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Grand Larceny Criminal Defense Lawyers

New York State Law: Understanding Grand Larceny and its Penalties

New York state law defines grand larceny as the theft of more than one million dollars worth of property from another person, with the intention to permanently deprive the other person of the property. Larceny is one of many theft-related crimes outlined in the penal code.

Petit Larceny vs. Grand Larceny

When larceny is committed, the defendant will be charged with either petit larceny or grand larceny. Petit larceny refers to the theft of property costing less than $1,000 and is considered a misdemeanor. On the other hand, grand larceny is a felony, with the severity of the felony depending on the degree of grand larceny.

First Degree Grand Larceny

First degree grand larceny is the most severe form of grand larceny and is classified as a class B felony. If convicted, the penalties can include a maximum of twenty-five years in prison and a seven-figure fine, in addition to general restitution.

If you are accused of first degree grand larceny, it is crucial to contact a skilled New York attorney immediately. Having legal representation at your arraignment and receiving advice on how to interact with law enforcement is essential. Spodek Law Group is a conglomerate of attorneys who can provide the best criminal defense for you in a court of law.

Penalties for First Degree Grand Larceny

A conviction of first degree grand larceny carries the following minimum penalties:

  • Between one and three years in prison
  • Mandatory fines
  • Restitution of the property and any damages caused

If you have a previous felony conviction within the last decade, the mandatory minimum prison sentence lengthens to a period between 4.5 and 9 years.

Defining “Property” and Assessing Value

According to New York law, “property” in the context of larceny can be almost anything that has monetary value. It does not have to be literal money. Any property valued at more than one million dollars belonging to another person will result in a first degree grand larceny charge.

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Christine Twomey
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Guerline Menard
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The prosecutor has the responsibility of proving that the value of the property was at least one million dollars. Your defense attorney can contest this and provide proof that the property value was less than one million dollars, potentially leading to reduced charges.

The law outlines how to assign value to stolen property. The property’s market value at the time and place of the theft is considered. When market value cannot be determined, the cost is determined by finding out how much money it would take to acquire a replacement for the property.

It is important to note that even if the charges are reduced, a felony charge still carries significant prison time. The lowest class of felony, Class E, has a maximum prison time of up to four years. In some cases, judges may opt for probation instead of imprisonment.

Downgrading the charge from a Class B felony to a Class C felony still results in significant consequences. The maximum penalty for a Class C felony is fifteen years in prison, along with additional fines.

The Affirmative Defenses for Grand Larceny in New York

The New York Penal Code outlines specific affirmative defenses that individuals can use when accused of grand larceny. Understanding these defenses is crucial for anyone facing such charges. Let’s explore these defenses and the various aspects of grand larceny in New York.

Affirmative Defenses for Grand Larceny

When facing charges related to embezzlement or trespassory taking, an affirmative defense can be established if the accused genuinely believed in good faith that they had the right to take the property. This defense applies when the accused had a reasonable belief that their actions were justified.

In cases involving extortion, an affirmative defense can be used if the accused believed that the victim’s wrongdoing might lead to criminal charges against them. If the accused threatened the victim to prevent these potential charges, it can be considered a valid defense.

Understanding Grand Larceny in New York

In the state of New York, larceny refers to the act of stealing another individual’s property. The stolen property can include a wide range of items, such as electricity, gas, computer data, personal property, real property, money, and anything else with value. The severity of the larceny charge depends on the value of the stolen property.

If the total value of the stolen property is less than one thousand dollars, it is classified as petit larceny, which is a misdemeanor. However, if the total value exceeds one thousand dollars, it falls under the category of grand larceny, which is a felony.

Degrees and Classes of Grand Larceny

Grand larceny charges in New York are categorized into different degrees, each with its own class. The classes range from E to B, with no Class A grand larceny felonies. Additionally, there are no grand larceny misdemeanors of any class.

Petit larceny, on the other hand, is considered a Class A misdemeanor, which is the most severe form of misdemeanor. However, there are exceptions to the “less than $1,000” rule. In certain cases, the court may determine that the severity of the theft warrants felony charges, even if the overall property value is below one thousand dollars.

