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Bronx Petit Larceny

The crime of Petit Larceny is also known as shoplifting and is a very common crime in New York. This offense involves the illegal taking of a good or service that has a dollar value of less than $1,000. If the value of the item is higher than $1,000, the crime is considered grand larceny. This crime is often committed by teenagers and young adults, and costs businesses millions of dollars annually. This is known as a quality of life crime, because in order to recoup their losses, businesses are forced to raise consumer prices. These crimes also put a significant burden on law enforcement. Because of this, there are civil statutes in effect that allow the victims of these crimes to sue for five times the value of the stolen goods. This civil action is in addition to any criminal charges that the defendant would face. If you have been charged with a theft crime, including Robbery, burglary, credit card fraud or Grand Larceny, it is important to speak a Bronx Petit Larceny Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for guidance.

If you have been arrested for shoplifting, you may be aware that often store security will request that you sign a confession or you will not be permitted to leave. Security is within their rights to detain you until police arrive, but they are not permitted to force you to sign a confession. You should not sign anything, and request that you speak with your lawyer. It is important to be aware that the store security does not have the same powers as the police. Security may use some unconventional tactics to scare you, like telling you that they have caught you stealing and it is recorded on video tape. Remember that this may or may not be true.

Another common tactic used by security is when there is more than one shoplifter, they will tell you that your friend has already confessed, so you should too. It is important to remember that again, this may or may not be true and you should not confess to anything.

When someone is charged with shoplifting, often times other charges are involved such as:

  • Felony Shoplifting
  • Petit Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.25)
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 5th Degree (New York Penal Law 165.40)
  • Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree (New York Penal Law 155.30)
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th Degree (New York Penal Law 165.45)

Commonly when someone is charged with petit larceny, police will issue a desk appearance ticket or DAT. It is important to remember that this ticket may only charge you with one crime. Once you appear in court however, the prosecution may charge you with additional crimes. A desk appearance certificate must be taken seriously. You are required to appear in court on the date and time specified on your ticket. Failure to do so can result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.

Potential Defenses

Whatever defenses you have available to you will be determined based on the particular circumstances of your case. Also keep in mind that because that because store security is not the police, the standard rules governing search and seizure do not apply. Your lawyer could find that you have factual or legal issues surrounding your arrest. If will be your lawyers job to create the best possible defense strategy in your particular circumstances and put that strategy into effect.

If you have been charged with shoplifting, contact us right away for legal guidance and a free consultation at 800.696.9529. We have locations to serve you throughout New York, including locations in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Staten Island. We also have locations in Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island, as well as Westchester County.

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