NY Theft Crimes Defense
Theft is generally defined as taking another’s property without consent. Often used as a synonym for larceny, it is essentially considered stealing. As with most legal terms and definitions, it can be a bit more complicated.
There are essentially two types: petty theft and grand theft. The difference is usually the value of the property or money stolen; petty theft is often considered a misdemeanor, but grand theft in all states is a felony.
No matter which you are charged with, being convicted of theft can have long-lasting repercussions on your record. This is especially true when seeking a job.
Theft charges lead to a tarnished reputation and a loss of trust, not only from potential employers, but in some cases from family and friends. It is for this reason that it is essential, if you are charged with theft, to get the best legal representation available as soon as possible.
Theft Crimes by the Numbers
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that in 2014 there were 5,858,496 larceny/theft crimes committed in the United States. The total indicates a downward trend of 2.7 percent when compared with statistics from 2013, and the rate has decreased 19.7 percent from 2005 to 2014. Larceny-theft was responsible for roughly 70.8 percent of property crimes, for an average loss of $941 per incident, or $6.5 billion total. In New York, there were 272,765 incidents of larceny-theft reported, or 1,381.4 per every 100,000 residents.
New York Law and Penalties for Theft
The severity of a larceny charge depends on the value of the property alleged to have been taken, as well as the type of property (such as credit cards).
The general provisions of the most commonly charged larceny crimes are:
- Penal Law 155.25 – Petit Larceny (A misdemeanor) – Petit larceny is committed when a person intentionally steals property that has a value of under $1,000.
- Penal Law 155.30 – Grand Larceny in the fourth degree (E felony) – Grand larceny 4th is committed when a person intentionally steals property that has a value of $1,000 or more; or the property is a filed public record; or the property consists of credit cards or debit cards; or the property consists of one or more firearms (guns); or the property is a motor vehicle that has a value exceeding $100.
- Penal Law 155.35 – Grand Larceny in the third degree (D felony) – Grand larceny 3rd is committed when a person intentionally steals property that has a value of $3,000 or more; or the property is an ATM or the contents of an ATM.
- Penal Law 155.40 – Grand Larceny in the second degree (C felony) – Grand larceny 2nd is committed when a person intentionally steals property that has a value of $50,000 or more; or the property is obtained through extortion.
- Penal Law 155.42 – Grand Larceny in the first degree (B felony) – Grand larceny 1st is committed when a person intentionally steals property that has a value of $1,000,000 or more.
Types of Theft Charges
There are several types of theft, including:
- Identity Theft – Essentially, stealing personal information to use someone else’s identity to make purchases.
- Robbery – Using violence or the threat of violence in order to steal from a victim. Because of the violence, legal penalties are generally much stiffer than with the average larceny-theft charge.
- Fraud – Using deception or false pretenses to acquire property or items from another individual.
Contact Us to Start Your Defense
If you or a loved one has been accused, charged or arrested for theft, contact the Law Office of Michael D. Litman, PLLC as soon as possible.
Michael Litman, based in White Plains, NY, has over a decade of experience and knowledge gained from defending those charged with property crime offenses in Westchester County, White Plains and the New York Metro area.
For questions or to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us at (914) 268-6855. Our firm will work with you from start to finish. The Law Offices of Michael D. Litman is well-versed in the most effective strategies for your defense and will guide you through the process.
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