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NY Shoplifting Lawyers Can Help With Theft and Shoplifting Allegations

In general NY laws categorize shoplifting as petit larceny, you can learn more about it by looking at Section 155.25 of the NY Penal Code. The crime of petit larceny is usually considered a misdemeanor, it can be enhanced to a grand larceny charge depending on the $$$ value of the goods stolen. If you’re facing any allegation of theft, or shoplifting, we encourage you to speak to our NY shoplifting lawyers ASAP in order to protect your legal rights Theft, or shoplifting charges, can have an extremely toxic effect on your permanent record —- one which can be difficult to expunge. This can cause difficulty in getting employment later in life.

Shoplifting Defined Under NY Law

NY laws have several degrees of larceny. The starting point is known as petit larceny. The crime is simply defined as a a person who is guilty of petit larceny when he steals property. The NY Penal Code provides a very detailed description of grand larceny in Section 155.05, which describes it as an act of depriving someone of his, or her, lawful property. The term of grand larceny also includes the act of wrongfully obtaining, or withholding, property of another person, which is known as receipt of stolen goods. The NY penal code also has other aggravating factors, when applied to petit larceny make it into one count of grand larceny. Below are the specific crimes

  • Grand larceny of the fourth degree: Property value exceeds $1,000 or consists of a public record, secret scientific material or is a debit or credit card. Fourth-degree grand larceny also includes taking property directly from a person (regardless of value), extortion or involves firearms, rifles or shotguns. Lastly, fourth-degree grand larceny covers theft of a motor vehicle valued in excess of $100.00, theft of a religious relic, scroll, or symbol, or theft of products used to make methamphetamine.
  • Grand larceny of the third degree: Property value exceeds $3,000 or the theft involves an automated teller machine (ATM).
  • Grand larceny of the second degree: Property value exceeds $50,000 or the property (of any value) is obtained through forceful, aggravated extortion (e.g., threats of violence or force).
  • Grand larceny of the first degree: Property value exceeds $1 million.

Being accused of a simple shoplifting charge can very quickly escalate to a felony if facts can be proven by prosecutors. In terms of the value of the property, NY law imposes a fair market value for the property. This is measured by the value of the property at the time, and location. If the value cannot be determined, then the value will be the cost of replacing the item.

Other Theft Crimes

NY also has other theft crimes on the books, which come with fines, penalties, and jail time, if convicted. One crime, such as embezzlement, involves taking property and possessing it against the rights of the true owner. For example, if a valet assistant responsible for parking cars continues to drive the car and removes it – that could be an example of embezzlement. Taking the vehicle off the property could be a form of this crime. Fraud is another type of theft crime. Some defendants could be facing this charge if they get property through deception. Common fraud crimes are identity theft, engaging in scams that target vulnerable people.

Penalties for Theft 

Penalties for theft in NY can vary depending on the severity of the crime in question, and the value of the items stolen. General petit larceny carries a maximum jail sentence of 1 year. It’s unlikely you’ll get the full sentence if you’re a non-violent offender, and have a clear background. Larceny convictions can carry felony level penalties, which also includes incarceration of up to 25 years for non-violent B level felonies. The court will always take into account your violent/non-violent criminal history. An offender may be required to pay restitution to the theft victim. If you cause injuries while committing the theft, depending on the location of the theft, the victim could hire a personal injury lawyer and sue you personally as well.

Defenses To Shoplifting Accusations

Our NY shoplifting lawyers are very assertive in building defenses on behalf of our clients. Like most criminal charges, the prosecution has an overwhelming burden of proof they have to meet. Most importantly, they have to prove you intended on committing the crime, and have to prove that it wasn’t accidental, or unintentional. If there’s any doubt as to the nature of the theft, your attorney will work to asset this defense. If you’re facing a felony grand larceny charge, your criminal attorney can argue to the value of the item, which could reduce the charge if the alleged stolen property was assigned an inflated value.

Contact our NY Shoplifting Lawyers Today

If you’re facing a petit larceny charge in the state of New York, our NY shoplifting lawyers would love to help you build a credible defense against the accusations you face. You are best served by immediately speaking to an attorney as soon as possible, following your charge in order to prevent the chances of an investigation turning into a full scale case. For more information about the process, please contact our NY criminal defense lawyers today for a risk free consultation.

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