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New York Penal Law 155.25: Petit Larceny

Is there a crime of shoplifting in New York? What is Petit Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and is it always associated with a shoplifting offense? Should I be concerned or retain a New York criminal lawyer if I was arrested for violating NY PL 155.25? What if I was given a Desk Appearance Ticket for New York Penal Law 155.25? What are the collateral consequences of a New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx) or suburban Petit Larceny arrest? Will this impact my career or status in the United States?

If you do not know the answers to these questions, and it is likely you do not, consulting with and retaining an experienced criminal attorney should be on the top of your list. It may be that failure to do so will seriously compromise your future.

Defining Petit Larceny: NY PL 155.25

There is no better way to break down the crime of Petit Larceny (often called "Petty Larceny") than by looking directly at the New York Penal Law. In simplest terms, if you steal property belonging to someone else, then you are guilty of this crime. An arrest or conviction for NY PL 155.25 need not involve shoplifting, but is commonly associated with this activity. In the context of a New York shoplifting arrest, if you leave Macys, Whole Foods, Bloomingdales, Duane Reade or any store without paying for the merchandise, then you will be charged with this crime. Even more concerning, you do not need to even leave the store to be charged. Many judges in New York have found that you are guilty of this crime in the shoplifting context if you possess or handle merchandise inconsistent with the rights of the owner. This can mean "concealing" property in a bag or walking past registers. While store security and prosecutors have an extremely liberal view of the law and legal decisions, you and your shoplifting lawyer may have a very different and compelling view of the same laws and statutes. Your interpretation, backed up with legal decisions, may be the basis of the defense you ultimately implement. Certainly, whether your defense is challenging the legality of the allegation or mitigating your conduct, establishing your defense tactic as early as possibly is often one of the better means to handle any case. Petit Larceny arrests that carry a potential sentence of up to one year in jail are no different.

Desk Appearance Tickets & NY PL 155.25

It is fairly common for those accused of Petit Larceny in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx to be given a New York City Desk Appearance Tickets for NY PL 155.25. It is important to note that Desk Appearance Tickets charge only one crime. However, upon appearing in court, prosecutors can charge many more crimes including Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree (NY PL 165.40). Remember, if you fail to appear in court on the date specified, a warrant will likely be ordered for your arrest whether you left the country, were at work or merely had no desire to appear.

Defenses to Petit Larceny & NY PL 155.25

As former Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys and criminal defense attorneys at New York City's Saland Law, our founding partners have run the gamut of criminal defenses for shoplifting and other Petit Larceny crimes. While some defenses may work more than others, there is no "one size fits all" defense or one defense that can guarantee a particular result. Remember, your legal grounds to challenge the search and recovery of merchandise from you by store security guards is limited as store security is not an arm of the government. That is not to say, however, you do not have legal or factual challenges to your arrest for allegedly stealing a friend’s guitar, cash from a business or a backpack from a car. Alternatively, it may be that mitigation is the proper approach or that a procedural defensive plan may work best. Whatever your defense may be, identify that defense and put it into motion.

However you decide to proceed, do so with knowledge and education. You have already been caught up in one allegation or accident. Do not compound the criminal situation you are facing. This website as well as our main website - CrottySaland.Com - and your two blogs - NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com and NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com - all have a tremendous amount of content for review. A search for “Petit Larceny,” “155.25” and other relevant terms will reveal in depth legal and practical analysis of court decisions and criminal statutes. These resources will give you the ability to have at least a basic understanding of the crimes you face. With this in hand, you should have the ability to better work with your criminal lawyer so he or she can put you in the best place to preserve your future and protect your rights. Not taking these steps to protect your future would be nothing less than criminal.

Call the New York Shoplifting Lawyers at Saland Law at 212.312.7129 or Contact Us Online to Start Your Criminal Defense Now

Client Reviews
From the moment I contacted Jeremy Saland he inspired trust and confidence. His honesty and extensive knowledge about the court process made me feel like I was in good hands. He helped make a stressful and difficult experience more manageable and tolerable by clearly informing me on the legal steps we had to take and knowing exactly what to expect for our day in court. Thank you for your professionalism and help Jeremy! I will be eternally grateful. Alexandra
I was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny. I was filmed on surveillance camera and the police was trying to find me for several days. Although I had to spend the night in prison/ tombs he was able to set me free the next morning without bail. A court date was set for August but he was able to negotiate with the DA and after only three weeks I had to appear before court, pay a restitution fine and was sentenced with an ACD for a period of 6 months. Alex
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