If you're looking for a Mississippi online theft or shoplifting class, it's important to know your Mississippi theft laws. This can help you understand more about your offense.

Please note that the Mississippi theft laws shown on this page are to help you to understand your state Mississippi theft, shoplifting and stealing laws. While we have tried to show the latest version of Mississippi theft laws, we do not guarantee its accuracy. This page is not a substitute for legal advice from a lawyer. We suggest that you consult with an appropriate lawyer for more information about Mississippi theft laws.

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Mississippi Theft Laws

§ 97-17-43. Petit larceny defined; penalty.

(1) If any person shall feloniously take, steal and carry away any personal property of another under the value of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), he shall be guilty of petit larceny and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six (6) months or by fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or both. The total value of property taken, stolen or carried away by the person from a single victim shall be aggregated in determining the gravity of the offense.

(2) If any person shall feloniously take, steal and carry away any property of a church, synagogue, temple or other established place of worship under the value of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), he shall be guilty of petit larceny and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one (1) year or by fine not exceeding Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00), or both.

(3) Any person who leaves the premises of an establishment at which motor fuel offered for retail sale was dispensed into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle by driving away in that motor vehicle without having made due payment or authorized charge for the motor fuel so dispensed, with intent to defraud the retail establishment, shall be guilty of petit larceny and punished as provided in subsection (1) of this section and, upon any second or subsequent such offense, the driver's license of the person shall be suspended as follows:

(a) The person shall submit the driver's license to the court upon conviction and the court shall forward the driver's license to the Department of Public Safety.

(b) The first suspension of a driver's license under this subsection shall be for a period of six (6) months.

(c) A second or subsequent suspension of a driver's license under this subsection shall be for a period of one (1) year.

(d) At the expiration of the suspension period, and upon payment of a restoration fee of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00), the suspension shall terminate and the Department of Public Safety shall return the person's driver's license to the person. The restoration fee shall be in addition to the fees provided for in Title 63, Chapter 1, and shall be deposited into the State General Fund in accordance with Section 45-1-23.

§ 97-17-45. Larceny; stealing bond, note, bill, securities, etc.; proof of value.

If any person shall steal any bond, covenant, note, bank-bill, bill of exchange, draft, order, receipt, or other evidence of debt, or chose in action, or any public security issued by the United States, or any state, or any instrument whereby any demand, right, or obligation shall be created, increased, released, extinguished, or diminished, the money due thereon, or secured thereby, and remaining unsatisfied, or which in any event might be collected thereon, or the value of the property transferred or affected thereby, as the case may be, shall be deemed the value of the article sold, without further proof thereof.

§ 97-17-47. Larceny; severing crops, or parts of improvements or enclosures.

If any person shall sever from the soil of another any produce growing thereon, or shall sever from any building, gate, fence, railing, or other improvement or inclosure any part thereof, and shall take and convert the same to his own use with intent to steal the same, he shall be guilty of larceny in the same manner and of the same degree as if the article so taken had been severed at some previous and different time.

§ 97-17-49. Larceny; shearing wool from dead sheep.

If any person shall shear or take off in any manner the wool from any sheep that has been killed by dog or otherwise, without first obtaining permission from the owner of such sheep so killed, with intent to convert to his own use or conceal the same, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction, shall be fined not less than five dollars nor more than twenty-five dollars and imprisoned in the county jail not less than five days nor more than twenty days.

§ 97-17-51. Larceny; stealing dog.

Every person who shall feloniously steal, take and carry away any dog, the property of another, shall be subject to indictment therefor, and on conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00), or imprisoned in the county jail not more than six (6) months, or both, or imprisoned in the penitentiary not less than one year nor more than two years.

§ 97-17-53. Larceny; stealing livestock; restitution.

(1) If any person shall feloniously take livestock belonging to another, either without the consent of the other to the taking, or by means of fraudulent conduct, practices or representations, he shall be guilty of larceny, regardless of the value of the livestock. Upon conviction, such person is guilty of a felony and shall be committed to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for not less than twelve (12) months nor more than five (5) years, and fined an amount not less than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00), nor more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00).

(2) In addition to any such fine or imprisonment which may be imposed, the court shall order that restitution be made to the owner of any such stolen livestock. The measure for restitution in money shall be the amount of the actual financial loss to the owner of the livestock, including any loss of income, any court costs and attorney's fees incurred by the owner to recover the stolen livestock, the current replacement value of the stolen livestock if the livestock is not recovered, and any other costs incurred by the owner as a result of actions in violation of subsection (1) of this section.

