Penalties of a New York Theft Charge

The penalties for a New York theft charge can sometimes be quite severe. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the allegation, an individual can be facing hefty fines and multiple years of incarceration. However, such penalties can be challenged after utilizing a knowledgeable theft lawyer.

An experienced New York theft attorney can mount a strong defense to help lessen or dismiss any potential penalties an individual may be facing during a New York theft charge. No matter the severity of the charge, an individual should not hesitate before consulting with a seasoned lawyer.

Crime of Moral Turpitude

The crime of theft in New York can be considered a crime of moral turpitude. This is especially severe for individuals in the United States working with a work visa, a student visa, or whomever else is in the country lawfully as a naturalized citizen or green card holder. A theft arrest in New York can sometimes trigger revocation of the visa without a conviction. This does not mean that the situation cannot be rectified, but an individual may have to deal with this additional element.

If a person works in the financial sector and is convicted of a theft or fraud crime, there can be issues with FINRA and FDIC against professional licenses. For example, such a charge could be reported on a U4, and FINRA could prevent an individual from working further in the financial sector.


Criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree and petit larceny are both considered misdemeanors in New York City. For these charges, there can always be potential restitution.

Further, there is the possibility an individual will face community service, probation, fines and court costs, and up to a year in jail. It is important to recognize that a misdemeanor nor a felony is ever expunged in New York.


When an individual is charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, or grand larceny in the fourth degree, the crime is punishable as an E felony. This carries a penalty of between one and a third to four years in prison.

There is no mandatory minimum unless the person is a predicate felon, which is a felon that has been convicted in the past 10 years. For such a charge, prison is always a possibility, as well as community service, fines, and probation for five years.


Both third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and grand larceny in the third degree are class D felonies. The penalties for such a crime are between two and a third to seven years in prison.

The same elements apply in this charge as they do in the former two, including probation, community service, and fines. On top of that, if a person has a prior felony, there is a mandatory minimum of two to four years in prison.

It is important to recognize that that could be an out of state felony as well. If the same crime is also deemed a felony in New York, then an individual would be considered a predicate.


Grand larceny in the second degree is a class C Felony. The penalty for such a crime is between five and 15 years in prison. There is no mandatory minimum for this particular crime, but if the individual is a predicate, there is a three to six-year mandatory minimum.


The most significant theft charge in New York City is grand larceny in the first degree, which carries a penalty of between one to three years as a mandatory minimum, and between eight and a third to 25 years in prison.

If someone is a predicate, the mandatory minimum is between four and a half to nine years, building to a maximum of 12 and a half to 25 years.

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