New York Grand Larceny in the First Degree

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Under N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.42, you have committed grand larceny in the first degree if you take, obtain or withhold property that is owned by another person and the value of the property is more than $1,000,000.

Larceny is a crime of theft. If you commit larceny, you could be charged with either petit larceny or grand larceny. Petit larceny is a misdemeanor. If the property at issue is valued at $1,000 or less, then the charge will likely be petit larceny. If the value of the property is over $1,000, the charge will be grand larceny. Grand larceny is a felony.

There are 4 degrees of grand larceny, plus a separate charged called aggravated grand larceny of an automatic teller machine. Grand larceny in the first degree is the most serious grand larceny crime. It is a Class B felony with a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison. Even if you are a first time offender, if convicted of grand larceny in the first degree you will be sentenced to at least 1 to 3 years in prison. If you do have a criminal record and have been convicted of a felony within the last 10 years, you will be sentenced to prison for at least 4.5 to 9 years.

To be charged and convicted of grand larceny in the first degree, your actions must meet the requirements of the statute. The New York Penal Code defines larceny as stealing another person's property. The term "property" can mean practically anything of value. The statute specifically mentions money, personal property, real property, computer data, computer program, evidence of debt or contract, gas, water, electricity, vehicles, secret scientific material, a public record, a credit or debit card, a firearm, a religious document, a tool used to steal telephone service, an ATM machine, the contents of an ATM machine, and ammonia that can be used to make methamphetamine. N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 155.00, 155.30, 155.43

Under the grand larceny statute, the owner of property is anyone who has the right of possession of property superior to right of possession of the person who is accused of stealing the property. In addition, in order to be charged with grand larceny in the first degree, the prosecutor must be able show that the value of the property stolen was at least $1 million. If the prosecutor cannot, then you will be charged with a lesser grand larceny offence and the possible prison sentence will be shorter. In order to set a value on the stolen property the law provides that you must use the market value of the property at the time and place of the theft. If you are not able to determine market value, then an alternate way to determine value is to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.20. Despite the value set by the prosecutor, if you are charged with grand larceny in the first degree an important strategy for is to convince the court that the value of the property was low enough to get the charge lowered to grand larceny in the second degree, third degree, fourth degree, or to the misdemeanor charge of petit larceny.

However, even if the charge is reduced to a lesser grand larceny charge, you will still face the possibility of significant time in prison, as a conviction of grand larceny in the second degree, a Class C felony, comes with a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison, and both grand larceny in the third degree and fourth degree can involve significant prison time as well.

A conviction on grand larceny in the first degree will negatively impact your life and the lives of your family members. Thus, it is important to contact an experienced New York grand larceny in the first degree lawyer as soon as you have been accused of grand larceny. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with serious crimes such as grand larceny, robbery, domestic violence, murder, and computer fraud. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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