(3) For purposes of this section, the term "livestock" shall mean horses, cattle, swine, sheep and other domestic animals produced for profit.

§ 97-17-55. Larceny; stealing milk from cow.

Any person who shall milk the cow of another, knowingly, without his consent, or who shall pen or confine by any means any milk-cow, or the calf of any such cow, not his own, with intent to procure milk from such cow, without the consent of the owner, shall, on conviction, be fined not more than one hundred dollars, or be imprisoned in the county jail not more than three months, or both. Proof that any one penned or confined any cow or her calf not his own, shall be deemed prima facie evidence of an intent to procure milk in violation of this section.

§ 97-17-59. Larceny; stealing timber; restitution.

(1) Any person who shall knowingly, willfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away from the lands of another any merchantable timber on the property of another, of the value of less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00), whether such timber is growing, standing or lying on the lands, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term of not less than thirty (30) days nor more than one hundred (100) days, or both, in the discretion of the court.

(2) Any person who shall knowingly, willfully and feloniously take, steal and carry away from the lands of another any merchantable timber on the property of another, of the value of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) or more, whether such timber is growing, standing, or lying on the lands, shall be guilty of a felony; and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or by imprisonment in the Penitentiary for a term of not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, or both, in the discretion of the court.

(3) In addition to any such fine or imprisonment which may be imposed upon a convicted individual, the court shall order that restitution be made to the owner of any such stolen timber. The measure for restitution in money shall be the amount of the actual financial loss to the owner of the timber, including any loss of income, any court costs, expert fees and attorney's fees incurred by the owner to recover the loss and any other costs incurred by the owner as a result of actions in violation of subsections (1) and (2) of this section. The value of the timber shall be calculated by the fair market value of the timber at the time of the loss.

§ 97-17-60. Payment for timber acquired for resale; penalties.

(1) Any person who acquires, with the consent of an owner, any timber product from that owner and who receives payment for the timber product shall, within thirty (30) days of such receipt, make payment in full to the owner.

(2) If the owner has not received payment within the required thirty (30) days, the owner shall notify the offender of his demand for payment at the offender's last known address by certified mail or by personal delivery of the written notice to the offender. The offender shall make payment in full within ten (10) days after the mailing or delivery of the written notice or the offender shall be in violation of this section.

(3) A written agreement signed by the owner providing for a means of payment contrary to this section shall constitute an affirmative defense.

(4) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them herein unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(a) "Timber product" means timber of all kinds, species or sizes, including, but not limited to, logs, lumber, poles, pilings, posts, blocks, bolts, cordwood and pulpwood, pine stumpwood, pine knots or other distillate wood, crossties, turpentine (crude gum), pine straw, firewood and all other products derived from timber or trees which have a sale or commercial value.

(b) "Owner" means any person, partnership, corporation, unincorporated association or other legal entity having any interest in any timber product, any land upon which a timber product is growing or any land from which a timber product has been removed.

(5) Whoever violates this section, upon conviction thereof, when the value of the timber product is Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or less, shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or imprisoned for not more than one (1) year, or both. When the value of the timber product is more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), the violator, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or imprisoned for not more than ten (10) years, or both.

§ 97-17-61. Larceny; taking and carrying away certain animals or motor vehicles not amounting to larceny.

Any person who shall, without the consent of the owner or his agent, take away any horse, mare, gelding, mule, jack, jennet, sheep, cow, bull, ox, hog, or other livestock or dog, or automobile, truck or other motor vehicle, where such taking and carrying away shall not amount to larceny, shall upon conviction, be fined not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or be imprisoned not exceeding one (1) year in the county jail, or both. A verdict of guilty of such taking and carrying away may be rendered under an indictment for larceny, if the evidence shall not warrant a verdict of guilty of larceny but shall warrant a conviction under this section. This section shall not apply to anyone who takes such property believing, in good faith, that he has a right to it. The court shall order any person convicted under this section to pay restitution for any damage caused to any property as a result of violating this section.

§ 97-17-62. Larceny; theft of rental property.

(1) (a) It is unlawful to obtain custody of personal property or equipment by trick, deceit, fraud or willful false representation with intent to defraud the owner or any person in lawful possession of the personal property or equipment.

