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Queens Grand Larceny of a Firearm

Grand larceny of a firearm is a serious crime in New York. It is grand larceny in the fourth degree, a felony. Larceny is a legal term for stealing. Depending on the property stolen larceny can be classified as either petit larceny, a misdemeanor, or grand larceny, a felony. For the purposes of a larceny offense, "property" can be just about anything including money, personal property, real property, credit card, debit card, a vehicle, computer data, water, electricity, or almost anything of value. The theft of a firearm is considered so serious that it is classified as a felony. Do not underestimate the potential consequences of being convicted of a crime based on stealing a firearm. The potential penalty could be several years in prison. Therefore, if you are accused of stealing a rifle, shotgun, or other type of firearm, you should immediately contact an experienced Queens Grand Larceny of a Firearm Lawyer who will vigorously defend you throughout the entire criminal process.

Difference Among Larceny Charges

There are 6 different types of larceny charges: petit larceny, grand larceny in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the third degree, grand larceny in second degree, aggravated grand larceny of an automated teller machine, and grand larceny in the first degree. Petit larceny is a misdemeanor while all of the other larceny charges are felonies. Generally, what distinguishes one larceny charge from another is the value of the property at issue. If the value of the property is $1,000 or less, the charge will be petit larceny. If the value is greater than $1,000 but not more than $3,000, then the prosecutor will charge you with grand larceny in the fourth degree. If the property's value is greater than $3,000 but not more than $50,000, the charge will be grand larceny in the third degree, while for a grand larceny in the second degree charge, the value of the property must exceed $50,000 but not exceed $1,000,000. The most serious larceny charge is grand larceny in the first degree. The prosecutor will charge you with this crime if the value of the property exceeds $1,000,000.

In addition to the value of the property, there are other factors that go into determining the grand larceny charge. One factor is the type of property. If the property is a firearm, even if it is valued at less than $1,000, you will be charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree. For the purposes of the larceny statute, firearm has a very specific definition. A firearm is a pistol, revolver, shotgun with one or more barrels that are less than 18", a rifle with one or more barrels that are less than 16", a weapon made from a rifle or shotgun, or an assault weapon. An antique gun is not classified as a firearm for the purposes of the grand larceny. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.00(3); N.Y. Pen. Law § 265.00(3)

Arrest and Arraignment

If you are accused of stealing a firearm, you will be arrested and taken into custody. You will be eventually taken to Central Booking. You will remain there for several hours until your case is ready for arraignment. At the arraignment hearing you will go before a judge and the prosecutor will announce the charges against you. While you may be under the impression that you are going to be charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree for stealing a firearm, the prosecutor may decide to charge you with additional crimes. For example, you might also be charged with criminal possession of a weapon or criminal possession of stolen property. The judge will then make a decision on bail. Following the arraignment there may be several meetings and hearings prior to the trial. If you are released on your own recognizance or if you are released on bail, it is of utmost importance for you to return to court for each of your hearings and for the trial. If you fail to show up, then the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest.

Plea Agreement

Before your case goes to trial, or before a verdict is reached in your case at trial, you may reach a plea agreement with the prosecutor. You will likely agree to plead guilty to a charge that is less serious than grand larceny in the fourth degree. A prosecutor may offer you a deal in order to avoid going to trial. Or, the prosecutor may be unsure as to whether or not he or she will be able to win a conviction if the case goes to trial. Whatever the reason, if you accept a plea agreement, the prosecutor will be able to close the case and declare a victory. A plea deal may be attractive to you as you will not face the cost of an expensive trial and you do not risk a more severe sentence. However, the result will be that you will have been convicted of a crime.

Grand Larceny Punishment

As a Class E felony, if you are convicted of grand larceny in the fourth degree based on stealing a firearm, the judge may sentence you to up to 4 years in prison. Your sentence may also include 5 years probation. Your criminal history will affect your sentence. The New York Penal Code does not require a minimum prison sentence for first time offenders who are convicted of this crime. This means that judge is not required to sentence you to prison. Your sentence may include just 5 years probation. However, if you do have a prior criminal history, the judge is required to sentence you to at least 1.5 years in prison.

If you are convicted of other charges in addition to grand larceny in the fourth degree, your total sentence will be greater than if you were convicted of just one crime. It will largely depend on the severity of the other crimes. If they are misdemeanors, your sentence may not be significantly impacted. If they are serious felonies, such as Class B or C felonies, your sentence may end up being several years in prison.

A grand larceny conviction may include a probation sentence. It could be a sentence of just probation or it could also be concurrent terms of prison and probation. For a felony conviction the required probation term is 5 years. While probation is better than being sent to prison, probation can be challenging as it involves several restrictions. If you are sentenced to probation, you will have to agree to several conditions. The most important condition is that you must refrain from committing a crime. If you fail to abide by the conditions of your probation a judge may revoke your probation and resentence you to prison.

As soon as you have been accused of or implicated in the theft of a firearm you should contact experienced representation. A grand larceny charge can lead to additional felony charges and the potential of spending years in prison. It is crucial to have someone who is knowledgeable about the New York criminal justice system defend you from the beginning of the case until it is resolved. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with gun crimes are well as theft crimes such as grand larceny of a firearm, grand larceny in the fourth degree, possession of stolen property, burglary, and robbery. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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