LARCENY AND SHOPLIFTING
“Larceny” is the wrongful taking of someone else's property. Larceny includes:
Obtaining property by false pretenses
A larceny offense can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Felonies are the more serious offenses. The value of the property has a very important impact on whether the defendant will be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. If you are charged with a felony then you will be charged with Grand Larceny and there are four different levels of Grand Larceny charges.
Petit Larceny (shoplifting) is the lowest level offense, and the value of the property allegedly stolen cannot exceed $1,000.00. This is a Class A Misdemeanor and it is punishable by up to one year in jail.
GRAND LARCENY IN THE FOURTH DEGREE
This is the least serious Grand Larceny charge. You will be charged with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree if the value of the property stolen is over $1,000 and up to $3,000. You will also receive this charge if the property taken is a public record, secret scientific material, credit or debit card, firearm, motor vehicle, religious vestment or symbol and has a value of at least $100, an access device intended to be used to steal telephone service, ammonia gas to be used to manufacture methamphetamine, and if the property is taken by extortion, or from the person of another. Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree is a Class E Felony and if convicted you can be sentenced to up to four years in prison.
GRAND LARCENY IN THE THIRD DEGREE
Grand Larceny in the Third Degree is the charge you will face if you are accused of stealing property that exceeds $3,000, or if the property taken is an automated teller machine or the contents of an automated teller machine. This is a Class D Felony and you can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison. If you were previously convicted of this charge within the previous five years for stealing an automated teller machine or its content you can be charged with Aggravated Grand Larceny of an Automated Teller Machine and if convicted you face a stiffer sentence than seven years in prison.
GRAND LARCENY IN THE SECOND DEGREE
Grand Larceny in the Second Degree is the charge you will face if the value of the stolen property exceeds $50,000, or if the property is obtained by extortion. This is a Class C Felony, and you be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.
GRAND LARCENY IN THE FIRST DEGREE
Grand Larceny in the First Degree is the most serious Grand Larceny offense, and it requires that the value of the stolen property exceeds one million dollars. This is a Class B Felony and if convicted you can be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.
We can argue that the value of the alleged stolen items is worth less than charged, and if proven it can reduce the severity of the larceny charge.
Larceny requires that the prosecutor proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intended to deprive the victim of their property. The intent is important. Therefore, if the property was taken by mistake or borrowed it does not constitute larceny.
The law in the State of New York provides a statutory defense if you had a good faith belief that you had a right to take the property in question.
CHARGED WITH LARCENY OR SHOPLIFTING?
If you are facing theft charges, you need an experienced advocate on your side. The Law Office of Kenneth Puig can help. Call us today for a free consultation.