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Suffolk County Grand Larceny by Credit Card

Under New York Penal Law, the crime of larceny is defined as taking, obtaining or withholding property that is owned by someone else with the intent of depriving that person of such property. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.05. "Property" is defined broadly. It can be money, personal property, a computer program, and even gas, water, steam or electricity. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.00(1). In recent years with advances in technology, stealing credit cards and debit cards has become a significant problem. Because of this prosecutors are now working particularly hard to prosecute those suspected of stealing credit cards and debit cards. Thus, if you have been charged with stealing a credit card or a debit card, you should immediately contact a Suffolk County Grand Larceny by Credit Card Lawyer who will explain to you your legal options and defend you throughout the criminal process.

Types of Grand Larceny

There are 6 different types of larceny crimes under the New York law. Petit larceny is the only misdemeanor. The other 5 are felonies. The felonies include grand larceny in the fourth degree, grand larceny in the third degree, grand larceny in the second degree, grand larceny in the first degree, and aggravated grand larceny of an automated teller machine. For the most part, the different larceny charges are distinguished from each other based on the value of the property that was stolen. However, in the case of stealing credit cards, the charge will be grand larceny in the fourth degree.

Credit and debit cards are stolen in several different ways. Some are pickpocketed from another person's purse, wallet or pocket. In other cases the card may taken from someone's desk drawer. Nowadays, credit card numbers are often stolen from computers and from the internet. Instead of stealing one or two physical credit cards at a time, credit card numbers are stolen from many people in a matter of a few minutes. In some cases, millions of credit card numbers are stolen in a single scheme. The numbers are then sold to other people who use them to make purchases or engage in another crime such as identity theft. When you commit grand larceny by credit card, you may not only face a charge of grand larceny in the fourth degree, you may also face additional criminal charges based on what you do with the credit card. If you use a stolen credit card number to purchase products, you could also face grand larceny charges based on the items you acquire with the stolen credit card. Furthermore, if you use a computer to accomplish the theft of a credit card, you may be charged with a computer fraud crime.

In People v. Rosario, 969 N.Y.S.2d 857 (2013), the defendant was charged with not only grand larceny in the fourth degree, but also identity theft in the first degree N.Y. Pen. Law § 190.80(2), grand larceny in the third degree N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.35(1). The defendant had used another person's credit card to make purchases such as airline tickets.

Punishment for Grand Larceny by Credit Card

If you are convicted of grand larceny by credit card, which is grand larceny in the fourth degree, your sentence may include 4 years in prison, 5 years of probation, restitution or a combination of these 3 penalties. For first time offenders there is not a required minimum sentence. This means that there is a possibility that you will receive little or no jail time. However, if you have a prior felony conviction the minimum sentence for grand larceny in the fourth degree is 1.5 years in prison. If you are convicted for additional crimes, then your sentence will include additional time for those crimes.


A grand larceny in the fourth degree conviction may include a probation sentence. Under New York law, the mandatory probation term for a felony is 5 years. Your sentence could be just 5 years probation, or a prison term as well as probation. You may end up serving some time in prison and then have to serve the balance of your probation time after you are released from prison.

While probation is certainly not as restrictive as being in prison, if you are on probation your life you cannot do anything you want. There will be several restrictions placed on your life. You will be assigned to a probation officer to whom you will be required to report regularly. You will not be permitted to leave the jurisdiction without permission from your probation officer. If you commit another crime while you are on probation, your probation will be revoked and you will be sent to jail. Other rules that you will have to adhere to may include: refraining from hanging out with other felons, refraining from hanging out at disreputable places, supporting your family, refraining from drinking alcohol excessively, submitting to warrantless searches, electronic monitoring, and drug testing. If you fail to follow the probation rules, your probation officer may violate you. If this happens, a judge may revoke your probation, and resentence you to prison.

If you have been charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree based on taking a credit card, you should immediately seek experienced legal representation. You may find that you are facing several additional criminal charges and the possibility of spending years and years in prison. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with grand larceny by credit card, as well as credit card fraud, computer fraud, and criminal possession of stolen property. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

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