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Theft Crimes Explained by New York Criminal Attorney


Petit or Grand Larceny

Theft crimeIn New York, theft offenses are prosecuted under statutes prohibiting larceny. There are different categories of larceny depending upon the value and type of items stolen as well as the methods used in the commission of the crime. Most offenses are prosecuted under New York law; however, theft is also illegal under federal law and you could sometimes face charges in federal court.

A NYC theft crimes lawyer at Bukh Law Firm, P.C. can provide you with legal representation when you have been accused of committing a theft offense. Call today to learn how a lawyer can help you.


Theft Laws in New York City

New York Penal Code Article 155 defines larceny offenses and imposes penalties for specific theft acts. Larceny or theft is defined to include:

  • Wrongfully taking, obtaining, or withholding property with the intent to appropriate it for yourself or a third party and/or with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the property’s value.
  • Using tricks, embezzlement, false pretenses, or trespassing to take items to deprive the owner of their value.
  • Acquiring property you know is lost, mislaid or misdelivered without taking reasonable steps to try to return the property to its owner.
  • Writing bad checks
  • Making express or implied false promises of future conduct in exchange for the property, knowing that the future conduct will never occur.
  • Taking property using extortion tactics.


Felony vs. Misdemeanor

There are five different degrees of larceny, with petit larceny the least serious crime and grand larceny in the first degree the most serious offense:


  • Petit larceny is a class A misdemeanor under Code Section 155.25.
  • Grand larceny in the fourth degree is a Class E felony.
  • Grand larceny in the third degree is a Class D felony.
  • Grand larceny in the second degree is a Class C felony under Code Section 155.40. This offense is charged if the value of the stolen property is valued at $50,000 or if the theft occurs by extortion involving threats of physical injury, property damage, or adverse action by a public official.
  • Grand larceny in the first degree is a Class B felony under Code Section 155.42 if the value of the items taken exceeds $1 million.


A New York City theft lawyer can help you to determine possible penalties associated with the charges that have been brought against you.

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Arkady Bukh has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in NYC


Federal Theft Crimes

18 U.S. Code Chapter 13 defines federal theft and embezzlement offenses. While a simple theft or shoplifting offense is not going to lead to federal charges, you could be tried in a federal court for:

  • Stealing from an employee benefit fund. (Code Section 664)
  • Stealing from employment and training funds (Code Section 665)
  • Theft or bribery related to programs that receive federal funds (Code Section 666)
  • Stealing livestock (Code Section 667)
  • Stealing major or important art (Code Section 668)
  • Theft related to health care (Code Section 669)
  • Stealing medical products (Code Section 670)


These are serious criminal offenses that could result in lengthy terms of imprisonment in a federal penitentiary.


How a Theft Lawyer Can Help with Your Defense

When you are accused of petty or grand larceny, there are certain defenses:

  • Lack of intent to appropriate property or deprive owner of its value.
  • Crime committed under duress due to fear of serious bodily injury or death.
  • Rightful claim of ownership to the allegedly stolen property.


A prosecutor has the burden of proving every element of the crime to secure your conviction. A New York City theft attorney can help introduce doubt into whether you actually violated state or federal laws.

Bukh Law Firm, P.C. has successfully represented many clients accused of petty theft, larceny and federal offenses.

Call today to schedule a nonobligatory consultation and learn more about your legal options.

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