Larceny is the legal term for theft in some states. New York is one of them. The crime has two categories. There is petit larceny that involves theft of property with a value of less than $1,000. After that, there is grand larceny that involves the theft of property with a value of $1,000 or above. Petit larceny is a misdemeanor. Grand larceny is a felony. The State of New York then classifies grand larceny into four different degrees. Those are fourth through first degree grand larceny. The New York Penal Code section 155.30 controls fourth degree grand larceny prosecutions.
Determining Property Value
What is pivotal in being charged with grand larceny in New York is the value of the property that has been taken. Value turns on present day value and not what the the purchase price of the item. For example, a $1,500 tablet that was purchased four years ago might only be worth $500 today. On that basis, given its present day value, a person accused of larceny in connection with the theft of the tablet would only be charged with petit larceny. With some exceptions, third, second and first degree larceny are based on the value of the stolen property.
In prosecutions for either petit or grand larceny, it must be shown that the defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of the subject property from it. Aside from the requirement that the property in question be valued at $1,000 or more, a person can be charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree under any of the following circumstances:
- When a public record is stolen.
- Stealing scientific material.
- Theft of a credit or debit card.
- When property is take from the person of somebody else.
- If extortion is involved.
- When the property is an access device for phone service.
- Theft of an ammonia product for purposes of making methamphetamine.
Theft of an automobile valued at $100 or a religious item with a minimum value of $100 that was stolen from a house of worship is also grand larceny. Regardless of its value, the theft of any firearm can also be prosecuted as grand larceny.
A person who is found guilty of grand larceny in the fourth degree is subject to class E felony sentencing. Although no minimum mandatory prison sentence must be served, the crime is punishable by a up to four years in prison. Given the facts surrounding the case and the lack of a prior criminal history, probation might be a viable sentencing alternative. If a person has been convicted of a different felony within the past 10 years, the minimum mandatory prison sentence will be 18 months in prison.
Don’t Give a Statement or Confession
The prosecution has the burden of proving you guilty of grand larceny beyond a reasonable doubt. Whether you are taken into custody by a store’s loss prevention personnel, a security guard or police, exercise your right to remain silent along with that of an attorney of your choice. Under most circumstances, it’s perfectly legal for store personnel or authorities to lie to you. Don’t believe that a loss prevention department, security guard or police officer will make matters easier for you if you sign a confession or statement. Your own words from your confession or statement will only be used against you when you are being prosecuted.
Remember that you are presumed innocent. Invoke and protect your rights, and contact our offices right away after any grand larceny arrest. We are going to listen to you carefully about what happened. After that, we will answer your questions and advise you of all of your legal options. Both prosecutors and judges take grand larceny in the fourth degree seriously. So should you. You’ll want to start building your defense as soon as possible. Make that phone call, and we’ll arrange for a consultation.