Understanding Larceny Laws in New York: Defining Offenses and Their Scope

In New York, the official term for theft or stealing is “larceny.” Under New York Penal Law Article 155, larceny occurs when, “with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or to a third person, he wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds such property from an owner thereof.”Under this law, larceny can include:

  • Taking property through trespassing
  • Taking property by trick
  • Taking property by embezzlement
  • Obtaining property by false pretenses
  • Issuing bad checks
  • Obtaining property by false promise, such as through a scheme to defraud
  • Taking property by extortion
  • Taking property that is lost

Petit Larceny in New York

Petit larceny is the lowest level of theft in state; it is also known as petty theft. This involves illegally taking property or services that are valued at $1,000 or less. This is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. It includes up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Shoplifting merchandise in a retail store that is valued at this amount or less is considered petty theft.

Grand Larceny in New York

Above petit larceny is grand larceny which is broken down into four types under New York law. The lowest level of grand larceny is fourth-degree. Fourth-degree grand larceny consists of stealing property that is valued at more than $1,000, stealing a credit or debit card, stealing property directly from an individual, or stealing a car. It is charged as a Class E felony carrying penalties of up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or the fine could be twice the amount of monetary gain derived from the crime.

Grand larceny in the third degree involves stealing property or services that are valued at $3,000 or more. It also includes stealing an ATM or its contents. This is charged as a Class D felony carrying up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 or twice the monetary gain received from the theft.

Grand larceny in the second degree is defined as stealing goods or services whose value is above $50,000 or if it involves specific kinds of extortion. This offense is charged as a Class C felony; a conviction carries up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

Grand larceny in the first degree is charged as a Class B felony. It involves stealing property or services that are valued above a million dollars. It is punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.

New York also has felony shoplifting crimes that involve stealing goods from a store that are valued above $1,000. These crimes are grand larceny or criminal possession of stolen property.

Get Experienced Legal Help in the Face of Larceny Accusations

A larceny conviction can taint your future as it makes you appear to be dishonest and untrustworthy. With a misdemeanor or felony conviction on your record that involves stealing, you may find it difficult to get a job, qualify for housing, or for professional licenses that could give you a good career. Don’t let one mistake or an unjustified accusation ruin your future. Bring your case to a legal team that has decades of combined legal experience and an intense focus on helping you achieve the best possible outcome.

Reach out to O’Brien & Eggleston PLLC at 518-391-2369 to discuss your case with one of our Albany attorneys in a free evaluation today.

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