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NY Penal Law § 155.30: Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree

June 28, 2020

In the New York criminal code, larceny is the crime of theft, or stealing. If the theft is relatively minor, such as shoplifting individual items, the charge you would face would be petit larceny. On the other hand, if the theft is more serious, then the charge will be grand larceny, a felony. New York criminal law lays out four degrees of grand larceny.  These are grand larceny in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the third degree, grand larceny in the second degree and grand larceny in the first degree. A key detail in determining the specific offense you would face if you are accused of theft is the value of the property stolen. With a handful of notable exceptions, if the value of the property is higher than $1,000, the theft would be classified as grand larceny. According to New York Penal Code § 155.30, you could be charged and prosecuted for grand larceny in the fourth degree if the property:

 

  1. Has a value in excess of $1,000
  2. Is an it public record
  3. Is some sort of secret scientific material
  4. Is a person’s credit or debit card
  5. Is stolen from someone’s person
  6. Is appropriated by way of extortion
  7. Is a gun or firearm
  8. Is a motor vehicle with a value of greater than $100
  9. Is a religious article from a place of worship with a value of $100 or more
  10. Is an access device connected to telephone service
  11. Is anhydrous ammonia or liquefied ammonia gas that is stolen for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine

 

Two Examples

In one scenario, Jimmy takes a laptop computer from an electronics store without paying for it. The store had the laptop for sale for $1500. In a separate scenario, Rasheed steals a laptop computer out of a woman’s briefcase after she sets it down next to her seat in a restaurant. The woman had paid $1500 for the laptop when she bought it 3 years ago. In Jimmy’s case, he could be prosecuted for grand larceny in the fourth degree since the value of the property was more than $1000. Rasheed, on the other hand, could not be prosecuted for grand larceny in the fourth degree, since the value of a 3 year old, used laptop is likely to be less than $1000.

 

Offenses that are Related

Petit larceny: New York Penal Code § 155.25

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Grand larceny in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 155.42

Grand larceny in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 155.40

Grand larceny in the third degree: New York Penal Code § 155.35

 

Possible Defenses

I=For the purpose of proving that you committed the crime of grand larceny in the fourth degree, the prosecutor needs to show that the theft was one of the types specifically delineated in the statute. If, for instance, you were accused of stealing a laptop that originally cost $1300 but presently has a depreciated value of $500, then the prosecutor would have to vacate the fourth degree grand larceny charge or reduce the charge down to petit larceny.

 

The Sentence

Grand larceny in the fourth degree is categorized as a class E felony. While there is not a mandatory prison sentence for a grand larceny in the fourth degree conviction, you could be sentenced to prison for as much as four years. That said, depending on the details of your case as well as your criminal record, the sentence could be probation in lieu of jail time. If you are a first time offender, then you are less likely to be sentenced to time in prison. On the other hand, in the event that you are a predicate offender, meaning that you have been convicted of at least one other felony within the last 10 years, the minimum sentence for grand larceny in the fourth degree is 1 and a half years in prison.

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