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Grand Larceny

New York law generally states that a person who "wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds property" from an owner without his or her consent and exercises control over the property is guilty of a criminal offense.  Grand larceny is often referred to as grand theft or embezzlement. Conviction for these charges can be disastrous, appearing on background checks and affecting future employment options. An experienced defense attorney can help you fight for your future after an arrest for Grand Larceny in New York City.

Queens Grand Larceny Defense Attorney

If you are facing Grand Larceny charges New York City, contact criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner to discuss your legal options. Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner represents clients charged with Grand Larceny throughout the greater New York City area including Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. With nearly 20 years of experience in the New York City criminal justice system, both as a prosecutor and defense attorney, Rochelle S. Berliner confidently represents her clients.

Seeking out information is an important first step. This website was created to give you additional information about statistics, stories, jury instructions, and the penalties and punishments that can occur after an arrest for Grand Larceny. No substitute exists, however, for speaking directly with a criminal defense attorney about the particular facts and circumstances of your case. Call 718-261-5600 for a free and honest consultation with Rochelle S. Berliner.


New York Grand Larceny Information Center


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Grand Larceny in New York

Under the laws of the State of New York, the criminal offense of Grand Larceny can be charged when a person is accused of stealing property and when the value of the property exceeds $1,000, $3,000, $50,000, or $1,000,000.


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Elements of the Crime of Larceny that Must be Proven at Trial

In order for the defendant to be found guilty of Grand Larceny, the prosecution is required to prove, from all the evidence in the case beyond a reasonable doubt, each of the following three elements:

  1. The defendant wrongfully took, obtained, or withheld property from its owner;
  2. That the defendant did so with the intent to deprive another of the property or to appropriate the property to himself/herself or to a third person; and
  3. That the value of the property exceeded a certain amount dollar value ($1,000, $50,000 or $1,000,000 dollars).

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Value of the Property Stolen

New York's statutory scheme for larceny provides for penalties depending on the value of the item taken:

  • If the value of the item is between $1,000 to $3000, then the offense can be charged as Class E felony under NY Penal Law § 155.35 for Grand Larceny in the Fourth (4th) Degree, which is punishable by up to 4 years in jail.
  • If the value of the item is between $3000 to $50,000, then the offense can be charged as a Class E felony under NY Penal Law § 155.40(1) for Grand Larceny in the Third (3rd) Degree, which is punishable by up to 7 years in jail.
  • If the value of the item is more than $50,000, then the offense can be charged as a Class C felony under NY Penal Law § 155.42 for Grand Larceny in the Second (2nd) Degree, which is punishable by up to 15 years in jail.

In certain cases, the prosecutor can determine the value of the property by looking at the aggregate value of the stolen property.


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Definitions under New York's Statutory Scheme for Larceny

The term "steals property" is defined under New York's laws as follows: When, with the intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or herself or to a third person, such person wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds such property from an owner of the property.

The term "property" is defined under New York's criminal laws as follows: Any money, personal property, or thing of value. Under NY Penal Law § 155.00(1), the statutory definition of property also includes the following: “or 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.

The term "value" is defined under New York's criminal laws as follows: The market value of the property at the time and place of the crime or if such cannot be satisfactorily determined, the cost of replacement of the property within a reasonable time after the crime.

Under NY Penal Law § 155.30(1), the statutory definition of “value” applies to all property other than “certain written instruments” (e.g., check, draft, promissory note, or ticket) and gas, steam, water or electricity for which the Penal Law provides a special definition of value in subdivisions two and three of section 155.30.  If one of those special definitions is applicable, it should be substituted for the definition specified in the text.

The term "owner" is defined under New York's criminal laws as follows: A person having a right to possession to the property superior to that of the person who takes it.

NY Penal Law § 155.00(5) provides for a special definition of “owner” to cover the situations in which:

  • the alleged owner obtained the property by theft;
  • the alleged owner is a joint or common owner of the property; and
  • the property is in the possession of the alleged owner but some other person has a security interest in the property.

The term "intent" is defined under New York's criminal laws as a conscious objective or purpose. Thus, a person acts with Thus, a person acts with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate property to himself or herself [or to a third person] when such person's conscious objective or purpose is:

  • to withhold the property or cause it to be withheld permanently; or
  • to exercise control over the property, [or to aid a third person to exercise control over it], permanently; or
  • to dispose of the property either for the benefit of himself or herself [or a third person], or, under such circumstances as to render it unlikely that an owner will recover such property.

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Permanent vs. Temporary Taking

The term "permanently" can be clarified to include the phrase “or for so extended a period or under such circumstances that the major portion of its economic value or benefit is lost to such person.” Thus, under the law's definition of larceny it is not necessary that the owner be in fact deprived of property permanently or that the property is in fact appropriated permanently.

The crime of larceny is complete when a person has the intent to deprive or appropriate the property permanently, and that person wrongfully takes the property for any period of time, however temporary.


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New York Grand Larceny of a Vehicle

New York's standard jury instructions provide: The exercise of dominion and control of the property includes a requirement that the property be intentionally moved, at least slightly, by the taker.

Movement of the property is not required where the property is a vehicle which is capable of movement. Id., People v. Alamo, 34 NY2d 453 (1974). If the property allegedly stolen was a vehicle which was capable of movement but was not moved, the following may, if applicable, be added: “A motor vehicle when activated comes within the dominion and control of the operator, even if the motor vehicle is not moved.”People v Alamo, supra.


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Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner | Felony Grand Theft Arrest Lawyer in New York City

If you are under investigation for grand larceny in New York City, seek the help of experienced legal counsel. Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner represents clients accused of theft crimes throughout the greater New York City area including Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan.

Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner can review your case and determine the best ways to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call 718-261-5600 or send an online message to receive a free, no obligation consultation.

Free Consultation

Submit your information using this form to schedule a free consultation with attorney Rochelle Berliner.

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