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Nassau County Theft (Larceny) Lawyer

In New York, a person commits larceny when he deprives another person of property by a wrongful taking or withholding of the property from its rightful owner.  The severity of the charges and the punishment are determined by the value of the stolen or misappropriated property. 

If you are charged with any type of theft or larceny charge, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to ensure your rights are zealously protected.

Call the Law Firm of Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. immediately to schedule a free consultation.     

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S 155.00 Larceny; definitions of terms.

  The following definitions are applicable to this title:
  1. "Property" means any money, personal property, real property,
computer data, computer program, thing in action, evidence of debt or
contract, or any article, substance or thing of value, including any
gas, steam, water or electricity, which is provided for a charge or
compensation.
  2. "Obtain" includes, but is not limited to, the bringing about of a
transfer or purported transfer of property or of a legal interest
therein, whether to the obtainer or another.
  3. "Deprive." To "deprive" another of property means (a) to withhold
it or cause it to be withheld from him permanently or for so extended a
period or under such circumstances that the major portion of its
economic value or benefit is lost to him, or (b) to dispose of the
property in such manner or under such circumstances as to render it
unlikely that an owner will recover such property.
  4. "Appropriate." To "appropriate" property of another to oneself or a
third person means (a) to exercise control over it, or to aid a third
person to exercise control over it, permanently or for so extended a
period or under such circumstances as to acquire the major portion of
its economic value or benefit, or (b) to dispose of the property for the
benefit of oneself or a third person.
  5. "Owner." When property is taken, obtained or withheld by one person
from another person, an "owner" thereof means any person who has a right
to possession thereof superior to that of the taker, obtainer or
withholder.
  A person who has obtained possession of property by theft or other
illegal means shall be deemed to have a right of possession superior to
that of a person who takes, obtains or withholds it from him by
larcenous means.
  A  joint  or  common  owner  of property shall not be deemed to have a
right of possession thereto superior to  that  of  any  other  joint  or
common owner thereof.
  In the absence of a specific agreement to the contrary, a person in
lawful possession of property shall be deemed to have a right of
possession superior to that of a person having only a security interest
therein, even if legal title lies with the holder of the security
interest pursuant to a conditional sale contract or other security
agreement.
  6. "Secret scientific material" means a sample, culture,
micro-organism, specimen, record, recording, document, drawing or any
other article, material, device or substance which constitutes,
represents, evidences, reflects, or records a scientific or technical
process, invention or formula or any part or phase thereof, and which is
not, and is not intended to be, available to anyone other than the
person or persons rightfully in possession thereof or selected persons
having access thereto with his or their consent, and when it accords or
may accord such rightful possessors an advantage over competitors or
other persons who do not have knowledge or the benefit thereof.
  7. "Credit card" means any instrument or article defined as a credit
card in section five hundred eleven of the general business law.
  7-a. "Debit card" means any instrument or article defined as a debit
card in section five hundred eleven of the general business law.
  7-b. "Public benefit card" means any medical assistance card, food
stamp assistance card, public assistance card, or any other
identification, authorization card or electronic access device issued by
the state or a social services district as defined in subdivision seven
of section two of the social services law, which entitles a person to
obtain public assistance benefits under a local, state or federal
program administered by the state, its political subdivisions or social
services districts.
  7-c. "Access device" means any telephone calling card number, credit
card number, account number, mobile identification number, electronic
serial number or personal identification number that can be used to
obtain telephone service.
  8. "Service" includes, but is not limited to, labor, professional
service, a computer service, transportation service, the supplying of
hotel accommodations, restaurant services, entertainment, the supplying
of equipment for use, and the supplying of commodities of a public
utility nature such as gas, electricity, steam and water. A ticket or
equivalent instrument which evidences a right to receive a service is
not in itself service but constitutes property within the meaning of
subdivision one.
  9. "Cable television service" means any and all services provided by
or through the facilities of any cable television system or closed
circuit coaxial cable communications system, or any microwave or similar
transmission service used in connection with any cable television system
or other similar closed circuit coaxial cable communications system.

