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Manhattan Theft Defense Lawyer

Long Island Robbery Larceny Theft Defense Lawyer

Defense Attorney for Larceny, Burglary, and Robbery in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens

Stealing seems like a simple enough crime: you took something that did not belong to you. But under New York law, theft crimes are not defined by simple names like shoplifting, but rather by the terms grand larceny and petit larceny. The NYPD makes over 100,000 arrests for theft crimes every year.

Larceny charges are often coupled with charges of burglary, robbery, and/or assault. Burglary simply means entering or remaining unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime; this includes break-ins as well as sneaking into a place you are not authorized to be. Robbery means using or threatening physical force against a person in order to steal their belongings, as in a mugging.

If you or a family member has been charged with a theft crime, contact the defense team of Watford Jackson, PLLC. Attorneys Joey Jackson and Gregory J. Watford have over 45 years of combined experience in criminal defense law in New York City.

We have the deep knowledge of New York theft-related laws that you need and the steely backbone that you want in a defense lawyer. You can count on us to ferociously defend you every step of the way and to prepare a well-thought-out legal strategy for your case.

Definition of Larceny under New York Law

Larceny is defined as the wrongful taking or withholding of another person's property in any of the following ways:

  • By carrying away property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it.
  • By trickery, lie, false promise, embezzlement, or issuing a bad check.
  • By keeping lost or misdelivered property without taking reasonable measures to return it to the owner.
  • By extortion, that is, making a person give up property by threatening to cause physical injury, damage other property, expose a secret, accuse the victim of a crime, or perform any other act that would be harmful to the victim.

Degrees of Larceny in New York

New York state law (NYPL section 155) breaks the crime of larceny into multiple degrees of severity based on the value of the property that was taken. Watford Jackson can defend you against:

  • Petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor, is theft of property valued at less than $1,000 and not included in the definition of grand larceny. Shoplifting or theft by a retail store employee is commonly charged as petit larceny.
  • Grand larceny in the fourth degree, a class E felony, includes the following offenses:
    • Theft of property valued at over $1,000.
    • Theft of any of these specific items: a car or truck, credit or debit card, gun, religious worship item, a device to be used to unlawfully obtain telephone service, or ammonia intended for the use of manufacturing methamphetamine.
    • Theft directly from the body of a person, such as pickpocketing, purse snatching, mugging, or robbery.
    • Theft by extortion.
  • Grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony, involves property valued at over $3,000 or theft involving an automated teller machine.
  • Grand larceny in the second degree, a class B felony, involves property valued at over $50,000 or theft by extortion specifically involving the threat of physical injury, property damage, or abuse of position by a public servant.
  • Grand larceny in the first degree, a class B felony, involves property valued at over $1 million.

New York Laws on Robbery

Under New York law (NYPL 160), when property is taken from another person by physical force or the threat of force, the offender can be charged with larceny plus one of these forms of robbery:

  • Robbery in the third degree, a class D felony, occurs when a robber uses any type of force or threat of force to steal property but does not injure the victim.
  • Robbery in the second degree, a class C felony, occurs when a robber is aided by another person, steals a motor vehicle, displays what appears to be a gun (but it is not loaded or operational), or causes physical injury to a victim.
  • Robbery in the first degree, a class B felony, occurs when a robber displays what appears to be a gun, is armed with a deadly weapon, uses or threatens the use of a dangerous instrument, or causes serious physical injury to a victim.

The Crime of Burglary in New York

When property is stolen from a building, New York law (NYPL 140) states that the thief can be charged with larceny plus one of these forms of burglary:

  • Burglary in the third degree, a class D felony, occurs when a person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a crime.
  • Burglary in the second degree, a class C felony, occurs when the burgled building is a dwelling (someone's home) or when the burgled building is not a dwelling and one of the burglars is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon, uses or threatens the use of a dangerous instrument, displays what appears to be a gun but it is not loaded or operational, or causes physical injury to a victim.
  • Burglary in the first degree, a class B felony, occurs when the burgled building is a dwelling and one of the burglars is armed with explosives or a deadly weapon, uses or threatens the use of a dangerous instrument, displays what appears to be a gun, or causes physical injury to a victim.

Other Theft Crimes

Watford Jackson can also defend you on theft charges other than larceny, such as:

  • Criminal possession of stolen property.
  • Welfare fraud, including criminal possession/use of a public benefit card.
  • Unauthorized use of a vehicle, as when a car is taken temporarily for joy riding or use in commission of a crime.
  • Auto parts stripping.
  • Theft of services.
  • Trademark counterfeiting, such as selling a purported luxury-brand item that is actually a fake.

Theft Defense Lawyer in NYC

If you are facing larceny, robbery, burglary, or other theft-related charges, contact the law firm of Watford Jackson at 855-WAT-JACK or 855-928-5225. We serve clients in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens and in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties.

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101 Avenue of the Americas, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10013

Call Us855-928-5225

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