An arrest for a theft or larceny crime in New York can be as devastating to your career and livelihood as it is to your freedom and future. If convicted, you could be facing jail time, heavy fines, and probation. As with any criminal charge, the larceny conviction will show up on a background check. While Theft is a criminal charge that can be categorized as a felony or a misdemeanor, getting the right lawyer to fight your case can minimize the penalties.

Some Common Types of Theft

In addition to the traditional modes of theft, the prevalence of computers and internet have brought forward new forms. In New York, all types of theft are taken seriously and can range from misdemeanor charges to more serious felony charges. Such theft crimes include:

  1. Petty Theft: Taking of small quantity of cash, low-value goods, ie. shoplifting
  2. Automobile Theft: Including grand theft auto and carjacking
  3. Cyber Theft: Stealing financial and personal information via computer access
  4. Identity Theft: Using a person’s name, bank account, credit card without their knowledge.
  5. Extortion: Threatening a person with physical harm or to ruin one’s reputation to obtain money.
  6. Theft of services: Use of threat, deception, tampering to steal services, ie. stealing wifi and cables.
  7. Robbery: Theft with the additional use or threat of violence, ie. armed robbery or mugging.
  8. Fraud: Deceiving someone to give up their property willingly but under false pretenses. If a person takes property with which they were entrusted, they have committed embezzlement.
  9. Burglary: Entering a structure or dwelling with the intent to commit a crime within it.

Larceny Penalties – NY

Property or Services Value Degree of Charge Maximum Penalty
Under $1,000 Petit Larceny – Misdemeanor Shoplifting 1 year prison
fine $1,000
Over $1,000 Or firearm, credit card, debit card, motor vehicle
Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree – Class E Felony
4 years prison
fine $5,000
Over $3,000 Or cash from an ATM
Grand Larceny in the Third Degree – Class D Felony
7 years prison
fine $5,000
Over $50,000 Grand Larceny in the Second Degree – Class C Felony 15 years prison
fine $15,000
Over $1 million Grand Larceny in the First Degree – Class B Felony 25 years prison
fine $30,000

Common Defenses for Theft Charges

An expert defense lawyer will advise you on the best way to fight the case. Which defense can be applied to your case depends on the circumstances. These are some defenses used in theft cases:

  • Claim of Right of Property defense can be applied if the person had a good faith belief that the property was theirs or they had a valid claim to it.
  • Intoxication at the time the alleged theft occurred.
  • Return of Property defense can help for purposes of a plea deal. If the defendant can establish that they had the intent to return the property and were just “borrowing” it.
  • Entrapment occurs when the defendant is induced or lured into committing the theft.
  • Consent defense can be applied if the owner had once granted permission to use a vehicle, for example, but the events that took place make it unclear if the accused had permission to use the vehicle at the time of offense.