S 155.05 Larceny; defined.

  1. A person steals property and commits larceny when, with intent to
deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or to
a third person, he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property
from an owner thereof.
  2. Larceny includes a wrongful taking, obtaining or withholding of
another`s property, with the intent prescribed in subdivision one of
this section, committed in any of the following ways:
  (a) By conduct heretofore defined or known as common law larceny by
trespassory taking, common law larceny by trick, embezzlement, or
obtaining property by false pretenses;
  (b) By acquiring lost property.
  A person acquires lost property when he exercises control over
property of another which he knows to have been lost or mislaid, or to
have been delivered under a mistake as to the identity of the recipient
or the nature or amount of the property, without taking reasonable
measures to return such property to the owner;
  (c) By committing the crime of issuing a bad check, as defined in
section 190.05;
  (d) By false promise.
  A person obtains property by false promise when, pursuant to a scheme
to defraud, he obtains property of another by means of a representation,
express or implied, that he or a third person will in the future engage
in particular conduct, and when he does not intend to engage in such
conduct or, as the case may be, does not believe that the third person
intends to engage in such conduct.
  In any prosecution for larceny based upon a false promise, the
defendant`s intention or belief that the promise would not be performed
may not be established by or inferred from the fact alone that such
promise was not performed. Such a finding may be based only upon
evidence establishing that the facts and circumstances of the case are
wholly consistent with guilty intent or belief and wholly inconsistent
with innocent intent or belief, and excluding to a moral certainty every
hypothesis except that of the defendant`s intention or belief that the
promise would not be performed;
  (e) By extortion.
  A person obtains property by extortion when he compels or induces
another person to deliver such property to himself or to a third person
by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the property is not so
delivered, the actor or another will:
  (i) Cause physical injury to some person in the future; or
  (ii) Cause damage to property; or
  (iii) Engage in other conduct constituting a crime; or
  (iv) Accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be
instituted against him; or
  (v) Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or
false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule;
or
  (vi) Cause a strike, boycott or other collective labor group action
injurious to some person`s business; except that such a threat shall not
be deemed extortion when the property is demanded or received for the
benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act; or
  (vii) Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or
information with respect to another`s legal claim or defense; or
  (viii) Use or abuse his position as a public servant by performing
some act within or related to his official duties, or by failing or
refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some
person adversely; or
  (ix) Perform any other act which would not in itself materially
benefit the actor but which is calculated to harm another person
materially with respect to his health, safety, business, calling,
career, financial condition, reputation or personal relationships.

S 155.10 Larceny; no defense.

  The crimes of (a) larceny committed by means of extortion and an
attempt to commit the same, and (b) bribe receiving by a labor official
as defined in section 180.20, and bribe receiving as defined in section 
200.05, are not mutually exclusive, and it is no defense to a
prosecution for larceny committed by means of extortion or for an
attempt to commit the same that, by reason of the same conduct, the
defendant also committed one of such specified crimes of bribe
receiving.

S 155.15 Larceny; defenses.

  1. In any prosecution for larceny committed by trespassory taking or
embezzlement, it is an affirmative defense that the property was
appropriated under a claim of right made in good faith.
  2. In any prosecution for larceny by extortion committed by instilling
in the victim a fear that he or another person would be charged with a
crime, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant reasonably
believed the threatened charge to be true and that his sole purpose was
to compel or induce the victim to take reasonable action to make good
the wrong which was the subject of such threatened charge.

S 155.20 Larceny; value of stolen property.

