As a civilian attorney practicing as a military lawyer in courts-martial, I defend service members in all branches — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard — who are accused of theft, wrongful appropriation, or any property crimes, and facing legal actions such as court-martial, Article 32 investigation, Article 15 nonjudicial punishment (also known as NJP, captain’s mast, or office hours), and administrative separations. My law office is centrally located in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area, which allows easy access to every military base in CONUS, as well as around the globe.
Larceny and wrongful appropriation are non-violent crimes, but still serious ones. And every military member knows how “barracks thieves” are regarded by their peers. These are cases that can cripple a person’s future civilian life, because any grade of theft conviction can prevent a person from exercising civil rights like sitting on a jury, and can also result in significant prejudice from employers.
Difference Between Larceny and Wrongful Appropriation
The simple difference between the two is the intent. If you take someone’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, it’s a larceny. If your intent is to temporarily deprive the owner (that is, you intend to return the property later), it’s a wrongful appropriation. The circumstances of the taking are critically important, and I have achieved success for my clients as their civilian defense counsel in two important ways – achieving not guilty findings on theft cases, and also negotiating to lesser offenses and sometimes taking a court-martial case to an agreed NJP or other less serious disposition.
As in many criminal cases, property crimes are often made much stronger after law enforcement interrogates an accused and gets a damaging admission. So invoke your 31(b) rights, and don’t make any statement! Contact me now for a free consultation if you’re under investigation or charges for any larceny, property crime, or any other type of military crime.