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First Degree Grand Larceny: NY Penal Law 155.42

In terms of theft and larceny crimes handled by White Collar criminal lawyers, there is no larceny more serious, stealing more significant, nor unlawful taking so grave, than Grand Larceny in the First Degree, New York Penal Law 155.42. Arguably, other than violent felonies and weight-based drug offenses, NY Penal Law 155.42 is an apex crime. Whether the NYPD in NYC, State Police or County Police arrest you for any one of the Empire State’s four Grand Larceny offenses or a local District Attorney secures an indictment for the same, when First Degree Grand Larceny finds its way on an indictment or complaint the message should be overwhelmingly clear. Your entire future is on the precipice. Be responsible, thorough and prepared. Only with the best legal counsel and advocate can you avoid what is otherwise mandatory incarceration upon conviction and the obliteration of life as you currently know it.

Definition and Elements

Like the lesser degrees that make up the felony thefts in Article 155 of the Penal Law, the First Degree offense is equally straightforward. If you appropriate property to yourself or another, aka, steal it, and the property you deprive from the rightful possessor or owner is valued north of $1 million, then it is likely your conduct falls squarely within the confines of this statute. While it is certainly possible to steal a piece of artwork, an ancient artifact, high end jewelry or some other expensive property, defendants accused of this crime often are alleged to be involved in embezzling from an employer, cheating the government or taking advantage of a relationship with a client. As such, it is not atypical to see other accusations as part of an arrest including Enterprise Corruption, Criminal Tax Fraud, Money Laundering, and other offenses.

Punishment and Penalties

Whether a judge sentences you to a term of imprisonment for one of the lesser degree crimes as a first-time offender is completely up to the judge’s discretion. For the First Degree offense, however, a post-trial conviction or a voluntary plea of guilty both expose you to compulsory incarceration. Yes, you could have the most amazing references, committed your violations of the law because you had sick family members, and have the sympathy of prosecutors and judges alike, but none of that will prevent the NYS Department of Corrections from taking custody of your person for a minimum of one (1) to three (3) years and a maximum of eight and one third (8.33) to twenty-five (25) years in prison. No, probation is not an option. Nor is a conditional discharge or community service. Simply, the law mandates that you be sent “upstate.”

Example and Hypothetical

Whether you are allegedly involved in a large-scale construction type scheme fabricating transactions and preparing invoices for work never conducted, you fail to remit taxes you are required to collect before providing it to the state, or over the course of months or years you access a person’s bank account or HELOC and transfer funds without permission, you have committed some form of Grand Larceny. Assuming the value of your theft exceeds $1 million, no matter if its money or a sculpture housed in a museum, there is no doubt that even if you face charges for Enterprise Corruption, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Forgery and Falsifying Business Records, the biggest weight on your shoulders will be shared with this crime.

Your Case, Your Defense, Your Future

It is difficult, if not impossible, to sugarcoat an arrest, indictment or conviction for PL 155.42. Then again, if you want your counsel to merely give you answers and set expectations to make you feel good, then don’t waste your money on an attorney. If, however, you are concerned and serious about your future, liberty and name, take a step back, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the District Attorney’s case, and complete your due diligence. When you do so, and arm yourself with the best criminal defense attorney, only then can you reasonably ensure you secure the right evidence and articulate the best arguments to protect yourself with a plea to a lesser degree crime, departure from mandatory incarceration, or resolution allowing for complete exoneration.

Remember, the indirect consequences you will face at the time of your arrest to well after your case is closed are potentially life shattering. Loss of your ability to practice medicine, maintain your good standing with a state’s bar association, and keep your certifications and licenses necessary for your career are all real ramifications. Similarly, as a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude, should hold a visa or possess a green card, your current and future legal status will unquestionably be jeopardized.

There is not time to waste, but do not react to an accusation or arrest irresponsibly. Arm yourself with education and the right legal counsel prepared to take the fight to the District Attorney. When your options are limited and your exposure great, contact the criminal defense team and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law. Only then can experience, knowledge and advocacy be your fiercest weapon and strongest defense.

Call Our New York Theft and Larceny Defense Lawyers and Former Manhattan Prosecutor at (212) 312-7129 or Contact Us Online Today.

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