If you have been charged with shoplifting in Queens you are not alone. Shoplifting is one of the most commonly charged criminal offenses in Queens. Although it may seem like a minor crime and, therefore, nothing to worry overmuch about, shoplifting is considered a crime of dishonesty. As such, it could be an obstacle to employment down the road or even to qualifying for a professional license. Working with an experienced Queens criminal defense attorney is the best way to avoid a conviction for shoplifting. In the meantime, it may be beneficial to understand how shoplifting is charged in Queens and the potential penalties should you be convicted.
In New York, shoplifting is charged as larceny. New York law defines larceny as:
"A person steals property and commits larceny when, with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or to a third person, he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property from an owner thereof."
Larceny can be charged as petit larceny or grand larceny, depending on the value of the item involved. If the value of the item is less than $1,000, shoplifting is charged as petit larceny and carries a possible penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Anytime the value of the property involved is more than $1,000 it is charged as grand larceny. For property valued at more than $1,000 but less than $3,000 the crime is charged as grand larceny in the fourth degree, an E felony. Penalties include up to four years in prison and a fine not to exceed the greater of $5,000 or double what you gained from taking the property. If you shoplift something valued at more than $3,000 but less than $50,000 you will be charged with grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony and face a term of imprisonment not to exceed seven years and a fine not to exceed the greater of $5,000 or double what you gained from taking the property.
Grand larceny in the second degree, charged as a C felony, applies when the value of the property is more than $50,000 but less than $ 1 million and can be punished by up to 15 years in prison and a fine not to exceed the greater of $5,000 or double what you gained from taking the property. Finally, grand larceny in the first degree involves shoplifting property valued at over $1 million and is charged as a class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a fine not to exceed the greater of $5,000 or double what you gained from taking the property
If you have been charged with shoplifting in Queens or anywhere in New York, >contact the Queens criminal defense attorneys at SIMON & GILMAN, LLP.