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New York Shoplifting Frequently Asked Questions

What is shoplifting in New York?

Shoplifting is a type of theft. It is used to describe stealing from a retail store. In the New York penal code larceny is the legal term for shoplifting. While oftentimes shoplifting involves stealing a relatively low priced item making the crime a misdemeanor, shoplifting can also involved stealing high priced items, making the crime a felony.

While shoplifting often involves the defendant simply slipping unpaid for merchandise into his or her pocket or bag such as food from a convenience store or small articles of clothing and leaving the store with it, there are a variety of ways to shoplift. For example, switching price tags and paying a lower amount for the merchandise is a form of shoplifting, as is trying on shoes and walking out with the new shoes on.

How is petit larceny different from grand larceny?

If someone is suspected of stealing from a store, the potential theft charges that he or she will face are petit larceny, a misdemeanor and grand larceny, a felony. Whether the charge is a misdemeanor or larceny will be based on the value of the property stolen. If it is $1000 or less, then the charge will be petit larceny. For merchandise with a higher value the charge will be grand larceny. The specific charge of which the defendant is convicted will have a direct bearing on sentencing as the sentencing guidelines for felonies require more severe penalties than for misdemeanors.

If I am convicted of shoplifting in New York will I go to jail?

Defendants convicted of petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor, may be sentenced to a term of up to a year in jail. If the conviction is for grand larceny, the potential prison sentence is must greater depending on the value of the property stolen. There are a number of other factors that the judge will consider in deciding whether or not to send a defendant to jail for shoplifting, such as the defendant’s criminal record. In addition to possible jail time, the penalty for shoplifting may also include a fine of up to $5000 and restitution.

Still have questions? Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates for help

Because of the potential criminal penalties and civil liability, if you have been charged with shoplifting, it is important to speak with an experience attorney in New York who understands the defenses to a larceny charge related to retail theft. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with petit larceny, grand larceny and other theft crimes. Contact us at 800.NY.NY.LAW (800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, and Westchester County.

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