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5 Types of Theft Offenses & What They Mean | WNY Theft Crime Defense

Posted by Daniel DuBois | Aug 23, 2021

New York Defense Attorney Daniel Dubois tackles Theft Crimes and what they mean

Here at DuBois Law, we take our role in the legal process very seriously. We began our law journey on the prosecution side of the aisle, so we truly understand there are sides to every story. Our motto is simple. We Understand. We Never Judge. That is the job of the... judge. If and when you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, it's very important you find yourself some solid representation. We can't represent every case, but if you think you need criminal defense, you know where to find us. Today on the blog we wanted to touch on Theft Crimes, and what they mean. 

Once again, we hope this information is nothing more than an informative piece for the reader, in the event you have found yourself charged with any of the following charges, please don't hesitate to reach out ASAP and fill out our contact form or call 24/7. Don't wait, or trust that the public defender is going to get you what you need, have someone who will fight for your case. 

So, let's take a look at the various levels of Theft, and what charges are typically associated. 

Petit Larceny or Shoplifting

N.Y. Penal Law § 155.25. One of the most common theft crimes is known as petit larceny or shoplifting. If someone is charged with this crime, it is possible they could see up to one year in jail, and a fine up to $1,000. An individual is guilty of petit larceny "when they steal property," regardless of the value of the property. If charged, this what is known as a class A misdemeanor.

Grand Larceny

N.Y.  Penal Law § 155.30, 155.35, 155.40, or 155.42. There are 4 stages of Grand Larceny, usually dependent on the value of the property that was stolen. Because of the severity of the crime, Grand Larceny is a felony, and can be charged as class E, class D, class C, or class B felony offense. Any level of charges brought upon the defendant risk significant penalties including the possibility of being sentenced to prison if convicted. 

Identity Theft or Fraud

N.Y. Penal Law § 190.78, § 190.79, § 190.80. Fraud comes in many different forms, and is also known informally as "white collar crimes." If you have been charged with fraud or identity theft, it could be part of a myriad of situations such as:

  • Identity theft
  • Online or Website Fraud
  • Charities Fraud
  • Pyramid Schemes
  • Online Pharmacy Fraud
  • Misrepresentation
  • Debt Elimination
  • Work-at-home Scams
  • Phony-Callers and Internet Scams

Regardless of the situation, fraud is a serious offense and is both a civil crime and a criminal crime. Essentially fraus is anything that could be defined as "deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain." Dependent on the severity and nature of the crime, it could be considered a misdemeanor or felony. 


N.Y. Penal Law § 140.30. Burglary is a serious offense that is typically associated with theft crime, though in reality no theft technically needs to occur for charges to be pressed. New York looks at burglary in three levels of definition. First, second, and Third-degree burglary. Prison time and sentencing are dependent on the case, details presented, and all the nuances of the case, but a defendant is always looking at felony charges regardless of what degree. 


N.Y. Penal Law § 160. Robbery charges are unique when looking at theft crimes because they are not only looked at as theft, but also a violent crime. An aggressive and savvy attorney will be needed to challenge the case. Similar to burglary, there are 3 levels or degrees of robbery, first, second and third-degree robbery. If a conviction is reached, the defendant could face serious jail time. It is essential to obtain powerful defense with a good attorney by your side to get the best result possible.

If you or someone you know has been charged with any of the above theft crimes, or any criminal offense, please don't hesitate to reach out and contact our firm. We are seasoned in the defense process and have worked on both sides of defense and prosecution. We understand that no one is perfect, and we never judge. We are here to get you the best result possible to get your life back on track.

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