Theft

THEFT

New York criminal laws use the term “larceny” to describe theft laws.  In New York, larceny occurs when a person “wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds” property from its rightful owner, with the intent to deprive the owner of such property.
[N.Y. Penal Law § 155.05]

New York laws also identify a number of specific methods of committing larceny, including:
•larceny by trick or embezzlement
•obtaining property by false pretenses
•acquiring lost property
•issuing a bad check, or
•taking property by extortion.
[Penal Law § 155.05]

Classification of Theft Offenses and Penalties in New York

Like most states, New York classifies a theft or larceny crime according to the monetary value of the property involved.

Theft as Petit Larceny

The lowest-level theft offense in New York is called "petit larceny," or petty theft, which is the unlawful taking of property or services valued at no more than $1,000.  New York law classifies petit larceny as a class A misdemeanor.
[N.Y. Penal Law § 155.25]

A sentence for conviction of a class A misdemeanor in New York may include imprisonment for a term not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $1,000.
[Penal Law § 70.15, § 80.05(1)]

Theft

Theft as Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree

If the value of the property or services stolen exceeds $1,000 -- or if the property is a firearm, motor vehicle, credit/debit card, or a few other specific types of property -- the offense is grand larceny in the fourth degree, a class E felony under New York law.
[N.Y. Penal Law § 155.30]

Conviction of a class E felony in New York carries a potential sentence of imprisonment for a term not to exceed four years, and a fine not to exceed the greater of $5,000 or double the amount of the offender's gain from the theft.
[Penal Law § 70.00(2)(e), § 80.00(1)]

Theft as Grand Larceny in the Third Degree

If the value of the property or services stolen exceeds $3,000 -- or if the property is an automated teller machine or its contents -- the offense is grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony in New York.
[N.Y. Penal Law § 155.35]

A sentence for conviction of a class D felony will include imprisonment for a term not to exceed seven years, and a fine not to exceed the greater of $5,000 or double the amount of the offender's gain from the theft.
[Penal Law § 70.00(2)(d), § 80.00(1)]

Theft as Grand Larceny in the Second Degree

If the value of the property or services stolen exceeds $50,000, or if the offender obtains the property through certain types of extortion, the offense is grand larceny in the second degree, a class C felony.
[N.Y. Penal Law § 155.40]

The potential sentence for a class C felony in New York is imprisonment for a term not to exceed 15 years, and a fine not to exceed $15,000.
[Penal Law § 70.00(2)(c), § 80.00(1)]

Theft as Grand Larceny in the First Degree

If the value of the property or services stolen exceeds one million dollars, the offense is grand larceny in the first degree, a class B felony.
[N.Y. Penal Law § 155.42]

The sentence for a class B felony in New York includes imprisonment for a term not to exceed 25 years, and a fine not to exceed $30,000.
[Penal Law § 70.00(2)(b), § 80.00(1)]


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An attorney can help protect your rights. If you seek to contest the theft charges they can request a jury trial, challenge the evidence against you and cross-examine the government's witnesses. In addition, they can help you to decide if you want to testify and subpoena witnesses for your behalf.

A lawyer can mean the difference between incarceration and freedom. Besides losing your liberty, a criminal conviction can damage your reputation, your future job prospects, or in some instances, your right to vote or drive a car.