Grand Larceny From the Person
When a theft in New York is perpetrated by stealing property from the person of another, a/k/a pickpocketing, regardless of the value of that property, the theft is a felony crime every time. Pursuant to New York Penal Law 155.30(5), the "Pickpocket Statute," you are guilty of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree when you steal property from somebody else and that property, again, regardless of what it is or its value, is taken from their person – pocket, hand, etc. A class "E" felony, this offense is punishable by up to four years in state prison whether it is a wallet with $100 in Westchester County or a purse with multiple credit cards in Manhattan. While a first-time offender convicted for any theory of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree does not face mandatory incarceration, even if there is often different treatment of this crime depending on the county where the case is prosecuted, it is of critical import that you discuss with your criminal defense lawyer the consequences of any felony conviction, the permanency of such a criminal conviction and the collateral consequences even if your sentence involves not time in jail, but a fine, community service or probation.
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It is extremely important to note that you do not have to use any force, threaten violence or even take the property from another's grasp for a judge or jury to find your guilty of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree pursuant to NY PL 155.30(5). In fact, legal decisions addressing section 155.30(5) of the New York Penal Law have been very favorable for complainants, not the accused, in this regard irrespective of whether an arrest is in one of NYC’s boroughs or a neighboring municipality in the Hudson Valley. For example, Grand Larceny from the person is likely committed where a person is sitting on a strap of a purse and a defendant steals that purse by gently sliding the strap away from underneath the owner. In other words, you may be charged with this crime of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree as long as there was some contact to another's person even if he or she was not aware that you were stealing the property at the time it was stolen.
What differentiates Third Degree Robbery, New York Penal Law 160.05, from Grand Larceny from the Person, is not merely the fact that the former offense is a class “D” felony. What should be overwhelming clear is that the pertinent element that elevates the crime is the use of force, or the threatened use of force, to take or retain the property. This could be as simple as a threat of physical violence, the swing of a fist, or even knocking the other party to the ground. In the event your alleged conduct straddles the line between these two sets of crimes, your criminal defense lawyer must examine the evidence and allegations to best prevent the prosecution from pursuing a potentially violent crime that will increase your criminal exposure significantly to Third, Second or even First Degree Robbery.
Don’t be foolish and maintain a cavalier attitude about a felony arrest involving Grand Larceny or accept the reality that your future will be one of great regret. To review additional information on Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law section 155.30(5), as well as other degrees and types of Grand Larceny, please review the Theft Offense section of our blog, the Grand Larceny section of this website, and Saland Law’s other website dedicated to all theft and larceny offenses, NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyers.Com.
When there is no substitute for experience, knowledge and advocacy, contact the New York criminal defense attorneys and former New York County Assistant District Attorneys to protect you today and implement your best defense to keep your future intact tomorrow.
Call the Grand Larceny criminal lawyers and former NYC prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.