Theft Crimes in Buffalo, NY
Whenever one individual takes the property of another individual with the intent to deprive them of that property, that is considered theft under the law. However, the more complex our society has grown, so too has the number of ways an individual can commit theft. The following are different types of theft crimes in New York and how they are prosecuted.
Defining Theft in New York State
The State of New York refers to theft as “larceny.” Larceny is when one individual wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds property from a rightful owner, with the intent to deprive said owner of their rightful property. While larceny may sound like mere shoplifting, the crime of larceny includes many more scenarios, such as the following:
- Common law larcenies such as shoplifting, stealing, and theft
- Larceny by trick or embezzlement (fraud)
- Acquiring lost or stolen property
- Issuing bad checks
- Theft of services/failing to pay for services rendered
- Larceny resulting from blackmail or extortion
Degrees of Larceny in New York State
New York State divides larceny into five categories, each of which is more serious than the next. The offenses are related to how much money was stolen or the value of the stolen property. Petit larceny, which is the least severe offense, involves any theft of less than $1,000 of either money or property value. It is the only form of larceny that is not considered a felony.
Felony larceny includes:
- Fourth-degree grand larceny - If the stolen property exceeds $1,000 or the property is less than $1,000 but is a firearm, motor vehicle, or a credit/debit card, it can be charged as fourth-degree larceny, a class-E felony under NYS law.
- Third-degree grand larceny - If the value of the stolen property is greater than $3,000, that is third-degree grand larceny, a class-D felony under NYS law. Also, regardless of the value of the property, theft from an ATM will automatically trigger this penalty.
- Second-degree grand larceny - If the value of the stolen property is $30,000 or more, or in situations where threats of violence are expressed or implied, the crime is escalated to second-degree grand larceny, a class-C felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years.
- First-degree grand larceny - If the value of the stolen property exceeds $1 million, you will be charged with a class-B felony with a maximum sentence of 25 years.
The shoplifter may also be held civilly liable if the stolen property cannot be resold. The parents of a minor convicted of shoplifting may also be civilly liable to the owner of the property.
Talk to a Buffalo, NY Larceny Defense Attorney Today
Larceny takes on many forms and can be as simple as using money earmarked for one purpose for personal reasons. If you have been charged with larceny in the Buffalo area, call Daniel J. Dubois, Esq. and we can begin building your defense immediately.