The New York State law on grand larceny is found in Penal Code Section 155.42. Someone has committed grand larceny in the first degree if he or she has stolen property that has a value of more than one million dollars. Grand larceny in the first degree is classified as a Class B felony. Felonies in New York state are graded from A to E, with A being the most serious. Therefore, grand larceny in the first degree is in the group of felonies that are considered the second-most serious of all felonies.
What exactly does it mean to say that someone “steals property”? The New York Penal Code defines property as anything that has value. That includes tangible things like money, real property, and personal property. It also includes items that may be less tangible, such as computer programs, computer data, and evidence of debts.
Stealing is defined as wrongfully taking, obtaining, or holding property from the owner of that property. That includes physically taking an item without the owner’s permission, but it also includes embezzlement, extortion, obtaining property by tricking the owner, getting property by false pretenses, writing a bad check, keeping property that is known to be lost without attempting to notify the owner, or obrtaining property by making a false promise.
Someone convicted of grand larceny in the first degree can get a sentence of up to 25 years in prison. A first-time offender may get a sentence of one to three years. Someone who has been convicted of a felony within the last 10 years will get at least 4.5 to nine years if convicted of grand larceny in the first degree.
There are two types of larceny, petit larceny and grand larceny. Petit larceny is a misdemeanor, and grand larceny is a felony. Grand larceny can be charged in four different degrees, with grand larceny in the first degree being the most serious.
Whether someone gets charged with petit or grand larceny and what degree of grand larceny depends, in part, on the value of the stolen property. If the value is $1,000 or less, the crime is charged as petit larceny. If it is $1,000 or more, than it is charged as grand larceny in the fourth degree. If the value is more than $3,000, the theft is charged as grand larceny in the third degree. If more than $50,000, then the charge is grand larceny in the second degree. If the value is more than $1,000,000, then the charge is grand larceny in the first degree.
However, there are some exceptions. Specific types of larceny are charged as certain degrees no matter what the value of the property. For example, theft of an ATM machine or of the contents of an ATM machine is charged as grand larceny in the third degree. Property obtained by extortion is charged as grand larceny in the second degree.
An important part of a larceny case is establishing the value of the stolen property. To charge someone with grand larceny in the first degree, a prosecutor must show that the property was worth more than $1,000,000. According to New York state law, the value of the property should be its market value at the place and time of the crime. However, if the market value cannot be calculated, then the replacement cost of the property will be used.
If you have been charged with grand larceny in the first degree, and you and your lawyer can convince the court that the property was worth less than $1,000,000, then your charge may be lowered to grand larceny in the second, third, or fourth degree or sometimes even to petit larceny.
If you have been charged with grand larceny in the first degree, you face a significant amount of time in prison if you are convicted. You should talk to an experienced New York criminal defense attorney immediately.