Brooklyn Petit Larceny

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The offense of Petit Larceny is commonly known as shoplifting. This offense is very common across the country, and New York is no exception. This crime consists of stealing a good or service that is worth less than $1,000. If the item is worth more than $1,000 the offense is Grand Larceny. This crime is commonly committed by teenagers and young adults, and costs business owners millions of lost revenue annually. The crime affects all us, because the stores are forced to raise consumer prices to make up for their loss. To protect victims of shoplifting, there are civil statutes in effect that allow the victims to sue the defendant for 5x the value of the item stolen. This is addition to any criminal action taken against the defendant. If you or a loved one has been charged with theft, including Burglary, robbery, or a white collar crime, speak with a Brooklyn Petit Larceny Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for guidance. If convicted, the penalties you could be facing are serious.

If you were stopped and detained by store security for suspected petit larceny, you may have been asked to sign a confession. Security will often use various scare tactics in the situation, and tell the suspect that they are not allowed to leave the store until they cooperate and confess. It is important to remember that security cannot force you to confess or sign any document. They do not have the same powers as the police. When the police arrive at the store it is important that the defendant cooperate however, and provide basic information. Security will often attempt to coax a confession by telling the defendant that they have evidence against them on store surveillance cameras, which may or may not be true. If this is true, our legal team will be able to collect a copy of the tape along with other important evidence and create an aggressive defense strategy to ensure that your rights are protected.

Often with the offense of shoplifting, other charges are included:

  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th Degree (New York Penal Law 165.45);
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 5th Degree (New York Penal Law 165.40);
  • Felony shoplifting (pertaining to goods over $1,000 in value);
  • Petit Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.25).

Usually when a defendant is charged with shoplifting they will be given a desk appearance ticket (DAT). Our team can explain that this ticket often only mentions a single offense. When you appear in court, the District Attorney can charge you with additional offenses as well. It is important to remember that receiving a DAT is a serious matter, and is not equivalent to a traffic ticket. You must appear in court on the date and time specified on your ticket. Failure to do so could result in a warrant for your arrest.

Potential Defenses

Any defenses that will be available to you will depend on the circumstances surrounding your particular case. It is important to be aware that store security does not have the same rights and powers as the police. Therefore, standard search and seizure protocols will not apply. There could also have been procedural problems with your arrest process. Our team will diligently gather all important evidence and construct a defense strategy that will bring you the best possible outcome.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for shoplifting or other theft crime, you know how frightening and confusing this is. It is important however, to take prompt action to ensure that your rights are protected. We have offices located throughout New York, including offices in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Staten Island. We also have offices in both Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island as well as Westchester County. Call us today for a free appointment at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW.

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We serve those accused of petit larceny in the following locations:

New York Criminal Lawyer Blog - Brooklyn
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