Queens Grand Larceny by Credit Card

Under the New York Penal Code, the crime of larceny is defined as taking, obtaining or withholding property that is owned by another person with the intent of depriving that person of such property. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.05. "Property" is defined broadly. It can be money, personal property, real property, computer program, computer data, and even gas, water, steam or electricity. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.00(1). Recently, stealing credit cards has becoming a serious and growing problem. Because of this New York prosecutors are now aggressively seeking to prosecute those suspected of stealing credit cards. Thus, if you have been accused of stealing a credit card or a debit card, you should immediately contact a Queens Grand Larceny by Credit Card Lawyer who will explain to you your legal rights and defend you throughout the criminal process.

Types of Grand Larceny

There are 6 different types of larceny crimes under the New York Penal Code. One, petit larceny, is a misdemeanor while the other 5 are felonies. The felonies include grand larceny in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the third degree, grand larceny in the second degree, grand larceny in the first degree, and aggravated grand larceny of an automated teller machine. In general, the various larceny charges are distinguished from each other based on the value of the property that was stolen. However, in the case of stealing a credit card or a debit card, the charge will be grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Credit cards, debit cards and credit and debit card numbers are stolen in a number of different ways. Some are taken from another person's purse, wallet or pocket. Some are taken from another person's office, car or home. There are also cases where the credit or debit card was not intentionally stolen. Let's say you pickpocket a wallet from someone, hoping to find cash. In the wallet you find $30 in cash, plus a credit card. For stealing $30, you would be charged with petit larceny, misdemeanor. However, because you also took a credit card, the charge would automatically be bumped up to grand larceny in the fourth degree, a felony. This is so, even though you did not intend to steal the credit card. It is enough that you intended to steal the wallet.

Nowadays, credit cards and credit card numbers are often stolen from computers and from the internet. Instead of getting hold of one or two physical credit cards at a time, credit card numbers are stolen from many people in a matter of a few minutes. In some cases, millions of credit card numbers are stolen in a single scheme. When you commit grand larceny by credit card, you may not only face a charge of grand larceny in the fourth degree, you may also face additional criminal charges based on what you do with the credit card. If you use a stolen credit card number to purchase products, you could also face grand larceny charges based on the items you acquire with the stolen credit card. Furthermore, if you use a computer to accomplish the theft of a credit card, you may be charged with a computer fraud crime.

Punishment for Grand Larceny by Credit Card

As stealing a credit card or a debit card is grand larceny in the fourth degree, a Class E felony, if convicted you could be sentenced to up to 4 years in prison, 5 years of probation, restitution or a combination of these 3 penalties. For first time offenders there is not a required minimum sentence. However, if you have a prior felony conviction the minimum sentence for grand larceny in the fourth degree is 1.5 years in prison.

Furthermore, because a charge of grand larceny in the fourth degree based on stealing a credit card typically comes with additional grand larceny charges based on the value of the products acquired using the stolen credit card, you may be faced with additional, more serious charges. If the value of the product you acquire is more than $3,000, but not more than $50,000, then you may face a charge of grand larceny in the third degree, a Class D felony. If convicted, the sentence could be up to 7 years in prison, with a 2-4 year minimum prison term if you have a prior felony conviction.

If the value of the products you acquire is more than $50,000, but not more than $1,000,000, then you may face a charge of grand larceny in the second degree, a Class C felony. If convicted, the sentence could be up to 15 years in prison, with a 3-6 year minimum prison term if you have a prior felony conviction. If the value of the products you acquire is more than $1 million, you could be convicted of grand larceny in the first degree, a Class B felony, and face a sentence of up to 25 years in prison. The minimum sentence would be 1-3 years in prison if you are a first time offender and 4.5-9 years if you have a prior felony conviction.

Probation

A grand larceny conviction may include a probation sentence. Under New York law, the mandatory probation term for a felony is 5 years. If you are convicted of grand larceny in the fourth degree based on the theft of a credit card, your sentence could be just 5 years probation, or a prison term as well as probation. You may end up serving some time in prison and then have to serve the balance of your probation time after you are released from prison.

Of course probation is preferable to incarceration. However, while probation is certainly not as restrictive as being in prison, if you are on probation, there will be several restrictions placed on your life. You will be assigned to a probation officer to whom you will be required to report regularly. You will not be permitted to leave the jurisdiction without permission from your probation officer. If you commit another crime while you are on probation, your probation will be revoked and you will be sent to jail. Other rules that you will have to adhere to may include: refraining from hanging out with disreputable people, refraining from hanging out at disreputable places, holding a job, submitting to warrantless searches, electronic monitoring, and drug testing. If you fail to stick to the probation rules, your probation officer may violate you. If this happens, a judge may revoke your probation, and resentence you to prison.

If you have been charged with grand larceny based on taking a credit card, you should immediately seek experienced legal representation. You may find that you are facing several additional charges and the possibility of spending several years in prison. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with grand larceny by credit card, as well as other types of larceny, credit card fraud, computer fraud, and criminal possession of stolen property. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of grand larceny in the following locations:

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