Westchester County Theft Lawyer
Theft, or larceny as it is referred to in New York law, is the act of wrongfully taking, obtaining or withholding property from its rightful owner. In order to be found guilty of theft, it must be proven that the defendant had the intent to:
- Cause the property to be withheld from the owner permanently or for such a prolonged period of the time that the property significantly decreases in value; or
- Exercise control over the property (or allow a third person to exercise control) for an extended period of time or permanently in order to reap the benefits of the property
Theft charges, depending on the value of the item or items in question, can have a variety of serious, negative consequences if you are convicted. If you have been charged with theft or burglary in New York, it’s imperative that you retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who will carefully investigate the circumstances of your arrest and the criminal violations that you have allegedly committed. At the law offices of Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC, our attorneys have substantial experience advocating for defendants charged with theft crimes, including these charges recognized and prosecuted by the state of New York:
- Petit Larceny: Penal Law 155.25 (Class A Misdemeanor);
- Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree: Penal Law 155.30 (Class E Felony);
- Grand Larceny in the Third Degree: Penal Law 155.35 (Class D Felony);
- Grand larceny in the Second Degree: Penal Law 155.40 (Class C Felony);
- Grand larceny in the First Degree: Penal Law 155.42 (Class B Felony);
- Trespass: Penal Law 140.05 (Violation);
- Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree: Penal Law 140.10 (Class B Misdemeanor);
- Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree: Penal Law 140.15 (Class A Misdemeanor);
- Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree: Penal Law 140.17 (Class D Felony);
- Burglary in the Third Degree: Penal Law 140.20 (Class D Felony);
- Burglary in the Second Degree: Penal Law 140.25 (Class C Felony); and
- Burglary in the First Degree: Penal Law 140.30 (Class B Felony).
PETTY VS. GRAND LARCENY
Many states, including New York, distinguish between petit theft and grand theft charges. Petit larceny is any theft of property, however the charges will be elevated to a degree of grand larceny if the value of the stolen property is higher than $1,000. If you steal property, the degree of grand larceny that you face will depend on the value of the stolen property. Grand larceny charges are as follows:
- If the stolen property is valued between $1,000 and $3,000, you will be charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree.
- If the stolen property is valued between $3,000 and $50,000, you will be charged with grand larceny in the third degree.
- If the stolen property is valued between $50,000 and $1,000,000, you will be charged with grand larceny in the second degree.
- If the stolen property is valued above $1,000,000, you will be charged with grand larceny in the first degree.
Petit larceny is charged as a class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail. However, first time offenders may be eligible for community service or probation instead of jail time. In New York and across the country, the most common form of petty theft is shoplifting, which occurs when someone commits theft from a commercial establishment during normal business hours.
Grand larceny charges carry much more severe penalties than petty larceny charges. Grand larceny in the fourth degree is charged as a class E felony and is punishable by up to four years in prison. Grand larceny in the third degree is charged as a class D felony and is punishable by up to seven years in state prison. Grand larceny in the second degree is charged as a class C felony and is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. Finally, grand larceny in the first degree is a class B felony and is punishable by up to twenty-five years in state prison.
Even the least of these charges carries very serious consequences. If you or a loved one has been charged with any degree of larceny in New York, contact an experienced Westchester County theft attorney as soon as possible.
PROVIDING COMPREHENSIVE LEGAL REPRESENTATION
A theft charge does not always lead to a conviction, especially if you exercise your right to an attorney and contact an experienced Westchester County theft attorney. You are innocent until proven guilty, and it is the prosecutor’s responsibility to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. There are several defenses that are available to defend theft charges in court. Although the exact strategy that is used will depend heavily on the details of the alleged crime, there are a few strategies that are commonly used.
The defendant may be facing false allegations, or perhaps law enforcement has mistaken the defendant for the real perpetrator of the crime. If the defendant does admit that property was taken, it is possible that the defendant was under the impression he was the rightful owner of the property, and therefore did not believe he was committing a crime by taking it. It is common to argue in shoplifting cases that the defendant forgot the item was in the basket or cart and didn’t mean to carry it outside of the store without paying for it. This is just a short list of some of the many strategies that our criminal defense lawyers can use when representing an individual accused of theft in New York.
Westchester County theft attorney, Kimberly A. Pelesz began her legal career with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office. She understands what prosecutors are looking for when they build a theft or burglary case against you. This lets our firm provide you with comprehensive legal representation and take your case to its best possible conclusion.
LEARN MORE ABOUT US
With offices in Peekskill and Poughkeepsie, Kimberly Pelesz New York Law, LLC serves New York clients in Beacon, Fishkill, Wappingers Falls, Newburgh, Tarrytown, Greenburgh, Westchester County, Dutchess County, Putnam County, Orange County, and Rockland County. To learn more about how a Westchester County theft lawyer can help you fight a theft or burglary accusation, email or call our law offices at (914) 402-4541.