Queens Petit Larceny

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The crime of Petit Larceny is also commonly referred to as shoplifting. This crime is extremely common in New York. It involves the theft of any service or material good that is valued at less than $1,000. If the value of the item is higher, the crime is considered Grand Larceny. Often this crime is committed by young adults, and is very expensive to businesses. This crime is often called a quality of life crime, because the stores must absorb the costs of these crimes, and recoup their losses by passing on the cost to consumers by way of higher prices. This crime also places an additional burden on law enforcement. There is a civil statute in place permits victims of this crime to sue for five times of the amount stolen. This civil action would also be separate from any criminal charges. If you or a loved one has been charged with a theft crime, contact a Queens Petit Larceny Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for guidance.

Often if you are arrested for shoplifting, a security officer will ask you to sign a confession or you will not be able to leave the premises. It is important to know that they are permitted to detail you until the police arrive, but they can never force you to sign anything. Remember that store security does not have the same power as the police, and you do not have to sign anything. When the police arrive, you should request to speak with your lawyer, do not sign anything and do not confess to anything. You should provide your basic information however, such as name and address. They may try to scare you by telling you that your theft was captured on video tape. This may or may not be true. Regardless of this, a qualified lawyer will be able to request a copy of a video tape if one exists, and collect all pertinent information and evidence to properly defend you in court.

If you or a loved one has been charged with shoplifting you could be facing the following charges:

  • Petit Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.25);
  • Felony Shoplifting (In excess of $1,000.);
  • Fourth Degree Grand Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.30);
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property-5th degree (New York Penal Law 165.40);
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property-4th degree (New York Penal Law 165.45).

Commonly when someone is charged with petit larceny they receive a desk appearance ticket (DAT). Our legal team can explain that a DAT only represents a charge for a single crime. Once you make your court appearance, the District Attorney can charge you with additional crimes. A desk appearance ticket is to be taken seriously, and is not merely a ticket. If you fail to appear in court on the specified date a warrant can be issued for your arrest.


What defenses will be available to you will depend on the circumstances of your case. Remember that store security is not an arm of the government, so the rules surrounding search and seizure are not the same. You could have factual or legal issues surrounding your arrest. Our legal team will be able to identify the best defense strategy for your circumstances and work diligently to put that plan into action.

If you have been charged with shoplifting, you know how embarrassing and stressful this experience can be. It is important to contact our legal team to ensure that your rights are protected during the legal process. When you contact us, you will receive sound legal guidance and a free consultation. We have office locations throughout New York including Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. We also have offices in Suffolk County, Nassau County and Westchester County to serve you. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW.

Call Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for a Free Consultation

We serve those accused of petit larceny in the following locations:

1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)