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NY Penal Law § 155.40: Grand larceny in the second degree

Grand larceny is the offense with which you will be charged if you are suspected of theft. Under New York criminal law larceny is defined as obtaining property that belongs to someone else with the intent of keeping that property away from its owner. It does not matter if you take it for someone else or take it and then give it to someone else. Larceny can be accomplished in several different ways including by trespassory taking, by extortion, by trick, by embezzlement, by false pretenses, or by writing a bad check. Under New York Penal Code § 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, or
  • The theft involves extortion.

Helena walks into a jewelry store and spots a beautiful diamond necklace that she just has to have. The price of the necklace was $60,000. She wrote a check to pay for it. The manager of the store did not have a problem accepting a check from Helena because she was a regular customer and always pays by check. However, this time Helena's check was returned by her back due to insufficient funds. The store manager tried for several weeks to collect the money from Helena, but was unable to. Finally, the manager decided to contact the police. Helena could be prosecuted for grand larceny in the second degree because writing a bad check is a type of theft.

Related Offenses
  1. Grand larceny in the fourth degree: New York Penal Code § 155.30
  2. Grand larceny in the third degree: New York Penal Code § 155.35
  3. Grand larceny in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 155.42

If you are charged with grand larceny in the second degree under New York Penal Code § 155.15 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.

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.


Grand larceny in the second degree is a class C felony. 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. If have been convicted of a felony within the last 10 years, you will be sentenced to prison. The sentencing guidelines require that predicate felons convicted of grand larceny in the second degree receive a minimum sentence of at least 4-6 years in prison.

New York Penal Code § 155.40: Grand larceny in the second degree

A person is guilty of grand larceny in the second degree when he steals property and when:

  1. The value of the property exceeds fifty thousand dollars; or
  2. The property, regardless of its nature and value, is obtained by extortion committed by instilling in the victim a fear that the actor or another person will (a) cause physical injury to some person in the future, or (b) cause damage to property, or (c) use or abuse his position as a public servant by engaging in conduct within or related to his official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely.
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The consequences of being convicted of grand larceny in the second degree are serious, impacting your life and the lives of your loved ones. Thus, if you or a loved one have been charged with grand larceny in the second degree, it is important to be represented by someone who has experience. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been accused of grand larceny, petit larceny, burglary, robbery, embezzlement and other criminal offenses. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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