If you’re facing a theft crime charge in New York, you could face severe criminal penalties. If you are convincted or accused of a theft crime, you might be wondering what punishments you’ll face. The severity of the defendant’s sentence depends on the severity of the crime as well as the defendant’s criminal history. For example, the penalty for shoplifting is less severe than the punishments for robbery and grand larceny. Similar to how a first-time offender will likely face less severe punishment than a repeat offender. If you are in need of theft defense because you have been accused or arrested, the best course of action is to contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.
Our Theft Defense Attorneys Can Help
Since being convicted of a theft crime can have serious consequences, it is vitally important that you seek out and retain a skilled New York theft crime attorney if you’re facing charges. The criminal defense attorneys at CDH Law PLLC have helped many clients fight theft crime charges. Under New York law, theft crimes include:
- Auto theft
- Identify theft
- Credit card theft
- Petit and grand larceny
Our criminal defense attorneys understand how stressful facing a criminal charge can be, which is why time is of the essence. The sooner you contact our attorneys, the sooner you will be able to set up a consultation to discuss the details of your case and how to move forward with a viable defense. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys fight hard to defend our clients against theft charges. When preparing for trial, the attorneys at CDH Law PLLC conduct a thorough investigation. We will collect video surveillance, police records, witness statements, and police reports offer valuable evidence for your theft defense. We seek out any evidence that demonstrates our client’s innocence and use it to our client’s advantage.
Common Theft Charges
The crime of burglary is a felony offense in New York with potentially severe consequences. New York penal law defines the crime of burglary as knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in a building when the defendant has the intent to commit a crime. New York divides burglary charges into three different degrees, the consequences of which vary in severity. The prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant’s actions met all of the elements of the burglary charge to obtain a conviction.
Third-degree burglary is the least severe burglary charge. Defendants convicted of third-degree burglary face less severe charges than those convicted of second or first-degree burglary. A defendant commits third-degree burglary when he or she enters or remains in a building unlawfully and has the intent to commit a crime within the building.
If a defendant commits a third-degree burglary, the prosecutor may raise the charge to second-degree burglary. One or more of the following elements must have also taken place to convict a defendant of second-degree burglary:
- The building the defendant entered was a dwelling or house
- The defendant had a weapon in his or her possession during the burglary
- The defendant caused an innocent person to suffer an injury
- The defendant showed what appeared to be a firearm
- The defendant threatened another person with a dangerous instrument
First-degree burglary in New York has the most severe consequences. First-degree burglary occurs when all of the following elements happen:
- The defendant enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling place or house
- The defendant must also cause physical injury to another innocent person, be armed with a firearm while in the dwelling or threaten someone else with the use of a dangerous instrument
The crime of robbery is also a felony in the state of New York. Robbery is the forcible stealing another person’s property. New York categorizes robbery into three different degrees based on severity.
Third-degree robbery happens when the defendant steals something through the use of physical force or the threat of physical force. Third-degree robbery is a class D non-violent felony. First-time felony defendants who are convicted of third-degree robbery face a maximum prison conviction of 2 ⅓ to 7 years in prison. When someone commits a third-degree robbery, they either use or threaten to use violent force. The term “nonviolent felony” refers to the sentencing guidelines, only not to the actual act of burglary.
New York law considers second-degree robbery as a class C violent felony. Second-degree robbery happens when a defendant steals something through the use of physical force or threat of force, and one of the following situations occur:
- The defendant used a gun
- The defendant took a car
- The victim suffered a bodily injury
- Another person or people helped the defendant commit the robbery
Defendants convicted of second-degree robbery face a maximum 15-year prison sentence. If the defendant has no prior convictions, the judge must sentence him or her to at least 3.5 years in prison.
Robbery in the first-degree is a severe crime. The typical maximum prison sentence is 25 years.
A person commits the first-degree robbery when he forcibly steals someone’s property and when one of the following elements happens during or immediately after the crime:
The defendant caused serious physical injury to another person who is not involved in the crime
The defendant possessed a deadly weapon at the time of the robbery
The defendant used a dangerous instrument or threatened another person with the immediate use of a dangerous instrument
The defendant appeared what appeared to be a rifle, shotgun, pistol or any other firearm capable of producing serious injury or death
Petit & Grand Larceny Charges
New York state defines larceny as the unlawful taking of another person’s property without their permission. Petit larceny refers to taking someone’s property valued at $1,000 or less without their consent. In New York, petit larceny is a Class A Misdemeanor. Defendants convicted of petit larceny may spend up to 364 days in jail.
When someone commits grand larceny, he or she takes another person’s property valued at least $1,000. Grand larceny can also include stealing someone’s debit or credit card, taking something off of their physical person, or taking a motor vehicle worth more than $100 without permission.
Contact Our Syracuse and Central New York Criminal Defense Attorney
Our trained trial lawyers know how to skillfully represent our clients in pre-trial negotiations, throughout the trial, and after the trial when appeals become necessary. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.