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New York theft and shoplifting laws 2022

New York State theft laws

The New York state theft laws are defined by the penal code which classifies theft crimes according their nature and value of property taken.

The New York State penal code classifies theft under six categories:

1.       Petit larceny
2.       Grand larceny in the fourth degree.
3.       Grand larceny in the third degree.
4.       Grand larceny in the second degree.
5.       Grand larceny in the first degree.
6.       Aggravated Grand larceny

Meaning of Larceny NYC

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 the rightful owner. Larceny includes a wrongful taking, obtaining or withholding of another’s property committed in any of the following ways:

1. By trespassory taking, trickery, embezzlement, or obtaining property by false pretenses

2. 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;

3. By committing the crime of issuing a bad check

4. 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.

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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. It must be established that the defendant made the promise with the malicious intent of getting victim to part away with their property and intended not to fulfill the promise from the onset.

5. 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.

Allowable defense against theft by trespassing and embezzlement in New York State

The are certain circumstances under which a defense for theft can be deemed acceptable by law. They are:

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.

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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.

New York State $1000 theft law

Also known also as Petit larceny, a person is guilty of petit larceny when he/she steals property with a value not exceeding $1000. Petit larceny is classified as misdemeanor of the class A. The offense can end one in jail for up to one year and a $1,000 fine.

New York shoplifting laws 2021

Shoplifting in the State of New York is classified as a Larceny and depending on the value of the stolen items, could qualify as:

  • petit larceny, a misdemeanor when the value of the items does not exceed $1000 or
  • a felonious grand theft when the items exceed $1000 in value.

Grand Larceny NYC

There are four degrees of grand larceny in New York City, that are classified according to severity. Grand larceny is a felony offense and the punishment increases according to the degree of the charge. The various degrees are explained below.

4th Degree Grand larceny of New York State Theft laws

A person is guilty of grand theft/larceny in the fourth degree when they steal property and when:
1. The value of the property exceeds one thousand dollars
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
3. The property consists of secret scientific material
4. The property consists of a credit card or debit card
5. The property, regardless of its nature and value, is obtained by
extortion
6. The property consists of one or more firearms, rifles or shotguns, as such terms are defined in section 265.00 of this chapter
7. The value of the property exceeds $1000 and the property consists of a motor vehicle
8. The property is a religious symbol

Grand larceny NYC jail time (4th degree)

Grand theft/larceny is a class E felony offense. If found guilty, a person could face imprisonment of up to 4 years and a fine of up to $5000 or an amount that’s twice the gain from the crime.

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3rd Degree Grand Larceny of New York State Theft laws

A person is guilty of grand larceny in the third degree as according to the New York Theft laws when he or she steals property and:
1. when the value of the property exceeds $3,000
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 carrying a prison term of up to 7 years and a fine.

2nd degree Grand larceny

A person is guilty of grand larceny in the second degree when he/she steals property and when:
1. The value of the property exceeds $50,000
2. The property, regardless of its nature and value, is obtained by
extortion

Grand larceny in the second degree is a class C felony. If found guilty, one faces up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine.

1st degree Grand larceny

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 ($1,000,000). Grand larceny in the first degree is a class B felony carrying a sentence of up to 25 years imprisonment and a fine..

New York theft laws FAQs

What is considered grand larceny NYC?

A theft is considered grand theft in New York when the items taken exceed $1000 in value. There are four degrees of grand theft in New York which are classified by the value of the items involved and other factors.
  • fourth degree – stolen items value exceed $1000
  • third degree grand theft – Value exceeds $3000
  • second degree grand theft – Value exceeds $50,000
  • first degree grand theft – Value exceeds $1,000,000

Is it legal to steal in New York?

No, Stealing in New York is an offense that carries a sentence of up to 25years in prison and fines depending on the severity of theft committed.

How much do you have to steal for it to be a felony in NY?

Stealing of items of value exceeding $1000 is considered a felony for grand larceny a crime punishable by up to 25 years of prison time and fines.

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