Member of:
Justia Lawyer Rating
American Association for Justice
Union Plus

Nassau County Petit Larceny

The offense of Petit Larceny is also known as shoplifting. This offense is very commonplace in New York and around the U.S. This crime involves the theft or taking of any good or service that has a value of less than $1,000. If the item stolen has a higher value, the crime would be considered Grand Larceny. This crime is frequently committed by teenagers and young adults, and is very costly to businesses. This is known as a quality of life crime, because in order for stores to bear the monetary loss this crime causes, they must raise their prices. This means that the consumers ultimately pay for these crimes by way of higher store prices. Because of this, civil statutes have been put in place that allow victims of this crime to sue the perpetrator in court for up to 5 times the value of the items stolen. This civil action does not preclude a criminal action being brought as well. If you or a loved one has been charged with theft, such as Burglary, robbery, credit card fraud or Grand Larceny, speak with a Nassau County Petit Larceny Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for guidance.

If you have been stopped by a security officer for suspected shoplifting, do not be surprised in the officer asks you to sign a confession. They may tell you that you will not be allowed to leave the premises until you do so. They are allowed to detain you until the police arrive, but they are never permitted to force you to sign something. Remember that store security is not a branch of the government and do not have the same powers that a police officer would have. When the police arrive, you should be polite and cooperative, and give them your identifying information (driver’s license, name and address). They sometimes will try to scare a suspect by telling them that their theft was caught on video tape. This may not be true, and is just being used as a scare tactic. If a tape does exist, a skilled lawyer from our team will be able to obtain a copy of the tape, as well as gather all evidence and information associated with you case to create an aggressive defense strategy.

Often with the case of a shoplifting offense, you will see the following charges:

  • Felony Shoplifting (If the value of the goods exceeds $1,000);
  • Petit Larceny (Penal Law 155.25);
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th degree (Penal Law 165.45);
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 5th degree (Penal Law 165.40).

Usually when a defendant is charged with petit larceny they will be issued a desk appearance ticket (DAT). Our team can explain that a DAT only represents a single charge. Once you appear in court, the District Attorney may charge you with other crimes as well. A DAT needs to be taken seriously, and is not like a traffic ticket. If you do not appear in court on the date specified, you could have a warrant issued for your arrest.

Potential Defenses

The defenses that will be available in your case will depend on the circumstances surrounding the incident. Because store security is not an arm of the government, the legal rules that govern search and seizure will not apply. There may be factual and procedural problems with your arrest. Our team will be able to determine the best defense strategy for your case so that you receive the best outcome possible.

If you or a loved one has been charged with shoplifting or other theft crime, you know how stressful and upsetting this can be. Contact our legal team to ensure that your interests are protected. When you contact our office, you will receive sound guidance and a free consultation. We have locations to serve you throughout New York including offices in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan. We also have locations in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island and Westchester County. Call us today to schedule an appointment at 800.696.9529.

Client Reviews
My wife and I met under some unconventional circumstances. After I had some legal problems, Mr Bilkis and his firm continually got me out of trouble. I then had his firm represented my wife and he got her out of trouble! We are still married and got our ways straightened away. We both can't thank him enough for saving our lives and our families! J.P.
I contacted Stephen Bilkis' office for an issue regarding a family member and I could not be happier with the results. I have recommended the firm to friends and family, all of whom were also ecstatic with Mr. Bilkis and all members of his staff. P.R.
I was in need of legal assistance for a very sensitive matter for a family member. I contacted the law offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC and was met with staff whose demeanor was supportive, compassionate and professional. The lawyer handling our case had many years of experience and treated us as if we were his own family. Our experience was so good, and we became so close to all of the staff and all of the attorneys who assisted us, that we consider them our extended family and continue to send them our home baked gifts for the holidays. P.A.K.
I hired Stephen Bilkis and Associates to represent me on a legal matter a few months ago and am grateful for their swift action and resolution on my behalf. I was impressed with their professionalism and would recommend them to friends and family in a heartbeat. M.B.