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New York Grand Larceny in the Second Degree

Under N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.40, you have committed grand larceny in the second degree if you steal 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.

The New York Penal Code defines larceny as stealing another person's property. "Property" means almost anything including money, personal property, real property, computer data, computer program, evidence of debt or contract, gas, water, electricity, or any other thing of value. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.00(1). The value of the property stolen is one of the determining factors as to whether the criminal charge will be petit larceny, which is a misdemeanor, or grand larceny, which is a felony. The crime of grand larceny has 4 degrees of severity. If the charge is grand larceny, the value of the property is also one of the determining factors as to which degree of grand larceny the charge will be.

Petit larceny is a Class A misdemeanor. If the value of the property stolen is $1,000 or less, then you will be charged with petit larceny. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.25. The possible sentence for a Class A misdemeanor conviction is up to 1 year in jail. In all other cases the charge will be a felony grand larceny charge. The exceptions to this general rule are where there are special circumstances with the theft that make the crime more serious, even if the value of the property is less than $1,000. For example, if the theft involves extortion with threats of harm to a person, property or a threat to abuse a public office, even if the value of the property involved is less than $50,000, the charge will be grand larceny in the second degree. Similarly, if the theft involves a public record, secret scientific material, a credit or debit card, a firearm, a vehicle, other types of extortion, or that type of ammonia that is used to make methamphetamine, the charge will automatically be at minimum grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Thus, the assessed value of the stolen property may be critical in determining the charge you face. It does not matter if you did not know the value of the item taken, or if you thought the value of the item was lower than its actual value. The prosecutor will seek to assess the highest possible value so that he or she can charge you with grand larceny in the second degree, or a more serious grand larceny crime. However, the law provides guidelines as to how to determine the value of stolen property. It is the market value of the property at the time and place of the theft. Otherwise, an alternative way to determine value is to figure out the property's replacement cost. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.20. It will be up to you to convince the court that the value of the property was low enough to get the charge lowered the grand larceny in the third degree, fourth degree, or to the misdemeanor charge of petit larceny.

Grand larceny in the second degree is a Class C felony. The sentence can range from probation to jail time to prison time. While your sentence can range from probation to prison, the maximum possible sentence is up to 15 years in prison. If you are a first time offender, you may not necessarily be sentenced to prison. You may receive probation, or a short prison sentence followed by probation. If have been convicted of a felony within the last 10 years, you will be sentenced to prison. The sentencing guidelines requires that predicate felons convicted of grand larceny in the second degree receive a minimum sentence of at least 4-6 years in prison.

Because the consequences of a charge of grand larceny in the second degree are so serious, if you face this charge you should immediately contact an experienced New York 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. We understand the complexities of the law and will ensure the best possible outcome for your case given the circumstances of your case. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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