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Grand Larceny of Credit Cards and Debit Cards

Unlike sections of New York's Grand Larceny statute that deal with theft based on the value of the property stolen, one of the common forms of Grand Larceny prosecuted in New York Courts from Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens to the surrounding suburbs in Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess and Putnam counties, is Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 155.30(4). Despite this theory of Grand Larceny being statutorily unique from other sections of the same criminal offense, the potential sentence and penalty if you are convicted is the same in that your exposure is no different than if you stole cash, a ring, or clothing valued in excess of $1,000.00 but no greater than $3,000.00.

While you should unquestionably consult and examine your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand how the statute is practically enforced, you are guilty of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, according to New York Penal Law 155.30(4), when you steal a credit card or debit card. This offense is punishable by up to four years in state prison but is not mandatory. Even if you are unable to secure a dismissal or reduction of the charges, you and your Grand Larceny defense lawyer can execute the best defense to mitigate your conduct and avoid incarceration. Keep in mind that like many theft crimes, if the District Attorney is unable to prove that you unlawfully stole the debit card or credit card, they may still prosecute your for knowingly possessing the stolen property. This crime, also a felony, is Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, New York Penal Law 165.45(2).

Intent v. Knowledge of a Credit Card: Understanding PL 155.30(4)

If you are arrested for a Grand Larceny offense that is premised on the theft of a debit card or credit card it is important to understand that the law does not mandate that you knew you stole a debit or credit card. Instead, prosecutors need only establish that you were intentionally stealing someone else's property and whatever you stole either was in fact or contained a credit or debit card. In other words, if you steal a purse that is worth $30 and it was your intent to do so, but it turns out that there is an American Express card in that purse, then the NYPD or other local police department can also charge you with the felony of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree. In fact, each debit card or credit card is considered a separate offense and you need not use any of those cards in any capacity to find yourself prosecuted for this crime. Making matters more difficult for you should law enforcement charge you with one or more counts of PL 155.30(4), it is irrelevant if the credit card, or cards is no longer active.

Despite the seemingly "strict liability" standard imposed by statute, certain defenses may be available to you whether the defense is one based in mitigation of your conduct, the legality of the police search of your person or the prosecution’s inability to prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are charged with New York Penal Law 155.30(4) you have one trajectory to follow if you want to minimize your exposure or walk away unscathed from your arrest. That is, consult with the New York criminal defense attorney to best preserve and implement your strongest potential defense.

For further information on larcenies involving debit cards and credits cards in New York, please refer to the Saland Law’s easily readable and simplified materials on New York Penal Law 155.30(4) and 165.45(2).

The New York criminal defense attorneys and credit card theft lawyers at Saland Law represent clients throughout the New York City region and Hudson Valley When you need a legal advocate to institute your strongest defense, there is no substitute for the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law who will utilize their experience and knowledge to protect you today and wherever your tomorrow may lead you.

Call the Grand Larceny criminal lawyers and former NYC prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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