What is Grand Larceny?

by | Oct 11, 2023 | Theft Crimes

Grand larceny is a crime that is defined as the unlawful taking of another person’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. This crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the property stolen. In New York, there are four degrees of grand larceny, each carrying different penalties.

Felony Larceny Hypotheticals

Some short scenarios and examples might help you visualize how you might break the law in different ways. Again, assuming that you did not have the legal authority to act in this manner but that you were acting freely:

  • At a bar, you take a credit card from a purse.
  • You rack up a corporate credit card with multiple unauthorized transactions of more than $1,000.
  • You blackmail an ex-girlfriend by threatening to release compromising and naked photographs she sent you to her employer if she does not pay you a certain amount of money.
  • Embezzling money from your employer’s business account isn’t easy, but it is simple. You take out $125,000 by rerouting checks or funds from your company’s corporate account to your personal account.
  • A $1,000 painting is taken out of a hotel or restaurant up north.

With so many elements raising the degree of the charge or conviction you might receive, it’s crucial that you research the components and possible defenses thoroughly if you’re accused of or charged with any Theft offense or Grand Larceny crime.

Degrees and Penalties of Grand Larceny

First Degree

Grand larceny in the first degree is the most serious charge and is a class B felony. A person can be charged with grand larceny in the first degree if they unlawfully take property worth more than $1 million. The maximum sentence for this crime is 25 years in prison.

Second Degree

Grand larceny in the second degree is charged when the value of the property stolen is more than $100,000 but less than $1 million. This is a class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Third Degree

Grand larceny in the third degree is charged when the value of the property stolen is more than $10,000 but less than $100,000. This is a class D felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison.

Fourth Degree

Grand larceny in the fourth degree is the least serious charge and is a class E felony. A person can be charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree if they unlawfully take property worth more than $1,000 or more but less than $3,000. The maximum sentence for this crime is four years in prison.

What Are Some Possible Defenses to Grand Larceny Charges?

The penalties for grand larceny can be enhanced if the property stolen is a firearm or if the defendant has been previously convicted of grand larceny.

There are a number of defenses that can be raised in response to grand larceny charges. Some of the most common include:

  • The property was taken with the owner’s consent
  • The defendant did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of the property
  • The defendant had a good faith belief that they were entitled to the property
  • The property was stolen by someone else and the defendant was not aware that it was stolen

An experienced grand larceny lawyer will be familiar with these and other possible defenses to grand larceny charges and will work with you to develop the best defense for your particular case.

Grand Larceny is a serious offense in New York, carrying the potential for significant jail time. If you have been charged with grand larceny, it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to review the facts of your case and advise you on the best course of action to take.

Contact a New York Grand Larceny Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with grand larceny or any other theft charge it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can review the facts of your case and help you build the strongest defense possible. At the Law Office of Richard Hochhauser, we’ve helped hundreds of clients fight to have their theft charges dismissed or reduced in New York. We will work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today at (516) 939-1529 to schedule a free consultation by filling out an online form.

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