Theft is a very serious crime to be accused of. After being charged and labeled a thief, a defendant will face serious consequences. A theft charge will tarnish your record, prevent you from getting certain jobs, and may result in future limitations of your rights as a United States citizen.
If you or a loved one was arrested in New York for any type of theft charge or any other property crime, then contact the Sullivan & Galleshaw law firm immediately. We work hard to make sure our clients receive favorable outcomes in their cases. Our criminal attorneys work tirelessly for every single client, and represent him or her to the fullest extent that the law offers, no matter the criminal charge or underlying crime in the case.
Theft Charges in New York
Theft, which in legal terms in New York is known as larceny, is defined in Article 155 of the New York Penal Code as the following:
“A person steals property and commits larceny when, with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or to a third person, he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property from an owner thereof.” Therefore, the main elements of a larceny crime include the wrongful taking or obtaining or withholding of property.
Larceny also includes the wrongful taking, obtaining, or withholding of another’s property through trespassory taking, embezzlement, or obtaining property by false pretenses. Obtaining property by false pretenses is one of the more serious theft charges, because it also incorporates fraud as one of its criminal elements.
The fraud charge is a result of the extortion, or some sort of “false promise” that allowed the defendant to obtain the property. This is obviously not the typical form of “theft crime” that people consider when they are confronted with a theft charge. Even so, theft by deceit is chargeable as a theft crime, which is why it is extremely important to have proper legal representation when confronting these criminal charges.
New York – Theft Penalties and Sentences
The criminal penalties for larceny crimes are fairly straightforward. The lowest level of larceny-theft offense in New York is called Theft as Petit Larceny, and includes the unlawful taking of property or services valued at no more than $1,000. Theft as Petit Larceny is a class A misdemeanor in New York, which may include a prison sentence that can not exceed one year. Furthermore, a class A misdemeanor fine can not exceed $1,000.
A more serious offense is Theft as Grand Larceny. Theft as Grand Larceny is either a fourth, third, second, or first degree offense. First degree Grand Larceny offenses are the more serious of these theft criminal charges, and often result in a class B felony. Theft as Grand Larceny in the first degree will be charged as a result of theft of property or services that exceed a million dollars in value. The sentence for a class B felony in New York includes imprisonment up to 25 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine.
New York – Theft Defenses
There are a couple of defenses to a standard larceny crime that a defendant may use to exonerate himself or herself. Those defenses are as follows:
- If the property was appropriated under a claim or right made in good faith, then the taking of the property is not considered larceny. This “good faith” affirmative defense is the most common defense to culpability in a larceny case.
- In any prosecution for larceny by extortion committed by instilling in the victim a fear that he or another person would be charged with a crime, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant reasonably believed the threatened charge to be true and that his sole purpose was to compel or induce the victim to take reasonable action to make good the wrong which was the subject of such threatened charge.
Sullivan & Galleshaw, Criminal Defense Lawyers You Can Trust
If you or a loved one has been arrested under suspicion of theft charges in New York, then you need to contact our law firm right away. The time that you may have to assert a defense against a theft charge may be running out. Every single day that you wait to contact an attorney matters, because as the date of the incident and/or arrest gets further away, the evidence that may help your case becomes less and less valuable.
In order to secure the best outcome for your case, contact a criminal defense attorney at Sullivan & Galleshaw. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a property crime, you have an absolute right to an attorney to defend you in your case. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with the experienced criminal defense lawyers of Sullivan & Galleshaw, call 877-311-HURT (4878) or contact us online today.