  For the purposes of this title, the value of property shall be
ascertained as follows:
  1. Except as otherwise specified in this section, value means the
market value of the property at the time and place of the crime, or if
such cannot be satisfactorily ascertained, the cost of replacement of
the property within a reasonable time after the crime.
  2. Whether or not they have been issued or delivered, certain written
instruments, not including those having a readily ascertainable market
value such as some public and corporate bonds and securities, shall be
evaluated as follows:
  (a) The value of an instrument constituting an evidence of debt, such
as a check, draft or promissory note, shall be deemed the amount due or
collectable thereon or thereby, such figure ordinarily being the face
amount of the indebtedness less any portion thereof which has been
satisfied.
  (b) The value of a ticket or equivalent instrument which evidences a
right to receive a transportation, entertainment or other service shall
be deemed the price stated thereon, if any; and if no price is stated
thereon the value shall be deemed the price of such ticket or equivalent
instrument which the issuer charges the general public.
  (c) The value of any other instrument which creates, releases,
discharges or otherwise affects any valuable legal right, privilege or
obligation shall be deemed the greatest amount of economic loss which
the owner of the instrument might reasonably suffer by virtue of the
loss of the instrument.
  3. Where the property consists of gas, steam, water or electricity,
which is provided for charge or compensation, the value shall be the
value of the property stolen in any consecutive twelve-month period.
  4. When the value of property cannot be satisfactorily ascertained
pursuant to the standards set forth in subdivisions one and two of this
section, its value shall be deemed to be an amount less than two hundred
fifty dollars.

S 155.25 Petit larceny.

  A person is guilty of petit larceny when he steals property.
  Petit larceny is a class A misdemeanor.

S 155.30 Grand larceny in the fourth degree.

  A  person  is  guilty  of  grand  larceny in the fourth degree when he
steals property and when:
  1. The value of the property exceeds one thousand dollars; or
  2. The property consists of a public  record,  writing  or  instrument
kept,  filed or deposited according to law with or in the keeping of any
public office or public servant; or
  3. The property consists of secret scientific material; or
  4. The property consists of a credit card or debit card; or
  5. The property, regardless of its nature and value, is taken from the
person of another; or
  6. The property, regardless of its nature and value,  is  obtained  by
extortion; or
  7.  The property consists of one or more firearms, rifles or shotguns,
as such terms are defined in section 265.00 of this chapter; or
  8. The value of the property  exceeds  one  hundred  dollars  and  the
property  consists of a motor vehicle, as defined in section one hundred
twenty-five of the vehicle and traffic law, other than a motorcycle,  as
defined in section one hundred twenty-three of such law; or
  9. The property consists of a scroll, religious vestment, a vessel, an
item   comprising   a   display  of  religious  symbols  which  forms  a
representative expression of  faith,  or  other  miscellaneous  item  of
property which:
  (a) has a value of at least one hundred dollars; and
  (b)  is  kept  for or used in connection with religious worship in any
building, structure or upon the curtilage of such building or  structure
used  as  a  place  of  religious worship by a religious corporation, as
incorporated under the religious corporations law or the education law.
  10. The property consists of an access device which the person intends
to use unlawfully to obtain telephone service.
  11. The property consists of anhydrous ammonia  or  liquified  ammonia
gas  and  the  actor  intends to use, or knows another person intends to
use, such anhydrous ammonia or  liquified  ammonia  gas  to  manufacture
methamphetamine.
  Grand larceny in the fourth degree is a class E felony.

S 155.35 Grand larceny in the third degree.

  A person is guilty of grand larceny in the third degree when he or she
steals property and:
  1. when the value of the property exceeds three thousand dollars, or
  2.  the  property is an automated teller machine or the contents of an
automated teller machine.
  Grand larceny in the third degree is a class D felony.

S 155.40 Grand larceny in the second degree.

  A person is guilty of grand larceny in the second degree when he
steals property and when:
  1. The value of the property exceeds fifty thousand dollars; or
  2. The property, regardless of its nature and value, is obtained by
extortion committed by instilling in the victim a fear that the actor or
another person will (a) cause physical injury to some person in the
future, or (b) cause damage to property, or (c) use or abuse his
position as a public servant by engaging in conduct within or related to
his official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official
duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely.
  Grand larceny in the second degree is a class C felony.

S 155.42 Grand larceny in the first degree.

  A person is guilty of grand larceny in the first degree when he steals
property and when the value of the property exceeds one million dollars.
  Grand larceny in the first degree is a class B felony.

S 155.43 Aggravated grand larceny of an automated teller machine.

