Larceny and Possession of Stolen Property

Any accusation of stealing can be serious and disastrous to the future of the accused. Therefore, an experienced New York City 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. The degree of larceny a person is charged with depends on what the value of the property is at the time it is taken.

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.

The degree of larceny and criminal possession of stolen property depends on the value and the nature in some instances of the property. Below is a list of the most common charges, their applicable sanctions, and what the government needs to prove to sustain a conviction.

Both Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, in all their variations are a crime. John Buza is an experienced New York City criminal defense attorney who is a former Manhattan prosecutor. If you, or a loved one, is accused of any of these crimes, do you not hesitate to contact him for a free consultation.

  • Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree

Grand Larceny in the First Degree is codified in New York Penal Code Section 155.42. It is usually brought in conjunction with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree, which is codified in Penal Code Section 165.54. Both Grand Larceny in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree are class B felonies. 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. 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. If the person has been previously convicted of a prior felony within 10 years of the new conviction, excluding time spent in prison, the minimum period of incarceration is 4 1/2 - 9 years and the maximum is 12 1/2 - 25 years. In all circumstances, the person is forced to be on parole between 1 to 3 years after his release.

155.42
For the government to sustain a conviction for Grand Larceny in the First Degree, the government must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. It must prove:

  1. the person wrongfully took, obtained, or withheld property from its rightful owner;
  2. the person did so with the intent to deprive another of the property or to appropriate the property to himself; and
  3. the value of the property exceeded $1,000,000.

165.54
For the government to sustain a conviction for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree, the government must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. It must prove:

  1. the person knowingly possessed stolen property;
  2. 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; and
  3. the value of the property exceeded $1,000,000.
  • Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree

Grand Larceny in the Second Degree is codified in New York Penal Code Section 155.40. It is usually brought in conjunction with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, which is codified in Penal Code Section 165.52. Both Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree are class C felonies. There is no minimum period of mandatory incarceration if a person with no prior felony convictions is convicted of a class C (non-violent and non-drug) felony, however, the maximum period of incarceration is an indeterminate sentence of 5 - 15 years. 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. If the person has been previously convicted of a prior felony within 10 years of the new conviction, excluding time spent in prison, the minimum period of incarceration is 3 - 6 years and the maximum is 7 1/2 - 15 years. There is no period of mandatory parole after the person is released from custody.

155.40
For the government to sustain a conviction for Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, the government must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. It must prove:

  1. the person wrongfully took, obtained, or withheld property from its rightful owner;
  2. the person did so with the intent to deprive another of the property or to appropriate the property to himself; and
  3. the value of the property exceeded $50,000.

165.52
For the government to sustain a conviction for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, the government must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. It must prove:

  1. the person knowingly possessed stolen property;
  2. 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; and
  3. the value of the property exceeded $50,000.
  • Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree

Grand Larceny in the Third Degree is codified in New York Penal Code Section 155.35. It is usually brought in conjunction with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, which is codified in Penal Code Section 165.50. Both Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree are class D felonies. 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. 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. If the person has been previously convicted of a prior felony within 10 years of the new conviction, excluding time spent in prison, the minimum period of incarceration is 2 - 4 years and the maximum is 3 1/2 - 7 years. There is no period of mandatory parole after the person is released from custody.

155.35
For the government to sustain a conviction for Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, the government must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. It must prove:

  1. the person wrongfully took, obtained, or withheld property from its rightful owner;
  2. the person did so with the intent to deprive another of the property or to appropriate the property to himself; and
  3. the value of the property exceeded $3,000.

165.50
For the government to sustain a conviction for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, the government must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. It must prove:

  1. the person knowingly possessed stolen property;
  2. 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; and
  3. the value of the property exceeded $3,000.
  • Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree

Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree is codified in New York Penal Code Section 155.30. It is usually brought in conjunction with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, which is codified in Penal Code Section 165.45. Both Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree are class E felonies. There is no minimum period of mandatory incarceration if a person with no prior felony convictions is convicted of a class E (non-violent and non-drug) felony, however, the maximum period of incarceration is an indeterminate sentence of 1 1/3 - 4 years. 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. If the person has been previously convicted of a prior felony within 10 years of the new conviction, excluding time spent in prison, the minimum period of incarceration is 1 1/2 - 3 years and the maximum is 2 - 4 years. There is no period of mandatory parole after the person is released from custody.

155.30(1)
For the government to sustain a conviction for Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (subsection 1), the government must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. It must prove:

  1. the person wrongfully took, obtained, or withheld property from its rightful owner;
  2. the person did so with the intent to deprive another of the property or to appropriate the property to himself; and
  3. the value of the property exceeded $,000.

165.45(1)
For the government to sustain a conviction for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree(subsection 1), the government must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. It must prove:

  1. the person knowingly possessed stolen property;
  2. 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; and
  3. the value of the property exceeded $1,000.
  • Petit Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree

Petit Larceny is codified in New York Penal Code Section 155.25. It is usually brought in conjunction with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree, which is codified in Penal Code Section 165.40. Both Petit Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree are class A misdemeanors. A person convicted of a class A misdemeanor may be sentenced up to 1 year in jail.

155.25
For the government to sustain a conviction for Petit Larceny, the government must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt. It must prove:

  1. the person wrongfully took, obtained, or withheld property from its rightful owner; and
  2. the person did so with the intent to deprive another of the property or to appropriate the property to himself.

165.40
For the government to sustain a conviction for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, the government must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt. It must prove:

  1. the person knowingly possessed stolen property; and
  2. 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.

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. John Buza is an experienced New York City criminal defense attorney who is a former Manhattan prosecutor. Do not hesitate to contact him if you, or a loved one, is accused of any of these crimes.