Property Subject to Felony Charges

Several types of property can lead to felony charges when stolen in New York. These include:

  • Public records
  • Secret scientific materials
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Firearms
  • Property removed from someone’s person
  • Property acquired through extortion
  • Vehicles valued over $100
  • Religious documents valued over $100
  • Property enabling theft of telephone service
  • Ammonia used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine

When any of these circumstances are met, the theft is automatically classified as fourth-degree grand larceny at a minimum.

Amounts for Varying Grand Larceny Charges

The specific amounts associated with different degrees of grand larceny charges are as follows:

  • Fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E felony: $1,000 to $3,000
  • Third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony: $3,000 to $50,000
  • Second-degree grand larceny, a Class C felony: $50,000 to $1,000,000
  • First-degree grand larceny, a Class B felony: Over $1,000,000

It is crucial for your criminal defense lawyer to verify the assessed value of the stolen property. Sometimes, the assessment may be higher than the actual value. If the prosecution claims the value is $1,500 while the real value is $900, you might be charged with grand larceny instead of petit larceny.

Therefore, it is essential to contact an experienced New York defense lawyer as soon as you are arrested. Spodek Law Group consists of lawyers with extensive experience practicing law in the New York City area.

It is also important to note that you may face additional criminal charges alongside the grand larceny charge. The exact charges will be revealed during your arraignment, where your lawyer will discuss your options with you.

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Grand Larceny: Understanding the Crime and its Consequences

Grand larceny is a serious crime that involves the theft of another person’s property. The state of New York defines grand larceny as the intentional act of depriving someone of their property. The severity of the charge and the potential penalties depend on the way the crime was committed and the value of the stolen property.

Types of Grand Larceny

Grand larceny can be committed in various ways, one of which is embezzlement. Embezzlement occurs when someone criminally appropriates money or property that has been entrusted to them by another individual. Acts of general thievery and larceny can also be upgraded to grand larceny if the value of the stolen property exceeds $1,000.

Understanding the Charges

When property is stolen, but its value is less than $1,000, the charge is petit larceny. However, if you have been charged with embezzlement, grand larceny, or any other criminal offense, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a criminal attorney immediately after your arrest. The Spodek Law Group is a reputable New York City-based law firm with extensive experience in the field of criminal justice.

Severity of Grand Larceny Charges

Grand larceny charges can range in severity from a class B felony to a class E felony. Class B felonies are the most severe, and there are no grand larceny charges classified as misdemeanors. The least serious charge is fourth-degree grand larceny, which involves the theft of property valued between $1,000 and $2,999.99, and is considered a class E felony.

Third-degree grand larceny applies to property valued between $3,000 and $49,999, and is classified as a class D felony with a maximum penalty of seven years in prison. Second-degree grand larceny involves property valued from $50,000 to $999,999, and is a class C felony with a potential sentence of fifteen years in prison.

First-degree grand larceny is the most severe charge, reserved for individuals accused of stealing or embezzling at least one million dollars. This class B felony carries a penalty of up to twenty-five years in prison.

Defenses Against Grand Larceny Charges

There are multiple defenses available to individuals accused of grand larceny. Contesting the value of the stolen property can impact the severity of the charge. For example, if the owner claims a stolen ring is valued at $1,500, but an independent appraisal determines its worth to be $900, the charge would be reduced to petit larceny instead of fourth-degree grand larceny.

Prosecutors often try to assign the highest possible value to the stolen property to level a more severe charge. It is crucial for your defense attorney to conduct research and have the property independently appraised to challenge the prosecution’s claims.

Additionally, the intention behind the crime is an important aspect. To be charged with grand larceny, whether it is embezzlement-related or not, the intention must be the permanent deprivation of the owner’s property. If the item was borrowed with the intent to return it or taken by accident, it can be a valid defense against grand larceny charges.

Seeking Legal Guidance

Dealing with any white-collar crime requires expert legal guidance. The attorneys at Spodek Law Group specialize in criminal law and can help you explore your options and secure the best possible outcome for your case.


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