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Theft Crimes

Manhattan Theft Crimes Defense Attorney

Larceny and Possession of Stolen Property

Any accusation of stealing can be serious and disastrous to the future of the accused. Therefore, an experienced Manhattan larceny crime lawyer is critical to meet these accusations head on. In New York, the act of stealing something, or more specifically taking something that does not belong to you with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of that property is called “Larceny.” The Larceny statute is codified in New York Penal Code Article 155. Larceny has five separate degrees—a defendant’s charge will depend on the value of the stolen property.

Almost without fail, a District Attorney's Office will also bring charges of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in conjunction with the applicable larceny charges. This means that if a person steals someone's wristwatch, they will not only charged with stealing the watch (larceny), but also with possessing the recently stolen watch (possession of stolen property). So one act equals two charges. Criminal Possession of Stolen Property is codified in Penal Code Article 165.

John Buza is an experienced Manhattan criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor. If you, or a loved one, is accused of any larceny crime, do you not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

Degrees of Larceny & Possession in New York

Below is a list of the most common larceny and possession charges, their applicable sanctions, and what the government needs to prove to sustain a conviction.

  • Grand Larceny & Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree – Class B felonies in which the value of the stolen property exceeds $1,000,000. If a person with no prior felony convictions is convicted of a class B felony, the minimum period of incarceration is an indeterminate sentence* of 1-3 years in prison and the maximum is 8 1/3 - 25 years.
  • Grand Larceny & Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree – Class C felonies in which the value of the stolen property exceeds $50,000. There is no minimum period of mandatory incarceration if a person with no prior felony convictions is convicted of a class C felony, however, the maximum period of incarceration is an indeterminate sentence of 5 - 15 years.
  • Grand Larceny & Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree – Class D felonies in which the value of the stolen property exceeds $3,000. There is no minimum period of mandatory incarceration if a person with no prior felony convictions is convicted of either of these felonies, however, the maximum period of incarceration is an indeterminate sentence of 2 1/3 - 7 years.
  • Grand Larceny & Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree – Class E felonies in which the value of the stolen property exceeds $1,000. There is no minimum period of mandatory incarceration if a person with no prior felony convictions is convicted of a class E felony, however, the maximum period of incarceration is an indeterminate sentence of 1 1/3 - 4 years.
  • Petit Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree – Class A misdemeanors in which the person knowingly obtained and/or possessed stolen property. A person convicted of a class A misdemeanor may be sentenced up to 1 year in jail.

It is also worth noticing that penalties for these crimes can more severe than the maximum sentence if the defendant has a criminal record.

* An indeterminate sentence is one in which the person is sentenced to a range and the department of corrections determines how much of that range the person must serve before he is eligible for release.

Proving Larceny & Possession

In order to obtain a larceny conviction, the prosecution must prove the following:

  • the person wrongfully took, obtained, or withheld property from its rightful owner
  • the person did so with the intent to deprive another of the property or to appropriate the property to himself
  • The value of the stolen property exceeds the designated amount for the alleged degree of larceny

In order to obtain a criminal possession charge, the prosecution must prove:

  • the person knowingly possessed stolen property
  • the person did so with the intent to benefit himself or a person other than the owner of such property or to impede the recovery of such property by an owner
  • The value of the property exceeds the designated amount alleged degree of criminal possession

Contact Law The Office of John Buza Today

All forms of Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property are crimes that could carry both prison sentences. In addition, criminal convictions may carry severe collateral consequences. As a former prosecutor, John Buza has unique experience handling these cases from both sides.

Call (212) 577-9328 to arrange a free consultation with our proven Manhattan theft crimes attorney today.

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