  A  person is guilty of aggravated grand larceny of an automated teller
machine when he or she commits the crime of grand larceny in  the  third
degree,  as defined in subdivision two of section 155.35 of this article
and has been previously convicted of grand larceny in the  third  degree
within the previous five years.
Aggravated grand larceny of an automated teller machine is a class C felony.

S 155.45 Larceny; pleading and proof.

  1. Where it is an element of the crime charged that property was taken
from the person or obtained by extortion, an indictment for larceny must
so specify. In all other cases, an indictment, information or complaint
for larceny is sufficient if it alleges that the defendant stole
property of the nature or value required for the commission of the crime
charged without designating the particular way or manner in which such
property was stolen or the particular theory of larceny involved.
  2. Proof that the defendant engaged in any conduct constituting
larceny as defined in section 155.05 is sufficient to support any
indictment, information or complaint for larceny other than one charging
larceny by extortion. An indictment charging larceny by extortion must
be supported by proof establishing larceny by extortion.

S 165.00 Misapplication of property.

  1. A person is guilty of misapplication of property when, knowingly
possessing personal property of another pursuant to an agreement that
the same will be returned to the owner at a future time,
  (a) he loans, leases, pledges, pawns or otherwise encumbers such
property without the consent of the owner thereof in such manner as to
create a risk that the owner will not be able to recover it or will
suffer pecuniary loss; or
  (b) he intentionally refuses to return personal property valued in
excess of one hundred dollars to the owner pursuant to the terms of the
rental agreement provided that the owner shall have made a written
demand for the return of such personal property in person or by
certified mail at an address indicated in the rental agreement and he
intentionally refuses to return such personal property for a period of
thirty days after such demand has been received or should reasonably
have been received by him. Such written demand shall state: (i) the date
and time at which the personal property was to have been returned under
the rental agreement; (ii) that the owner does not consent to the
continued withholding or retaining of such personal property and demands
its return; and (iii) that the continued withholding or retaining of the
property may constitute a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up
to one thousand dollars or by a sentence to a term of imprisonment for a
period of up to one year or by both such fine and imprisonment.
  (c) as used in paragraph (b) of this subdivision and in subdivision
three of this section, the terms owner, personal property, and rental
agreement shall be defined as in subdivision one of section three
hundred ninety-nine-w of the general business law.
  2. In any prosecution under paragraph (a) of subdivision one of this
section, it is a defense that, at the time the prosecution was
commenced, (a) the defendant had recovered possession of the property,
unencumbered as a result of the unlawful disposition, and (b) the owner
had suffered no material economic loss as a result of the unlawful
disposition.
  3. In any prosecution under paragraph (b) of subdivision one of this
section, it is a defense that at the time the prosecution was commenced,
(a) the owner had recovered possession of the personal property and
suffered no material economic loss as a result of the unlawful
retention; or (b) the defendant is unable to return such personal
property because it has been accidentally destroyed or stolen; or (c)
the owner failed to comply with the provisions of section three hundred
ninety-nine-w of the general business law.
  Misapplication of property is a class A misdemeanor.

S 165.16 Unauthorized sale of certain transportation services.

