Queens Grand Larceny from the Person

Under the New York Penal code stealing directly from the body of someone is referred to as stealing from the person. A common form of stealing from the person is known as pickpocketing. In a typical pickpocketing scenario, cash or a wallet is taken from someone's pocket or purse without the victim realizing it. While pickpocketing may seem like a minor offense and oftentimes the value of the property or money stolen is minimal, the New York Penal Code makes it clear that pickpocketing is not a minor offense. Pickpocketing is classified as a form of grand larceny, a felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.30. If you are convicted of pickpocketing, you could end up in prison for several years. If you are accused of pickpocketing or any other form of stealing from the person, you should take it seriously and immediately contact a Queens Grand Larceny from the Person Lawyer who will review the facts of your case and explain to you your legal options.

Types of Grand Larceny

Larceny is defined as taking property from its owner with the intent of depriving that person of the property. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.05. Property is defined as almost anything of value, including money, credit cards, debit cards or personal property such as wallet or purse. In New York there are two main types of larceny: petit larceny and grand larceny. Petit larceny is a misdemeanor and is defined simply as stealing someone's property. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.25. On the other hand, grand larceny is a felony. The main legal difference between petit larceny, grand larceny and the various types of grand larceny is the value of the property involved. The different types of grand larceny include grand larceny in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the third degree, grand larceny in the second degree, and grand larceny in the first degree.

  • Petit larceny: $1,000 or less
  • Grand larceny in the fourth degree: More than $1,000, but not more than $3,000.
  • Grand larceny in the third degree: More than $3,000, but not more than $50,000.
  • Grand larceny in the second degree: More than $50,000, but not more than $1,000,000
  • Grand larceny in the first degree: More than $1,000,000

In addition, there is also the crime of aggravated grand larceny of an automated teller machine which involves stealing an automated teller machine or its contents.

When you steal from the person, you are likely to take property with a value that is less than $1,000, making the theft petit larceny. Petit larceny will typically be the charge if the value of the stolen property is minimal. However, under the New York Penal Code regardless of the value of the property, if you take it from someone's person, you will be charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree, a felony. Let's say your co-worker left $50 on her desk and you walked past the desk and took it. You would be charged with petit larceny. However, let's say the co-owner stuff the $50 in her jacket pocket and you walked past her and slipped it from her pocket. You would be charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree. The New York legislature has determined that taking something directly from the person rises to the level of seriousness to make it a felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.30.

Grand larceny from the person does not only mean pickpocketing money, a credit card or other property from someone's pocket or purse. It means stealing by taking property directly from someone's person. Thus, if you snatch someone's handbag, purse, shopping bag, backpack or briefcase, you can also be charged with at a minimum grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Punishment for Grand Larceny from the Person

Because grand larceny in the fourth degree is a Class E felony. As such, if you are convicted of stealing from the person, you could be sentenced to up to 4 years in prison. Your sentence might also include probation and restitution. If you are a first time offender, there is no required minimum sentence. This means that even though the maximum possible sentence is 4 years in prison, the judge has the option of giving you no prison time, but just probation or restitution. On the other hand, if you have a prior felony conviction the judge will have to sentence you to at least 1.5 years in prison.

A stealing from the person charge could be increased from grand larceny in the fourth degree to a more serious grand larceny charge if the value of the property taken is high enough. For example, if you pickpocket a wallet and the wallet contains $3,500 in cash, the prosecutor may charge you with grand larceny in the third degree. Grand larceny in the third degree is the charge if the value of the property is more than $3,000, but not more than $50,000. It is a Class D felony. If convicted, you could be sentenced to 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 property 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 property 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. If you are sentenced to probation, whether it is just probation, or probation concurrent with a prison sentence, the probation term will be for 5 years. 5 years is the mandatory probation term for a felony conviction. If your prison sentence is 2 years, for example, your probation sentence will still be 5 years. This means that you will serve 2 years of your probation sentence while in prison and the remaining 3 years after your release.

Restitution

Whether your sentence is prison, probation or both, you may also be required to pay restitution. N.Y. Pen. Law § 60.27. Unless the judge decides otherwise, the amount of the restitution would be the victim's actual out-of-pocket losses as well as the value of the time the victim had to spend trying to remediate the harm you caused by the theft and any consequential financial losses.

If you have been charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree based on stealing from the person, you should immediately seek experienced legal representation. Being arrested for pickpocketing should be taken very seriously, as a conviction could land you in prison for several years. 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, pickpocketing, criminal possession of stolen property, as well as other crimes. 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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