New York Grand Larceny of a Vehicle

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Car theft is a significant problem in New York and across the country. According to the FBI, in 2012 over 700,000 cars were stolen in the United States. In the same year over $4 billion was lost due to auto thefts. Under the New York Penal Code, stealing a vehicle is considered a type of grand larceny. Larceny is a legal term for stealing. It means to obtain, take or withhold the property owned by another person. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.05(1). There are a number of different ways that theft can be accomplished. Depending on how the theft is accomplished, what is stolen, and the value of the stolen property, the charge will be either a misdemeanor larceny charge or a felony larceny charge. Because of the value of vehicles, stealing a vehicle is also almost always a felony, meaning that if you are convicted of grand larceny of a vehicle, you could be sentenced to prison for several years. If you are accused of grand larceny or any other crime of theft, contact an experienced New York Grand Larceny of a Vehicle Lawyer who will ensure that you have the best possible representation throughout the criminal process.

Grand larceny is a crime of theft that involves stealing property valued over $1,000. It is a felony. The misdemeanor larceny charge is petit larceny that carries a possible sentence of no more than a year in jail. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.25. Typically, if the value of the property stolen is $1,000 or less, you will be charged with petite larceny. However, stealing a car is an exception to this general rule. You will be charged with grand larceny as long as the value of the car is over $100. Even if the value of the car is only worth $700, simply because it is a car, you will be charged with grand larceny. The New York grand larceny statute specifically states that stealing a vehicle is at minimum grand larceny in the fourth degree. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.30(8). Grand larceny in the fourth degree is a Class E felony, meaning that if you are convicted you could go to prison for up to 4 years.

Almost all vehicles have a value of over $100. Indeed, many newer vehicles, have a value of well over $20,000. The higher the value of the vehicle stolen, the more severe the charge. Grand larceny in the fourth degree is the minimum charge that you are likely to face if you steal a vehicle. However, if the vehicle has a value that of over $3,000, the New York considers this to be a more serious crime and you will be charged with grand larceny in the third degree or grand larceny in the second degree. Grand larceny in the third degree applies to theft where the value of the property is over $3,000, while grand larceny in the second degree applies to thefts over property worth over $30,000. These felonies are Class D and C felonies, respectively, with sentences of up to 7 and 15 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 155.35, 155.40

Because the value of the car is critical in determining the charge you will face, the prosecutor will seek to give the vehicle the highest possible value. A defense to a grand larceny charge can be based on the value of the vehicle. If you can prove that the value of the is low enough to bump the charge down to a lesser felony or even a misdemeanor, the difference in the potential sentence that you receive can be significant. I can mean the difference between spending a few months in jail or spending a few years in jail.

Even the charge of grand larceny of a vehicle may seem simple and straightforward, the New York criminal process is not. Your case may turn on the nuances of both the New York criminal statutes as well as New York criminal procedure. Thus, it is important to seek representation ay someone who understands that complexities of the criminal justice system. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with various theft crimes such as grand larceny of a vehicle, possession of stolen property, burglary, robbery, and credit card 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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