank or of any public officer or corporation securing the payment of money to any person or certifying it to be due, any certificate of stock in any corporation, any order entitling a person to money or other article, or any bill of exchange, bill of lading, railroad ticket, bond, warrant, obligation, bill, or promissory note for the payment of money, or other valuable property, or any record or paper belonging to any public officer, or any writ, warrant, or other legal process, or any book or part of one containing an account, any receipt for money or other article paid or delivered, any adjustment or document of any kind relating to the payment of money or delivery of any article, any indenture of apprenticeship, or any deed, covenant, indenture, or assurance whatsoever respecting any property, real or personal, shall be deemed guilty of larceny.

The penalties for larceny vary based on the value of the items stolen. Under the current law, the threshold amount was $500.00. If the item was valued at $500 or more, the penalties included, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both. In addition, a person would be guilty of a felony. If the value of the property or money does not exceed five hundred dollars ($500), the person shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both. The person would be guilty of a misdemeanor.

The new law charges the threshold amount to $1,500.00. The new law also creases the fraudulent check threshold from $1,000.00 to $1,500.00. The increases are due to economic changes and inflation since the original threshold amounts were set.

If you or a family member has been charged with larceny, burglary or other theft crimes, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at

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