"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.
Degrees of Grand Theft
Many jurisdictions classify grand theft crimes by degrees which indicate the severity of the criminal act. The degree of grand theft is often predicated by the value amount of the property that was stolen.
For example, in a given jurisdiction a fourth degree grand theft charge may involve a total $1,000 value of stolen property, whereas a first degree grand theft may involve stolen property valued at $10,000 or more.
The value amount that is associated with each degree, or level of offense, is determined by state and local law and can vary significantly by location.
Examples of Grand Theft
There are many acts which can be considered grand theft. They include:
Shoplifting - defined as taking property, goods, or services from a place of business - can be considered grand theft if the value of the stolen goods exceeds the specified dollar amount."
The sentence will depend on the dollar amount, what was stolen, who is was stolen from, if a weapon was used, previous criminal record and other factors. Grand theft - Criminal Law Lawyer Source