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Suffolk County Grand Larceny in the First Degree

Larceny is the legal term for theft, and grand larceny is the legal term for stealing property with a value above a certain threshold. In New York, the threshold is over $1,000. If the value of the property is $1,000 or less, the crime is petit larceny. Petit larceny is a misdemeanor while grand larceny is a felony. Grand larceny can take many forms, including embezzlement, fraud, or extortion. It is one of the most common crimes. There are also several different types of grand larceny, referred to as degrees. The different degrees are also based on the value of the property stolen as well as how the property was taken and what type of property was taken. The least serious grand larceny charge is grand larceny in the fourth degree, and the most serious is grand larceny in the first degree. If you have been charged with grand larceny in the first degree you face the possibility for going to prison for a long time. The best way to fight grand larceny charges is to contact an experienced Suffolk County Grand Larceny in the First Degree Lawyer who will aggressively defend you from the time of your arrest until the resolution of your case.

According to New York Penal Law, you have committed grand larceny in the first degree if you steal property that has a value of more than $1,000,000. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.42. Grand larceny in the first degree is the most serious grand larceny crime. It is a Class B felony with a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison. Even if you are a first time offender if convicted of grand larceny in the first degree you will be sentenced to at least 1 to 3 years in prison. In other words, the option of just probation is not available. If you do have a criminal record and have been convicted of a felony within the last 10 years, you will be sentenced to prison for at least 4.5 to 9 years.

The New York Penal Code defines larceny as stealing another person's property. The term "property" can mean nearly anything of value. The statute specifically gives several examples of property. Some of what is mentioned includes money, personal property, real property, computer data, gas, water, electricity, vehicles, secret scientific material, a public record, a credit or debit card, a firearm, a religious document, a tool used to steal telephone service, and the contents of an ATM machine. N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 155.00, 155.30, 155.43. Oftentimes when the theft is over $1 million, it involves individuals who have a business relationship. In In the Matter of Shigetaka Ogihara, 973 N.Y.S.2d 105 (2013), the defendant was arrested for stealing over $1.8 million dollars from his client.

In order to be charged with grand larceny in the first degree, the prosecutor must be able show that the value of the property stolen was at least $1 million. If the prosecutor cannot, then you will be charged with a lesser grand larceny offence and the possible prison sentence will be shorter.

In order to set a value on the stolen property the law provides that you must use the market value of the property at the time and place of the theft. If you are not able to determine market value, then an alternate way to determine value is to figure out how much it would cost to replace the property. N.Y. Pen. Law § 155.20.

However, in order to reach the over $1 million threshold, the prosecutor can aggregate amounts from individual thefts. In People v. Hinds, 908 N.Y.S.2d 397 (2010), the defendant Curts Hinds faced a grand larceny in the first degree charge based on several different transactions over an extended period of time where he opened multiple fraudulent bank accounts, deposited stolen checks, and withdrew the money. While each transaction was less than $1 millions, the aggregate amount was over $1 million.

Despite the value set by the prosecutor, if you are charged with grand larceny in the first degree an important strategy is to convince the court that the value of the property was low enough to get the charge lowered to grand larceny in the second degree, third degree, fourth degree, or to the misdemeanor charge of petit larceny.

Sentence for First Degree Grand Larceny Conviction

The maximum possible sentence for a conviction of first degree grand larceny, a Class B felony, is 25 years in prison. Several factors go into sentencing, the most important of which is whether or not you have a prior felony conviction. If you do, your sentence will probably be more harsh than if you were a first time offender. Typically, if you are charged with grand larceny in the first degree, you will also be charged with additional crimes such as criminal possession of stolen property and other grand larceny charges.

A conviction on grand larceny in the first degree could send you to prison and away from your family and friends for 2 decades. Thus, it is important to contact an experienced New York grand larceny in the first degree lawyer as soon as you have been charged with grand larceny in the first degree, or any grand larceny charge. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with serious crimes such as grand larceny, petit larceny, 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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