Petit Larceny Offenses

The most commonly alleged theft crime in Queens County and through the greater New York City area remains the misdemeanor charge of petit larceny. Under New York law, petit larceny is a Class A misdemeanor.

Petit larceny alleges a theft of some item valued at less than $1,000.00. In shoplifting cases, that theft occurs at a retail establishment.

Queens Petit Larceny Defense Attorney

Under New York Penal Law, Section 155.25 makes it a class A misdemeanor to steal something valued less than $1,000.00 from another. The prosecutors with the District Attorney's Office in Queens County, NY, have standard plea bargains for first offenders that include entering a plea to the lesser crime of "disorderly conduct" under New York Penal Law section 240.20. The plea often comes with a supervision period in which the defendant must successfully complete a shoplifting prevention class or perform other requirements.

For first time offenders, many of the most serious consequences of the plea bargain flow not from the sentence announced by the judge, but from the collateral consequences that result after the desk appearance ticket, summons, arrest and prosecution. For professionals, including graduate and college students, healthcare professionals, nurses, teachers and educators and members of the military, the accusation can have serious consequences without the proper representation.

Contact Rochelle Berliner, an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Queens, NY. When you call you can discuss the facts of your case directly with Rochelle Berliner to design the best strategy based on the particular facts of your case. During every stage of the case, we fight to protect your good name after an accusation for petit larceny in Queens, NY, and the surrounding areas of New York City. Call for a free and honest assessment of your case.

New York Petit Larceny Information Center

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Petit Larceny and Shoplifting Charges under New York Law

Petit Larceny (often called shoplifting or petit theft) is considered a crime of dishonesty under the laws of New York. Petit larceny crimes typically prosecuted under Section 155.25 of New York Penal Law. A petit larceny charges is a Class A misdemeanor crime.

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Collateral Consequences of a Petit Larceny Conviction in Queens, NY

A conviction for petit larceny will require you to submit your fingerprint. Thereafter, you must disclose the petit larceny conviction every time you fill out a job application. Because petit larceny conviction will show show up in even the most basic background check, clearing your criminal record remains the most important goal. For these reasons, various programs have been developed by the criminal courts throughout New York City to resolve the case without an arrest for the first time offender in some cases.

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First Time Offender Charged with Petit Theft in Queens, NY

For many of the men and women we represent in petit larceny cases have no prior record. The police officers with the City of New York Police Department (NYPD) will issue a desk appearance ticket in many of these cases.

If the man or woman has a prior criminal record, or if any allegation of resisting the merchant is alleged, then a formal arrest may occur. For individuals subjected to a formal arrest, the individual will be handcuffed, put in the back of a police car, and driven to Queens Central Booking to "go through the process." Those who are arrested often sit in custody for up to 24 hours or more before being brought in front of a judge for arraignment on the petit larceny allegations.

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Petit Larceny Accusations at Department Stores throughout Queens County, NY<

Petit larceny accusations against women are common, particularly at local department stores. For many of the women we represent, they have never before been accused of any criminal offense. These women often have good jobs and never imagined they would be arrested for any criminal offense.

Petit larceny charges occur at local department stores throughout the area including Queens Center mall at Macy's, JCPenney, Ohrbach's, Abraham and Straus. Charges of petit larceny or shoplifting also occur at the Rego Park Center on Queens Boulevard in Sears, Marshalls, Kohl's, Beth Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, Forever 21 Department Store, and T.J. Maxx.

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Loss Prevention Employees in New York City Department Stores

The loss prevention employees at department stores throughout New York City are well trained in how to catch an offender. However, the loss prevention employees sometimes get it wrong. In some cases, a careless shopper will leave the store with an item that the shopper did not realize was still in her possession.

Even in highly questionable cases, the loss prevention employee at area department stores will often escort the the shopper into a back room for an "interrogation" before calling the police. In many of these cases a surveillance tape will show how the mistake occurred, however, the loss prevention employees will still try and pursue the person to sign certain documents. The department store will also obtain the name, address, and other contact information for the person accused of petit larceny so that the department store can follow up with a "civil demand" letter requesting payment to civil a potential civil lawsuit to collect damages.

These civil demand letters are sent even if the department store has no intention of actually pursuing a civil lawsuit against the person accused. Many people just pay the amount demanded. Many believe that the civil demand letters often motivate the loss prevention officers to make an accusation of petit larceny even in a questionable case. The loss prevention employees deal with every type of possible scenario from the careless shopper, the case of a first time shoplifter, the organized repeat criminal, to complex grand larceny schemes involving theft by employees.

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Other Types of Larceny Crimes under New York Law

Under New York's statutory scheme for larceny, the following types of offenses can be alleged:

  • Petit Larceny under New York Penal Law 155.25 (Class A Misdemeanor);
  • Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree under New York Penal Law 155.30 (Class E Felony)(in excess of $1,000);
  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree under New York Penal Law 155.35 (Class D Felony)(in excess of $3,000);
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree under New York Penal Law 155.40 (Class C Felony)(in excess of $50,000);
  • Grand Larceny in the First Degree under New York Penal Law 155.42 (Class B Felony)(in excess of $1,000,000); and
  • Grand Larceny of a Motor Vehicle in the Fourth Degree under New York Penal Law (Class E Felony)(any vehicle worth more than $100).

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Law Office | Queens Petit Larceny Arrest Lawyer

After an arrest, desk appearance ticket or summons issued by an law enforcement officer with the New York Police Department (NYPD) for alleged petit larceny, contact an experienced Queens criminal defense attorney with the Law Office. Rochelle Berliner represents men and women charged with theft crimes throughout the greater New York area including the five boroughs for Bronx County, Manhattan in New York County, Brooklyn in Kings County or Staten Island in Richmond County.

You can discuss the facts of your case with Rochelle Berliner to develop a strategy aimed at protecting you from the direct and indirect consequences of the criminal accusation. Call or submit an online form for a free and honest assessment of your case.