In New York, crimes involving theft or stealing are called larceny. Most often, we think of theft, or larceny, as unlawfully taking the property of anotrher person. In New York, many theft charges are related to stealing, but individuals knowingly in possession of stolen property, unlawfully take property through embezzlement or fraud, or trick the rightful owner into relinquishing the property are all charged with a misdemeanor or felony larceny.
Larceny is one of the most common crimes in New York City. There are over 500 incidents of grand larceny reported to the NYPD in a week, sometimes as many as 1,000. Making it a high priority for the NYPD and NYC prosecutors. The high volume of incidents also makes it more difficult for defendants to beat these charges, but an NYC theft lawyer, such as those at Greco Neyland, PC can help.
Larceny, found under New York Penal Law section 155, is wrongfully withholding, taking or controlling the property of another person with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of such property. Actions that constitute taking, withholding or controlling include:
Whereas each of these forms of unlawfully acquiring property used to be separate charges in New York, they are now consolidated into the larceny statute.
As well, the intent of the defendant is essential to larceny charges, A prosecutor must show the intent to deprive the property owner by showing the defendant:
There are two types of theft or larceny charges in the New York Penal Law. The less serious is misdemeanor larceny, called petit larceny in the statutes. The more serious charge is felony larceny, called grand larceny in the statutes. Unless there are aggravating circumstances, petit larceny is the default theft charge in New York.
Petit larceny is applicable to the theft of property valued at or less than $1,000. Petit larceny is a class A misdemeanor, subject to a criminal fine and jail sentence up to one year. While petit larceny is the least serious larceny charge in New York City, it is still a criminal offense. Conviction of petit larceny will appear on a criminal background check and record.
Larceny of property valued over $1,000 is grand larceny. Based on the value of the stolen property, grand larceny is charged in the fourth, third, second or first degree. The applicable criminal punishment is also determined by the property’s value, as follows:
The type of property stolen can also determine how larceny is charged in New York. Regardless, of value larceny of a public record, scientific material, credit or debit card, or firearm is a grand larceny in the fourth degree, a felony offense. As well, larceny by extortion or taken from the person of the owner is grand larceny in the fourth degree, irrespective of the property’s value or type.
A robust defense to larceny charges, even grand larceny, is possible. However, building the best defense requires substantial knowledge of New York criminal defense and NYC theft charges. As former prosecutors, the attorneys at Greco Neyland understand how the district attorney’s office prefers to approach and prosecute these charges.
With fully-staffed offices in New York and New Jersey, Greco Neyland, PC serves clients throughout the Tri-State area, including all five boroughs of NYC. Call us today at (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free initial consultation with the office closest to you.