Larceny Defense Lawyers & Attorneys
Larceny is commonly referred to as stealing. A Petit Larceny or a Grand Larceny occurs when a person wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds property from the owner, with the intent to deprive another of the property or to appropriate the property to himself/herself or another person. Whether a larceny charge qualifies as a Petit Larceny or a Grand Larceny depends on the nature of the allegations and value of the property stolen. The type of larceny you are charged with will determine the punishment you will face. If you are charged with a Petit Larceny or a Grand Larceny crime, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer who handles larceny cases.
Frequently Asked Questions About Larceny
Our criminal defense lawyers provide answers to some important questions below.
Petit Larceny is a crime – a class A misdemeanor and is a charge that is filed if you steal something with a value of less than $1000. A conviction of Petit Larceny can result in up to 1 year in local/county jail, up to 3 years’ probation, and a maximum $1,000 fine. The court can also require a person convicted of a larceny offense to pay restitution which is the repayment of the value of the stolen item if it is not returned. Finally, the court may issue an order of protection preventing any contact with the victim of the crime.
Grand Larceny is a felony and is charged if you are accused of stealing something with a value greater than $1000. A Grand Larceny conviction, depending on the value of what was stolen can result in punishments as detailed below.
Grand Larceny in the fourth degree is a class E felony pursuant to New York Penal Law section 155.30. This is a charge that results if you steal any car worth more than $100, a credit or debit card, or anything worth more than $1,000. You face up to 4 years in a New York state prison facility or up to 5 years of probation as well as fines, restitution and an order of protection.
Grand Larceny in the third degree is a class D felony pursuant to New York Penal Law section 155.35. This is a charge that results if you steal money from an ATM or anything worth more than $3,000. You face up to 7 years in a New York state prison facility or up to 5 years of probation as well as fines, restitution and an order of protection.
Grand Larceny in the second degree is a class C felony pursuant to New York Penal Law section 155.40. This is a charge that results if you steal anything worth more than $50,000. You face up to 15 years in a New York state prison facility and up to 5 years of probation as well as fines, restitution and an order of protection.
Grand Larceny in the first degree is a class B felony pursuant to New York Penal Law section 155.42. This is a charge that results if you steal anything worth more than $1,000,000. You face up to 25 years in a New York state prison facility. A prison sentence is mandatory if you are convicted of this offense, and probation is not an option. You also face fines, restitution and an order of protection.
There are several other ways to be charged with larceny beyond taking items out of a store or taking cash, money or belongings that that are not yours.
What is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement occurs when you are legally entrusted with money or property and you then use the money or property in a way that is inconsistent with the reason why the money or property was given to you in the first place.
For example, a treasurer of an organization cannot take money from the organization to be used for a purpose that was not authorized.
What is Larceny by Trick?
Larceny by Trick occurs when someone gives you money or other property by a trick or fraud.
For example, this type of offense could be charged if someone gives you a car but you have no intention of ever paying for or returning the car.
What is Larceny by False Pretense or False Promise?
Larceny by False Pretense or False Promise occurs when you lie about a present or past fact to induce the other person to give you money or property. A false promise is a promise or guarantee that you will do something in exchange for money, without ever intending to actually engage in that promise.
Examples of Larceny by False Pretense or False Promise are loans taken with no intention to repay the loan or lying about the value of a product to be sold.
Is writing a bad check a Larceny?
Yes. Purposefully writing a check that you know will bounce because there are not enough funds in your account to cover the check would also constitute a larceny.
This is perhaps the most confusing part of larceny. To be guilty of any of the larceny crimes, you must have intended to permanently deprive the other person of the property. If your intent was to keep the property or money long enough that a major portion of its value or benefit is lost, this also counts as a permanent deprivation.
It doesn’t matter if they are actually permanently deprived. Think of getting caught just outside a store for stealing and, after you are caught, promising to just return the property. This is still a larceny.
It does matter, however, if that was never your true intent. In other words, if you took your roommates car to get to class, always intending to drive it back after, it’s possible you are not guilty of any larceny.
Timeline of a Criminal Defense Case
- Whether you just made a big mistake, or are being falsely accused, this can be a very emotional and important time in a case
- It is very important that you remain silent and not answer any questions about the case without a lawyer present
- Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible
- Confirm the lawyer is an experienced criminal defense lawyer
- Meet with the lawyer who will help you understand the process of a criminal case
- If you have been arrested, critical proceedings and time frames begin immediately
- You will appear before a judge who will determine if you will be incarcerated, released on bail or supervision, or released without conditions
- If you are charged with a felony in a town, village or city court, the prosecuting agency will have six months from the date of your arrest to determine whether to present your case to a grand jury to seek an indictment or return your case to a lower court to be handled as a misdemeanor
- Discovery is the exchange of information between the governmental agency prosecuting you, you, and your attorney
- In New York State this process begins shortly after your appearance in court
- You can expect exchange of the following if it exists in your case:
- Police Reports
- Investigative Notes
- Videos / Body Camera Footage / Dash Camera Footage
- Forensic Reports
- Exculpatory Material (Brady)
- Impeachment Material
- You and your attorney may also be engaged in information gathering that includes:
- Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Requests/Responses
- Additional Witness Interviews
- Expert Evaluations / Disclosures
- Motions are written applications to the court to request any of the following:
- Preclude Evidence
- Suppress Evidence
- Seek a Ruling on a Constitutional Rights Violation
- Seek Outright Dismissal of One or More Charges Based on Legal/Factual Matters
- Request Hearings
- A plea bargain is an offer from the prosecuting attorney to resolve your case
- Whether to plead guilty or not is always a choice you get to make, not your attorney
- Your attorney will meet with you, discuss the facts and the law of your case, and offer advice. A plea offer takes into consideration your charges as well as:
- Prior criminal history if any
- Life experiences
- Evidentiary Problems
- Post-Incident Actions
- Mental Health Counseling
- Substance Abuse Treatment
- Anger Management Treatment
- If you choose not to accept a plea bargain and are heading to trial, there are likely to be hearings to consider the following:
- Preclusion/Suppression of Evidence
- Admissibility of Evidence
- What Prior Criminal History/Bad Acts May Be Introduced by the Prosecutor if You Testify on Your Own Behalf
- During a hearing, there is no jury, and the judge will make factual and legal determinations regarding what evidence will be allowed at trial.
- You have the right to a trial by a fair and impartial jury or by the judge who will act as both judge and jury
- At a trial, the prosecution has the burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt
- The judge or jury will listen to the evidence presented and the arguments by the lawyers, apply the facts to the law, and render a verdict of not guilty or guilty
- A Verdict must be unanimous
- If you are convicted at trial, or if you entered a plea bargain, there will be a sentencing date where your punishment will be imposed by the judge
- If you previously entered a plea bargain, the judge will likely impose the agreed upon sentence at that time
- In the event you are convicted, you have the right to appeal
- This is true whether you plead guilty or are convicted after trial
- However, by accepting a plea bargain, you may have waived some of your appellate rights
- It is important that your attorney file a notice of appeal on your behalf and that you discuss the appeal process with your lawyer
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