CHAPTER 290

OFFENSES AGAINST PRIVATE PROPERTY PROVIDING FOR DIFFERENT DEGREES OF LARCENY AND PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREFOR

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 150 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, RELATING TO OFFENSES AGAINST PRIVATES PROPERTY BY PROVIDING FOR DIFFERENT DEGREES OF LARCENY AND PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREFOR; PROVIDING FOR PROCEEDINGS WITHOUT INDICTMENT BY GRAND JURY OR TRIAL BY PETIT JURY IN CERTAIN CASES; VESTING JURISDICTION IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT OF THE CITY OF WILMINGTON, THE COURTS OF COMMON PLEAS AND TILE JUSTICES OF THE PEACE IN CERTAIN CASES; PROVIDING ACCUSED SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO ACQUITTAL UPON TRIAL FOR FELONY BY PROVING OFFENSE MISDEMEANOR BUT THAT JURY MAY RENDER VERDICT OF MISDEMEANOR; FIXING VALUE OF THINGS BEING THE SUBJECT OF LARCENY; AND PROVIDING NO CRIMINAL PROCEEDING COMMENCED PRIOR TO THE APPROVAL OF THIS ACT SHALL BE AFFECTED HEREBY.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of all Members elected to each Branch thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. That Chapter 150 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out and repealing 5200. Section 20, as amended, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following new Section:

5200. Section 20. (a) Whoever shall feloniously steal, take, and carry away any goods, chattels, or effects, money, bank notes, or bills, promissory notes, bills of exchange, cheques, orders or bonds for the payment of money, or any obligations or written securities for the payment of money, or delivery of goods, or merchandise, or any warrants of attorney, or other instruments, authorizing the receiving of any money, or any certificates of bank stock, or of funded debts of the United States, or any releases, or receipts, discharging or acquitting any debts or demands, to the value of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) or upwards, shall be deemed guilty of grand larceny and felony, and shall, at the discretion of the Court, be whipped with not more than twenty lashes and shall be imprisoned not exceeding three years.

(b) Whoever shall unlawfully steal, take, and carry away any such goods, chattels, or effects, money, bank notes, or bills, promissory notes, bills of exchange, cheques, orders, bonds, obligations, written securities, warrants of attorney, certificates, releases, receipts or other instruments, to the value of less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) shall be deemed guilty of petit larceny and a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or imprisoned for a term not exceeding one year or both in the discretion of the court.

(c) The Municipal Court of the City of Wilmington shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of General Sessions to inquire of, hear, try, and finally determine all offenses under Paragraph (b) of this Section committed within the corporate limits of the City of Wilmington, and to punish all persons convicted of said offenses, or any of them, agreeable to the laws of this State. The Courts of Common Pleas for the respective counties and the several Justices of the Peace shall have like concurrent jurisdiction to inquire of, hear, try, and finally determine all such offenses, except those committed within the corporate limits of the City of Wilmington, and to punish all persons convicted of said offenses, or any of them, agreeable to the laws of this State.

(d) The proceedings under Paragraph (c) of this Section shall be without indictment by Grand Jury, or trial by petit jury; provided, however, that every person convicted by petit larceny in any Court of Common Pleas, in any Magistrate's Court, or in the Municipal Court of the City of Wilmington, shall have the right to an appeal to the Court of General Sessions of the County. No such conviction or sentence shall be stayed pending appeal unless the person convicted shall give bond in an amount and with surety to be fixed by the Judge or Magistrate before whom such person was convicted, at the time such appeal is taken. Such appeal shall be taken and bond given within five (5) days from the time of conviction.

(e) Upon the trial of any person for grand larceny and felony the accused shall not be entitled to an acquittal upon proof that the goods, chattels, or effects, or other things being the subject of larceny, are under the value of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), but it shall be lawful for the jury to acquit of the felony and to find a verdict of guilty of petit larceny and a misdemeanor against the person indicted, if the evidence shall warrant such findings; and when such verdict shall be found, the Court shall impose a fine on the person so found guilty of petit larceny and a misdemeanor, not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or shall imprison him for a term not exceeding one year or both in the discretion of the Court.

(f) In all prosecutions under this Section the value of promissory notes, bank notes, bills of exchange, cheques, bonds, and other evidences of debt shall be deemed the sum of money due thereon or secured thereby and remaining unsatisfied; the value of obligations or written securities for the delivery of goods or merchandise shall be deemed the market value or replacement cost of such goods or merchandise; the value of warrants of attorney or other instruments, authorizing the receiving of money, shall be deemed the sum of money to be received thereunder; and the value of releases or receipts, discharging or acquitting any debts or demands, shall be deemed the amount of the debts or demands discharged or acquitted thereby, and with respect to all other things being the subject of larceny, the value shall be the market value or replacement cost provided that the testimony of the owner, lessee, mortgagee, conditional vendee or bailee of the property alleged to be the subject of the larceny or any agent, servant, or employee of such owner, lessee, mortgagee, conditional vendee or bailee as to market value or replacement cost shall in all cases be competent evidence.

Section 2. No criminal proceeding commenced prior to the date of approval of this Act shall be, in any manner, affected by this Act.

Approved June 5, 1951.