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Staten Island Petit Larceny

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The crime of petit larceny is also known as shoplifting. This offense is very common in New York and around the country. This offense is the illegal taking of any good or service that is valued at less than $1,000. If the value of the time is higher, it is considered to be grand larceny. Most often this crime is committed by young adults, and costs businesses millions of dollars annually. Because of this, this offense is often referred to as a quality of life crime, because it causes businesses to increase their prices in order to recoup their losses. These crimes also put an additional strain on law enforcement and the court system. In efforts to address this, a civil statute has been enacted that permits the victim of a crime to sue for up to five times the dollar amount of the item stolen. This civil action could be brought in additional to any criminal charges that may occur. If you or a loved one has been charged with this or other theft crime, it is important to speak to the legal team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for guidance.

If you have been arrested for this offense in a department store, you may have been told by store security that you must sign a confession or you will not be permitted to leave. It is important to note that it is within their power to detain you until the police arrive, but they cannot force you to confess to anything. When the police arrive, you should immediately speak to your lawyer. You should remain cooperative and be willing provide your personal identification. Security may try to scare you and tell you that they have you on video tape stealing the item. This may or may not always be true.

If you were with another party, store security may use a tactic where they will tell you that the other party has already confessed to the crime, so you should too. It is important to not be intimidated by this and do not confess to anything.

If you have been arrested for this offense, often the charges will include:

  • Shoplifting (petit larceny)-New York Penal Law 155.25
  • Felony Shoplifting (Items in excess of $1,000.)
  • Grand Larceny in the 4th Degree-New York Penal Law 155.30
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 5th Degree-New York Penal Law 165.40
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th Degree-New York Penal Law 165.45

Commonly when someone is charged with this crime they are issued a desk appearance ticket or DAT. This ticket may only mention one charge. Note that once you are in court, other charges can be added. A desk appearance ticket is not like a traffic ticket, and should be taken seriously. You are required to appear in court at the date and time specified on the ticket. Failure to do so will result in the issuance of a bench warrant against you.

Possible Defenses

What defenses may be available to you will depend on the particular circumstances surrounding your case. Remember that store security is not a branch of the government, so they do not have the same powers as the police. The rules of proper search and seizure for instance, will be different. It will be the job of our team to identify the best defense strategy for your particular circumstances in order to get you the best result.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for this or other theft crime, contact our legal team for guidance and a free consultation. We have offices to serve you throughout New York City, including locations in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island and Brooklyn. We also have locations in Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island, and Westchester County. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at 800.696.9529.

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