New York Penal Law § 155.25 – Petit Larceny
Petit Larceny is one of the New York theft crimes that generally prohibits the taking of another’s property without permission. There are several larceny offenses, which range in seriousness, typically based on the value of the goods allegedly stolen. Petit Larceny applies generally to cases in which someone is alleged to have stolen property of any value. However, in practice, prosecutors typically only pursue petit larceny charges when the value of goods is less than $1,000, as anything over $1,000 in value is considered grand larceny. Petit larceny is a Class A misdemeanor.The Elements of Petit Larceny
Before a judge or jury can convict anyone of Petit Larceny, the government must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements of Petit Larceny are:
- The defendant wrongfully took, obtained or withheld property from the rightful owner;
- The defendant did so with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of their interest in the property.
In this context, the intent to permanently deprive the owner applies to all situations in which the defendant plans not to return the property, regardless of whether they plan to keep it, sell it, or give it away to another third party.Examples of Petit Larceny
There are nearly countless examples of Petit Larceny, some of which include:
- A defendant takes a potted plant, valued at $50, from his neighbor’s porch without permission, intending to place it in his backyard.
- A defendant surreptitiously reaches into another’s coat while at a bar to steal the person’s cell phone.
- A defendant intentionally walks out of a grocery store without paying for an item (i.e., shoplifting).
- A defendant refuses to return a bicycle that was lent to them by a friend, stating they are keeping it because the friend owes them money.
Often, prosecutors bring Petit Larceny charges along with one or more of the following:
- Theft of Services – NY Penal Law § 165.15
- Jostling – NY Penal Law § 165.25
- Fraudulent Accosting – NY Penal Law § 165.30
- Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree – NY Penal Law § 155.30
- Grand Larceny in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 155.35
- Grand Larceny in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 155.40
- Grand Larceny in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 155.42
- Misapplication of Property – NY Penal Law § 165.00
- Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 165.05
- Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 165.06
- Robbery in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 160.05
- Robbery in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 160.10
There are several defenses to Petit Larceny that can either reduce your sentencing exposure or result in the prosecution withdrawing the case against you or the jury returning a “not guilty” verdict. The most common defenses include the following:
- You did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of the property;
- You took another’s property by mistake;
- Mis-identification; and
- You had the owner’s permission to keep the property.
Petit Larceny is a Class A misdemeanor. In New York, Class A misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.Are You Facing New York Larceny Charges?
If you were recently arrested and charged with Petit Larceny or Grand Larceny, it is important that you understand the charges against you and the defenses you may have available to you. At the New York criminal defense law firm of Tilem & Associates, P.C., our team of lawyers has decades of combined experience securing favorable results on behalf of good people who find themselves in bad situations. We are immediately available to meet with you to get started working on a compelling defense to the charges you face. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.