  1.  A  person is guilty of unauthorized sale of certain transportation
services when, with intent to avoid payment by  another  person  to  the
metropolitan  transportation  authority, New York city transit authority
or a subsidiary or affiliate of either  such  authority  of  the  lawful
charge  for  transportation  services on a railroad, subway, bus or mass
transit service operated by either such authority  or  a  subsidiary  or
affiliate  thereof,  he  or  she, in exchange for value, sells access to
such transportation services  to  such  person,  without  authorization,
through  the  use  of  an  unlimited farecard or doctored farecard. This
section shall apply only to such sales that occur  in  a  transportation
facility,  as  such term is defined in subdivision two of section 240.00
of this chapter, operated by such metropolitan transportation authority,
New York city transit authority  or  subsidiary  or  affiliate  of  such
authority, when public notice of the prohibitions of its section and the
exemptions   thereto   appears  on  the  face  of  the  farecard  or  is
conspicuously posted  in  transportation  facilities  operated  by  such
metropolitan  transportation  authority, New York city transit authority
or such subsidiary or affiliate of such authority.
  2. It shall be a defense to a prosecution under this  section  that  a
person,  firm,  partnership,  corporation, or association: (a) selling a
farecard containing value, other than a doctored farecard,  relinquished
all  rights and privileges thereto upon consummation of the sale; or (b)
sold access to transportation services through the use  of  a  farecard,
other  than  a doctored farecard, when such sale was made at the request
of the purchaser as an accommodation to the purchaser at a time  when  a
farecard  was  not  immediately  available  to  the purchaser, provided,
however, that the seller lawfully acquired the farecard and did not,  by
means  of  an  unlawful act, contribute to the circumstances that caused
the purchaser to make such request.
  3. For purposes of this section:
  (a)  "farecard"means a value-based, magnetically encoded card
containing  stored monetary value from which a specified amount of value
is deducted as payment of a fare;
  (b)  "unlimited  farecard"means a farecard that is time-based,
magnetically  encoded  and which permits entrance an unlimited number of
times into facilities and conveyances for a specified  period of time;
and
  (c)  "doctored  farecard"means a farecard that has been bent or
manipulated or altered so as to facilitate  a  person's access to
transportation services without paying the lawful charge.
  Unauthorized sale of transportation service is a class B misdemeanor.

S 165.17 Unlawful use of credit card, debit card or public benefit card.

  A person is guilty of unlawful use of credit card, debit card or
public benefit card when in the course of obtaining or attempting to
obtain property or a service, he uses or displays a credit card, debit
card or public benefit card which he knows to be revoked or cancelled.
  Unlawful use of a credit card, debit card or public benefit card
  is a class A misdemeanor.

S 165.20 Fraudulently obtaining a signature.

  A person is guilty of fraudulently obtaining a signature when, with
intent to defraud or injure another or to acquire a substantial benefit
for himself or a third person, he obtains the signature of a person to a
written instrument by means of any misrepresentation of fact which he
knows to be false.
  Fraudulently obtaining a signature is a class A misdemeanor.

S 165.25 Jostling.

  A person is guilty of jostling when, in a public place, he
intentionally and unnecessarily:
  1. Places his hand in the proximity of a person`s pocket or handbag;
or
  2. Jostles or crowds another person at a time when a third person`s
hand is in the proximity of such person`s pocket or handbag.
  Jostling is a class A misdemeanor.

S 165.30 Fraudulent accosting.

  1. A person is guilty of fraudulent accosting when he accosts a person
in a public place with intent to defraud him of money or other property
by means of a trick, swindle or confidence game.
  2. A person who, either at the time he accosts another in a public
place or at some subsequent time or at some other place, makes
statements to him or engages in conduct with respect to him of a kind
commonly made or performed in the perpetration of a known type of
confidence game, is presumed to intend to defraud such person of money
or other property.
  Fraudulent accosting is a class A misdemeanor.

S 165.35 Fortune telling.

  A person is guilty of fortune telling when, for a fee or compensation
which he directly or indirectly solicits or receives, he claims or
pretends to tell fortunes, or holds himself out as being able, by
claimed or pretended use of occult powers, to answer questions or give
advice on personal matters or to exorcise, influence or affect evil
spirits or curses; except that this section does not apply to a person
who engages in the aforedescribed conduct as part of a show or
exhibition solely for the purpose of entertainment or amusement.
  Fortune telling is a class B misdemeanor.

 Many people find themselves arrested for Petit Larceny or Grand Larceny when they get caught stealing merchandise from stores such  as Macy's, Nordstrom, J.C. Penney, Walmart, and Target. In addition to being arrested and prosecuted  criminally, you also may receive a civil demand for money from an attorney representing the store. Although legal, these civil demands are empty threats and in my opinion, should be ignored.     

 


Based in Freeport, NY Michael A. Arbeit, P.C. serves clients throughout Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens County, New York County, Kings County, and Bronx County New York.



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