Queens Grand Larceny in the Second Degree

Under N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.40, you have committed grand larceny in the second degree if you intentionally deprive another person of property and

  • The value of the property is more than $50,000,
  • The theft involves extortion by making the victim feel that you would harm him or her or that you would damage property, or
  • If you are a public servant, the theft involves extortion by making the victim feel as if you would cause harm by abusing your public office.

Grand larceny in the second degree is o¬ne of 5 felony larceny charges. The other 4 are grand larceny in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the third degree, grand larceny in the first degree, and aggravated grand larceny of an automated teller machine. Grand larceny in the second degree is a very serious charge. In fact, grand larceny in the first degree is the only larceny charge that is more serious. There is one misdemeanor larceny charge: petit larceny.

The Different Types of Larceny

The main difference between grand larceny in the second degree and other larceny charges is that the property value involved in grand larceny in the second degree must exceed $50,000, but not exceed $1,000,000. Because property with a high value is involved, if you are convicted, you may face years and years in prison.

Extortion

In addition to the property value requirement you will be charged with a grand larceny in the second degree if the theft involves extortion. Extortion is a type of threat. You will have committed extortion in order to obtain property, you threaten someone with some type of harm, or you threaten to harm someone else. The threat can be to cause physical harm, or other types of harm including harm to property, financial harm, or harm to reputation. Examples of extortion is putting someone in fear that you will:

  • Cause physical injury
  • Damage property
  • Accuse another person of a crime
  • Expose a damaging secret
  • Cause a strike, boycott, or some other labor action
  • Testify or withhold testimony related to a legal claim
  • Abuse your position as a public servant to negatively affect another person
  • Do anything else that will not benefit you, but will in some way harm another person
Being Arrested for Larceny

If you are arrested because you are a larceny suspect, because of the seriousness of the charge, you will be immediately taken into custody. You will end up at Central Booking where you will remain for several hours until your arraignment hearing. An arraignment is a hearing before a judge at which you are formally charged and during which you will learn all of the charges that you will face. While you may be under the impression that you are being charged with grand larceny in the third degree, at the time of your arraignment you may discover that the prosecutor decided to charge you with additional crimes, or even a more serious larceny charge.

The judge will also make a decision about bail at your arraignment. The judge may set a dollar amount for your bail, decide that you should be held without bail, or you may be released on your own recognizance. You will be told the date of your next hearing.

Defenses to a Grand Larceny ChargeValue of the Property

If you are charged with grand larceny in the second degree and are able to successfully challenge the value of the property at issue, you may be able to get the charge reduced to a less serious grand larceny charge, or even to petit larceny. The assessed value of the property is extremely important as it has a bearing on the charge and the sentence should you ultimately be convicted. The various larceny charges have property value requirements as follows:

  • Petit larceny: $1,000 or less
  • Grand larceny in the fourth degree: Exceeds $1,000, but does not exceed $3,000
  • Grand larceny in the third degree: Exceeds $3,000, but does not exceed $50,000
  • Grand larceny in the second degree: Exceeds $50,000, but does not exceed $1,000,000
  • Grand larceny in the first degree: Exceeds $1,000,000

The range of maximum possible sentences is up to a year in jail for petit larceny, up to 4 years in prison for fourth degree, up to 7 years in prison for third degree, up to 15 years in prison for second degree, and up to 25 years in prison for first degree.

If you can successfully set the value of the property at issue at less than $50,000, you will have decreased your possible maximum sentence to 7 years instead of 15 years. The prosecutor will seek to make sure that you are charged with no less than grand larceny in the second degree. However, the New York Penal Code has rules regarding how to determine the value of property under the larceny statute. Generally, the value of property is either the market value of the property at the time and place it was taken, the replacement cost as of a reasonable time after the property was taken, or if the property is gas, water, steam, or electricity, then the value is based on its value during any consecutive 12-month period. If the value cannot be ascertained using any of these methods, then the statute provides that the property's value will be deemed to be less than $250. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.20

The two exceptions to the dollar value requirement for a grand larceny in the second degree charge are if the type of theft is extortion, or if the theft involves the abuse of a public office. In these two instances, the value of the property involved will not provide a defense to a charge of grand larceny in the second degree.

Lack of Intent

The New York Penal Code defines larceny as having the "intent" to deprive someone of his or her property. This means that in order for you to be charged with grand larceny in the second degree, the prosecutor must be able to show that you did not take the property by mistake, or that you did not simply borrow the property. If you did not have the intent to deprive the owner of his or her property, then you did not commit larceny.

Rightful Taking

If you are charged with grand larceny in the second degree based on embezzlement or trespassory taking, then a defense to the charge is that you believe that you had a right to take the property. It is not necessary that you did indeed have such a right, just that you had a good faith claim of right to the property. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.15.

Penalty for Grand Larceny in the Second Degree

Grand larceny in the second degree is a very serious charge. It is a Class C felony. If you are convicted, you will face a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison. If you are a first time offender, the law does not require a minimum sentence. This means that depending on the circumstances of your case, the judge could sentence you to no prison, but to probation for 5 years. The situation is different if you do have a felony record, as the law requires that the court sentence you to minimum prison sentence.

If your sentence is probation, or prison and probation, you will be required to follow strict rules during your probation term. In addition to the requirement that you must not commit another crime, some of the additional restrictions that will be placed on you include: you must have a job, you must support your family, you will be subjected to warrantless searches, you must complete a drug education program, you must stick to a curfew, you must refrain from associating with disreputable people or patronizing disreputable places, you must wear an electronic monitor, and you must get permission in order to leave the jurisdiction. Failure to follow the rules that the course imposes as a condition of your probation could result in you being sent to jail.

Criminal Record

Whether your sentence is prison, probation, or some other punishment, you will end up with a criminal record that will negatively impact you life. You will have a criminal record that includes a serious felony. Having a criminal history, especially one that includes a serious felony, will make it difficult for you to find a job. In addition, even if your sentence does not include incarceration, your employer may learn of your conviction and you may lose your job.

The consequences of being convicted of grand larceny in the second degree are serious, impacting your life and the lives of your family members. Thus, if you face a charge of grand larceny in the second degree, it is important to be represented by an experienced Queens grand larceny in the second degree lawyer. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with theft crimes such as grand larceny in the second degree as well as other crimes such as grand larceny in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the third degree, grand larceny in the first degree, petit larceny, possession of stolen property, burglary, and robbery. 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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