The legal term for theft or stealing in New York is known as larceny. In general, if the property stolen is valued at less than $1,000 and extortion was not involved in the taking, then you can be charged with petit larceny as per § 155.25 of the New York Penal Code. Sometimes, this is informally referred to as petty theft. While petit larceny does not carry the same felony consequences carried by grand larceny, it is a class A misdemeanor. If convicted, the theft conviction can remain on your criminal record for life and limit your job prospects and other opportunities in the future. Working with an experienced petty theft defense lawyer can improve the chances that your charges can be reduced, dismissed or successfully defend against. The criminal defense attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw are dedicated to providing strategic and aggressive representation when it matters most.
Shoplifting is often charged as petit larceny
Perhaps you were in a clothing store, a convenience store, or some other retail location. You were probably browsing through tens, hundreds or thousands of items when your phone rang or when some other distraction came up. Maybe you walked out of the store still talking on your phone – and still carrying the merchandise that you were examining. Within seconds store security was asking you to hold on for a moment while they checked something out. Maybe you agreed to the search because you didn’t even realize that you had the store’s product. You walk back to the store security office escorted by the security guard. Then, before you know it the aggressive questioning starts.
Before you can ask to leave there’s a knock on the door and a uniformed police officer is waiting. The store security guard then recounts his version of the events, shows the security footage and the allegedly stolen product. The officer then informs you that you are under arrest, handcuffs you and you are taken to the station for booking and processing. In short, it may feel like you have stepped into a nightmare. But, unfortunately the difficult times are only beginning.
What is the definition of petit larceny under New York Law?
Under § 155.25 of the New York Penal Code, petit larceny occurs when a person steals property. The theft must be done with the intention to deprive the other person of property that rightfully belongs to them. The theft can be accomplished in a number of ways. First, the theft can be carried out by coming onto the property of another without permission, trespassing, and taking property by false pretenses or embezzlement. Lost property that is acquired by an individual can also result in theft charges if the person knew that the property had been delivered or obtained by mistake and fails to take reasonable steps to correct the error. Third, if an individual obtains property by way of passing a bad check, then larceny charges may also be appropriate. Forth, if as part of a scheme to defraud, an individual makes a false promise to obtain property. The false promise can involve conduct that the individual will engage in or not engage in, however the individual must not intend to ever follow through on said promise.
There are a number of other grounds that can make petit larceny charges appropriate. But, essentially, if the value of the goods you are accused of stealing is $1,000 or less, you will face charges for petit larceny. However, it is important to note that in instances of theft involving extortion that causes the victim to fear for physical safety or property damages, third degree grand larceny charges would instead likely be appropriate. Furthermore, if the goods or products that were allegedly stolen are valued at $1,000 or more, then grand theft charges may also be advanced.
Rely on the experienced petty theft attorneys of Sullivan & Galleshaw
If you are facing charges for petit larceny, upon conviction, you could face up to a 1 year determinate prison sentence since it is a class A misdemeanor. Furthermore, a conviction for theft will carry other collateral consequences that may limit your future career options and other wise limit your opportunities due to being conviction of a crime associated with dishonesty. To discuss your criminal defense options with aggressive and strategic petty theft defense attorneys, call Sullivan & Galleshaw at 555-5555 or contact us online today.