Theft Crimes - Larceny, Grand Theft, Robbery, Embezzlement, and Auto-theft

What is Theft?

The crime of theft occurs where a person intends to deprive another of property or to appropriate to himself (or a third person), and such person takes, obtains, or withholds such property from an owner of the property.1 Grand theft is where the value of the property taken exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000), specific property is taken (like a credit card), or the property is taken directly from the person. Embezzlement is a type of theft where a person is entrusted to hold onto property and without the permission of the owner, exercises control over it in a manner inconsistent with the continued rights of the owner, knowing that he has no permission or authority to do so.2 Auto-theft is where the property stolen is a vehicle. Robbery is when, in the course of committing a larceny, a person uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person.3

What Are the Consequences?

If you are accused of a theft crime, the District Attorney (“D.A.”) has the power to charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the amount taken, the circumstances surrounding the offense, and the number of prior offenses that you have. If this is your first theft offense and you took property with a value less than $1,000, then the D.A. may offer you what is known as ACD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal), or an opportunity to eventually dismiss and seal the offense. If you are not eligible for ACD, then you will be charged with a misdemeanor offense that is punishable by one year or less of county jail.

With regards to grand larceny and other times of theft, your punishment will vary depending on the amount taken and whether you are a predicate felon. A predicate felon is someone who has committed a felony within the last 10 years (not including jail/prison time).

Years In Prison
Class of FelonyFirst time felony offenderPredicate felon
MinMaxMinMax
B (first degree grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, mortgage fraud)1 - 38 1/3 - 252-43 1/2 - 7
C (second degree grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, mortgage fraud)-5-153 1/2 - 77 1/2 - 15
D (third degree second degree grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, mortgage fraud)-2 1/3 - 7
E (fourth degree grand larceny, second degree auto-theft)-1 1/3 - 44 1/2 - 912 1/2 - 25

In addition to this jail time, the District Attorney will add a criminal protective order4, restitution to the victim, and standard fines and fees. In addition, it is important to know that your theft conviction can be used by the D.A. as a prior to raise your sentence the next time you are accused of burglary or theft. Worst of all, the theft conviction will go on your permanent record and affect your future employment, state licensing and other benefits. If the conviction surfaces, others may will judge your character as untrustworthy.

How We Can Help You

If you want to avoid these consequences listed above, then you need a criminal attorney who can present a winning case in court before the Judge and in plea bargaining with the DA. For you, winning can be substituting jail time with probation and community service. Or, winning might mean getting your charges reduced, or entire case dismissed. As a past prosecutor who has handled countless cases involving larceny, Lavy Law has insider’s knowledge on how to obtain the best result for your case. As a counselor at law who has helped many kleptomaniacs or people with a compulsion towards theft through connecting them with community resources, we know how to empower you during this process just like a coach. As a trial attorney who has tried grand larceny and auto-theft cases with every kind of defense, Lavy Law knows how to win your case before a judge or jury.

Please read our Recent Cases to see that we have won a case just like yours.

If you are being accused of a theft offense, Contact Us immediately for a consultation.


[1]See Penal Law § 155.05(1).

[2]See People v. Yannett, 49 NY2d 296 (1980)

[3]See Penal Law §160

[4]A criminal protective order is a court order that prevents a person from coming within a certain distance of a location. If you are found at this location, you are in violation of the order and can be arrested. Police officers have a record of your stay away order in the electronic database in their police cars.

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