(b) It is unlawful to hire or lease personal property or equipment from any person who is in lawful possession of the personal property or equipment with intent to defraud that person of the rental due under the rental agreement.

(c) It is unlawful to abandon or willfully refuse to redeliver personal property as required under a rental agreement without the consent of the lessor or the lessor's agent with intent to defraud the lessor or the lessor's agent.

(d) A person who violates this subsection (1) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable as provided in Section 97-17-43, unless the value of the personal property or equipment is of a value of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or more; in that event the violation constitutes a felony, punishable as provided in Section 97-17-41.

(2) (a) In prosecutions under this section, the following acts are prima facie evidence of fraudulent intent: obtaining the property or equipment under false pretenses; absconding without payment; or removing or attempting to remove the property or equipment from the county without the express written consent of the lessor or the lessor's agent.

(b) Demand for return of overdue property or equipment and for payment of amounts due may be made personally, by hand delivery, or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the lessee's address shown in the rental contract.

(c) In a prosecution under subsection (1)(c):

(i) Failure to redeliver the property or equipment within five (5) days after hand delivery to or return receipt from the lessee is prima facie evidence of fraudulent intent. Notice that is returned undelivered after mailing to the address given by the lessee at the time of rental shall be deemed equivalent to return receipt from the lessee.

(ii) Failure to pay any amount due which is incurred as the result of the failure to redeliver property after the rental period expires is prima facie evidence of fraudulent intent. Amounts due include unpaid rental for the time period during which the property or equipment was not returned, and include the lesser of the cost of repairing or replacing the property or equipment, as necessary, if it has been damaged or not returned.

§ 97-17-63. Larceny; tenants in common.

Any tenant in common of personal property, or person who is in any manner interested in any such property in which any other person has an interest, who shall sell, give away, conceal, or in any way convert or dispose of such property, with intent to defraud his cotenant or other person interested in such property, shall be punished as if he had committed larceny of such property of the value of the interest of his cotenant or other person interested in such property.

§ 97-17-64. Larceny; under lease or rental agreement.

(1) A person who obtains personal property of another under a lease or rental agreement is guilty of theft if he exercises unlawful or unauthorized control over the property with purpose to deprive the owner thereof. As used in this section, the word "deprive" means to withhold property of another permanently or for so extended a period that a significant portion of its economic value, or the use or benefit thereof, is lost to the owner; or to withhold the property with intent to restore it to the owner only upon payment of a reward or other compensation; or to conceal, abandon or dispose of the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it; or to sell, give, pledge, or otherwise transfer any interest in the property.

(2) It shall be prima facie evidence of purpose to deprive when a person:

(a) In obtaining such property presents identification or information which is materially false, fictitious, misleading or not current, with respect to such person's name, address, place of employment, or any other material matter; or

(b) Fails to return such property to the owner or his representative within ten (10) days after proper notice following the expiration of the term for which such person's use, possession or control of the property is authorized; or

(c) Fails to contact the owner or his representative to make arrangements to return such property within ten (10) days after proper notice following the expiration of the term for which such person's use, possession or control of such property is authorized.

(3) For the purpose of this section, "proper notice" means either actual notification as may be otherwise proven beyond a reasonable doubt or a written demand for return of the property mailed to the defendant, which satisfies the following procedure:

(a) The written demand must be mailed to the defendant by certified or registered mail with return receipt attached, which return receipt by its terms must be signed by the defendant personally and not by his representative;

(b) The written demand must be mailed to the defendant at either the address given at the time he obtained the property or the defendant's last known address if later furnished in writing by the defendant to the owner or his representative; and

(c) The return receipt bearing the defendant's signature must be returned to the owner or his representative.

(4) It shall be an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that:

(a) The defendant was unaware that the property was that of another; or

(b) The defendant acted under an honest claim of right to the property involved or that he had a right to acquire or dispose of it as he did; or

(c) The defendant was physically incapacitated and unable to request or obtain permission of the owner to retain the property; or

(d) The property was in such a condition, through no fault of the defendant, that it could not be returned within the requisite time after receipt of proper notice.

(5) Any person convicted of the offense of theft under this section shall be:

(a) Guilty of a misdemeanor when the value of the personal property is less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) and punished by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term of not more than six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment; or

(b) Guilty of a felony when the value of the personal property is Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) or more and punished by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for a term of not more than three (3) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

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