New York Grand Larceny Defense Lawyer
In New York, grand larceny generally refers to felony theft. The offense, codified at New York Penal Law Article 155, includes theft by means of fraud, extortion, or general physical stealing. Grand larceny is often charged in connection with crimes of burglary or white collar crimes. If you have been arrested for theft, a grand larceny defense lawyer at Dupée & Monroe can help you put together your strongest defense in order to mitigate your charges or have them dropped entirely.
Distinguishing Grand Larceny from Petit Larceny in New York
Petit larceny simply refers to any theft of property. Petit larceny is a class A misdemeanor. In order to trigger grand larceny, the prosecution must prove that the defendant stole property of a minimum value or of a certain type, or performed the theft in a certain manner. The lowest degree of grand larceny is triggered when the value of the property stolen is over $1,000, or the property is of a certain type such as a car or credit card, or the theft was performed in a certain manner such as directly from another person or by means of extortion.
Elements and Degrees of Grand Larceny
The base elements of grand larceny are that the defendant wrongfully or unlawfully took the property of another with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of that property. As mentioned, grand larceny in the fourth degree requires that the property stolen be either of a certain value or a certain type, or that the crime be committed in a certain way, including by taking property directly from a person or by using extortion. Additional types of property that trigger grand larceny in the fourth degree include firearms, chemicals such as ammonia to be used in the manufacture of illegal drugs, secret scientific materials, and religious artifacts.
Grand larceny in the third degree requires that the property value exceeded $3,000 or that the stolen property was an automated teller machine (ATM) or the contents of an ATM.
Grand larceny in the second degree requires that the property stolen exceed $50,000 in value or that the crime is committed by means of extortion by instilling fear in the victim that the defendant would:
- Use physical violence on the victim or someone else;
- Cause property damage; or
- Abuse their position as a public servant (for example, as a police officer) to adversely affect someone.
Grand larceny in the first degree requires that the defendant stole property in excess of $1 million.
Punishment for Grand Larceny in New York
The punishments for grand larceny vary by degree. The available punishments are as follows:
- Grand larceny in the fourth degree is a class E felony, punishable by 1 ⅓ to 4 years in prison, with no mandatory minimum for first time offenders.
- Grand larceny in the third degree is a class D felony, punishable by 2 ⅓ to 7 years in prison, with no mandatory minimum for first time offenders.
- Grand larceny in the second degree is a class C felony, punishable by up to 5 to 15 years in prison, with no mandatory minimum for first time offenders.
- Grand larceny in the first degree is a class B felony, punishable by a minimum of 1 to 3 years in prison and up to 12 ½ to 25 years in prison.
Defending Against a Charge of Grand Larceny in New York
The best defense against a charge of grand larceny is preventing the prosecution from proving that the charged defendant was the actual culprit. But, assuming the prosecution has evidence that the defendant obtained property from the victim, there are still a few affirmative defenses to grand larceny. For instance, if the victim consented to the defendant taking the property, then there is no crime.
Further, if the defense can prove a mistake of fact to negate one of the elements of the crime, then there is no crime of grand larceny. For example, if the defense can prove that the defendant reasonably believed that the property actually belonged to the defendant, or that the victim did consent to the defendant taking the property, then there is no crime.
Additionally, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to deprive the victim of the property permanently. If the defense can prove that the defendant intended to return the property (for example, the defendant merely intended to borrow the car to go joyriding), then there is no grand larceny. New York has separate laws for inappropriately borrowing someone’s property (for example, section 165.05, which punishes the unauthorized use of someone else’s car).
Help is Available for Grand Larceny Charges from Our Hudson Valley Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested and charged with grand larceny under New York state law, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C., in Goshen. We represent clients charged with grand larceny and other criminal offenses in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley.