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Larceny Charges in Nassau County, NY

Larceny (often called “theft” or “stealing”) is generally defined as the wrongfully taking of property that belongs to another. Larceny does not include a theft by force, violence or fraud. Nevertheless, because any larceny charge is a “crime of dishonesty,” the consequences of the arrest and prosecution are serious. In fact, even a conviction for a misdemeanor charge of petit larceny for a first shoplifting conviction will show up in the most basic background check. A conviction or any crime of dishonesty comes with a lifetime of serious consequences.

If you were charged with larceny or any other type of theft charge in Long Island, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. We represent clients on a wide variety of charges from petit larceny to grand larceny in and around Mineola, Westbury, Glen Cove, Floral Park, and the surrounding areas of Nassau County. We also represent people in Suffolk County and all five boroughs of New York City.

Let us help you fight for the absolute best result in your case. Call today for a free evaluation. Find out how the District Attorney's Office in Nassau County treats these types of cases and the most effective defenses. We help our clients at all stages of the case. Attorney Stephanie Selloni can begin your defense today.


Nassau County Larceny Charges Information Center


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Types of Larceny and Theft Charges

Different types of larceny or theft charges exist under the laws of the State of New York. Any larceny charge, even misdemeanor petit larceny, is considered a crime of dishonesty with serious indirect consequences that last a lifetime. Larceny and theft charges can include:

  • Petit Larceny / Shoplifting (often called "retail theft");
  • Grand Larceny;
  • Theft of Services;
  • Possession of Burglar's Tools;
  • Possession of Stolen Property; and
  • Unauthorized Use of Vehicle.

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Definition of Larceny in New York

Larceny charges are governed by Article 155 of New York Penal Law, in Section 155.25 through 155.45. The term is defined in Article 155, Section 155.05 as an “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 an owner thereof.”

Larceny can be committed in any of the following ways:

  • common law larceny by trick - obtains property from an owner when that person engages in some trick, fraudulent device, or artifice, and thereby obtains possession of the property, and exercises possession over that property for a period of time, however temporary, in a manner inconsistent with the continued rights of the owner;
  • larceny by embezzlement - obtaining property from an owner when, having been entrusted to hold such property on behalf of the owner, such person thereafter, without the permission or authority of the owner, intentionally exercises control over it in a manner inconsistent with the continued rights of the owner, knowing that he has no permission or authority to do so; 
  • obtaining property by false pretenses - obtains property from an owner when that person makes a false representation of a past or existing fact while aware that such representation is false, and obtains possession and title to the property as a result of the owner's reliance upon such representation;
  • by acquiring lost property - obtains property from an owner by acquiring lost property when he or she exercises control over property of another which he or she knows to have been lost without taking reasonable measures to return such property to the owner;
  • issuing a bad check - obtains property from an owner thereof when he or she commits the crime of issuing a bad check; or 
  • by false promise pursuant to a scheme to defraud - obtains property when, pursuant to a scheme to defraud, he obtains property of another by means of a representation, express or implied, that he or she 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.

Related offenses under New York law can include identity theft and credit card fraud.


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Determining the Value of Stolen Property in Larceny Cases

Under Penal Law Section 155.20, the value of property is usually measured by the fair market value at the time and place that the crime was committed. If the fair market value cannot be determined, then the replacement cost of the property can be used to determine the value of the property. In identity theft cases, the value of the property taken is more difficult to determine. 

When it is alleged that the theft was of intangible property, determining the value of the property is often a central issue in the case. The value of the property is important because the statutory scheme bases the charges, penalties and punishments according to the value of the property taken.


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Petit Larceny - Class A Misdemeanor

By far the most common theft crimes charged in the State of New York is Petit Larceny (often called “retail theft” or “shoplifting”) under Section 155.25.  Petit theft is a class A misdemeanor. Petit larceny is one of the few crimes in New York that women are charged more than men. It is also a crime committed by individuals from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

"Asportation” is an essential element of petit larceny. Until the suspected shoplifter has actually taken the property out of the store it cannot be established beyond reasonable doubt that defendant has committed the offense of petit theft, or even attempted petit theft. See People v. Parrett, 90 Misc.2d 541, 394 N.Y.S.2d 809 (1977). In many cases, the loss prevention officer at a retail establishment will apprehend a suspect before the individual has even left the store or passed the last point of sale.


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Grand Larceny 

When it is alleged that the value of the property is $1,000 or greater, then the offense can be charged as grand larceny. Grand larceny is a felony that comes with the possibility of harsher penalties and punishments. Many of these cases hinge on determining the value of the property. In some cases, the prosecutor will attempt to group the value of items taken at different types into a total amount so that a more serious charge can be filed. Accusations of Grand Larceny are common in the workforce but can occur in a variety of settings.

Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree

Class E Felony under Section 155.30 for Grand larceny in the fourth degree - If the value of the item is between $1,000 to $3,000.

Grand Larceny in the Third Degree

Class D Felony under Section 155.35 for Grand larceny in the third degree - If the value of the item is between $3,000 to $50,000.

Grand Larceny in the Second Degree

Class C Felony under Section 155.40 for Grand larceny in the second degree - If the value of the item is more than $50,000 but less than 1 million.

Grand Larceny in the First Degree

Class B Felony under Section 155.42 for Grand larceny in the first degree - If the value of the property is more than 1 million dollars.


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Additional Theft Resources

Larceny / Theft Crimes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report - the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines larceny-theft as the unlawful taking away of property from the possession of another. Examples of larceny include stealing bicycles, automobiles, purse-snatching and shoplifting. The definition of larceny does include attempted larceny but does not include crimes involving takings by force, violence or fraud. The crime statistics show that in 2010 there were more than 6,000,000 larceny / theft crimes in the United States which was 68.1 percent of the property crimes in the country. The number of reported theft cases dropped 2.4 percent from the year before.


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Finding an Attorney for Larceny in Nassau County

If you were charged with larceny, either petit or grand, then contact a criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. At Law Office of Stephanie Selloni we are experienced in fighting these types of property crimes. These cases require an aggressive defense to fight for the best result possible. We provide free, confidential consultations to discuss the fact of the case and possible defenses. Call today for any larceny or shoplifting case in Nassau County, Garden City, Mineola, Westbury, or anywhere else in Long Island.