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Suffolk County Petit Larceny

The crime of petit larceny is quite simply, shoplifting. This crime is extremely common in both New York and around the country. This offense involves the taking of any good or service that is valued at less than $1,000. If the stolen item has a higher value, the crime is Grand Larceny. This offense is often committed young adults, and costs businesses millions of dollars annually. This is often called a quality of life crime, because stores must absorb the cost of this crime and pass it to the consumer by raising prices. In order to help protect the victims of this crime, civil statutes allow victims to sue for five times the dollar amount of the stolen property. This civil action can be brought in addition to criminal charges. If you have been charged with a theft crime, including Robbery, burglary, a white collar crime or Grand Larceny, contact a Suffolk County Petit Larceny Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for advice and a free consultation.

If you have been detained by a store security officer for shoplifting, you may be asked give and sign a confession. They could tell you that you are not allowed to leave the store until you cooperate and do so. It is important to know that security is within their rights to detain you, but they cannot force you to confess or sign anything. Store security does not have the same powers as law enforcement. When the police arrive, always be polite and cooperative and provide your basic information such as name and address. Often security will attempt to scare a suspect by telling them they have caught them stealing on video tape, which may or may not be true. If there is in fact a video tape, our legal team will be able to obtain a copy of the video and gather all other pertinent evidence connected with your case to create an effective defense strategy.

With shoplifting, often other charges are included such as:

Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 5th degree (NY Penal Law 165.40)

Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th degree (NY Penal Law 165.45)

Petit Larceny (NY Penal Law 155.25)

Felony Shoplifting (For goods that exceed $1,000 in value)

Commonly when a defendant is charged with this crime they will be issued a desk appearance ticket or DAT. Our legal team can explain that the ticket will only reflect a single charge. After you appear in court however, DA could charge you with other offenses as well. It is important to know that a desk appearance ticket is a serious matter. It is not equivalent to a traffic ticket. If you fail to appear in court on the date and time noted on the ticket, the judge could issue a warrant for your arrest.


Any defenses available to you will depend on the facts surrounding your case. Store security does not have the same rights and responsibilities as law enforcement. Therefore, the standard rules that govern search and seizure will not apply. There could be procedural problems with your arrest. Our legal team will be able to gather all the important facts and evidence to construct a defense strategy for your case to ensure that your rights are protected.

If you have been charged shoplifting or other theft related crime, you are well aware how upsetting this can be. Contact our firm today for advice and a free consultation. We have offices conveniently located throughout New York, including locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. We also have locations in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island as well as Westchester County. Call today to schedule your free consultation at 800.696.9529.

Client Reviews
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