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NY Penal Law § 155.35: Grand Larceny in the Third Degree

June 28, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Grand larceny in the third degree is one of the six larceny offenses in the New York Penal Code. It is a class D felony offense. Larceny is a legal term for theft, or stealing the property of another individual. The term “property” has a very broad definition in the criminal code.  It can mean anything from money, real property, or personal property to computer data, gas, electricity or almost any other thing of any value.  You have committed grand larceny in the third degree under New York Penal Code § 155.35 if you steal someone’s property and


  • The value of the stolen property is greater than $3,000, or
  • Such property is an automated teller machine (ATM) or the contents of an ATM machine.


It is critical to note that if you have been convicted of grand larceny in the third degree based on stealing from an ATM on a previous occasion, and you are currently being charged again, the charge will be the more serious offense of aggravated grand larceny of an automated teller machine pursuant to New York Penal Code § 155.43.


An Example

One day, Keshon steals 5 cell phones. The phones were display models at a cell phone retailer. He is quickly apprehended and charged with the crime of grand larceny in the third degree. Keshon’s defense team objects to the third degree grand larceny charges, arguing that the value of the five phones collectively is lower than $1,000. The prosecutor counters that phones on the market that are the same model sell for $799 each. Keshon correctly informed the court that the display phones are not sold to customers. Additionally, he  pointed out that even if they were sold, their price would be significantly lower because of the amount of times they are handled by potential buyers while on display. In this scenario, the prosecutor would have a hard time determining the value of the phones. This would, as a result, make it tough for the prosecutor to uphold a grand larceny in the third degree case.


Offenses that are Related

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

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

Aggravated grand larceny of an automated teller machine: New York Penal Code § 155.43


Possible Defenses

Unless an ATM machine was the property in question, the assessed value of the stolen property will be a critical detail in determining whether or not you can be convicted for grand larceny in the third degree. The prosecutor will look to assess the highest possible value to the property so that he or she can lock down a conviction of third degree grand larceny against you. Nonetheless, if you can demonstrate that the value of the property was $3,000 or less, then a charge of grand larceny in the third degree will not hold. The way in which the value of stolen property must be determined is delineated in the New York criminal code. Under New York Penal Code § 155.35, the value is the market value of the property at the time and location of the theft. As an alternative option, the value would be based on its replacement cost.


The Sentence

Grand larceny in the third degree is categorized a class D felony. The possible sentences you  can get ranges from probation to prison. The maximum prison sentence you could face is 7 years.  There is not a mandatory prison sentence for first time offenders. What this means to you is that even though you could be sentenced to up to 7 years, if you don’t have a criminal record, you might be sentenced to probation without any jail time. On the other hand, if you have a felony conviction on your record from within the last 10 years, you would be subject to mandatory minimum sentencing for this offense. The minimum for grand larceny in the third ranges from 2-4 years in prison.



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