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Theft by Pickpocket & Larceny from a Person

NY PL 155.30(5) - Theft from a Person: New York’s “Pickpocket” Statute

Stealing cash, a credit card or any other property from another person’s body is automatically kicked up to a felony in New York. In fact, you can be arrested for violating New York Penal Law 155.30(5) even if the value of the property stolen is as insignificant or nominal as a five-dollar bill. Furthermore, it makes no difference if the property is stolen from the person of another and that individual did not even notice the theft. No violence or force is needed to violate this subsection of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree. In substance, you are guilty of NY PL 155.30(5), if you take property from the person of another irrespective of its value or nature.

Common Theft from a Person Scenarios in New York

While no crime has a typical scenario, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, pursuant to New York Penal Law 155.30(5), occurs to two commonly repeated ways. First, defendants are arrested for this crime if they pickpocket another person. This is fairly straightforward. A second manner in which NY PL 155.30(5) is often seen by New York criminal lawyers is when an individual in a bar or restaurant takes a pocket book from the shoulder of another person or from behind someone’s back. What is critical to understand in the latter scenario is that if a victim of theft is leaning on the strap of pocketbook, for example, and you slide the strap away with the pocketbook without the victim knowing, you have committed a Grand Larceny. Remember, neither force on your part nor knowledge on the part of the victim is required.

Potential Punishment & Collateral Consequences to Grand Larceny Arrests

Any subsection or type of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree is an “E” felony. Whether you are accused of theft from a person, Extortion or Shoplifting in excess of $1,000, the punishment is the same. New York State does not have a mandatory minimum term of incarceration for those convicted of New York Penal Law 155.30(5), but there is a maximum permitted sentence of one and one third to four years in state prison. Although a first time offender could go to jail, judges are permitted to lessen a sentence to probation, community service and a fine. Those unfortunate individuals who are predicate felons (felony convictions in the previous ten years), face a mandatory minimum of one and one half to three years and a maximum of two to four years in state prison.

Although discussing the collateral consequences of any Grand Larceny arrest is something that you should discuss thoroughly with your own criminal defense attorney, there are a few major points to keep in mind. First, felonies such as Grand Larceny are not expunged. Second, it is likely that such a conviction will result in at best complications with careers, licenses and certifications. At worst, the same will result in termination and loss of a professional license. Even the mere arrest can have ramifications. Lastly, because a larceny offense is a “crime of moral turpitude,” if you are not a citizen there may be very serious impacts to your status in the United States.

Beyond a “Pickpocket” Arrest: Associated Crimes

Often time, an arrest for New York Penal law 155.30(5) does not stand alone on an island. As a New York criminal lawyer and former Manhattan prosecutor, I have seen this crime charged in conjunction with other offenses. One of the more commonly associated felony offenses is New York Credit Card Theft pursuant to New York Penal Law 155.30(4) and 165.45(2). Also an “E” felony, it is a crime to steal a debit card or possess a stolen credit card. Each card is a separate chargeable offense. Even more concerning, if you steal a pocketbook you need not have a separate intent or even knowledge that a credit card was stolen as well. Escalating matters, if force or the threat of force is used, prosecutors in New York have the ability to charge a much more serious crime of Robbery that can carry a mandatory prison sentence.

Make no mistake. If you are charged with any New York Grand Larceny crime, your rights, future and career are all at stake. Consult with an experienced New York criminal lawyer who is not only versed in the criminal law, but also knowledgeable as to the practical application and practice of the same.

To educate yourself on the law of Grand Larceny, review both this website and CrottSaland.Com. Further, the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com and the NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com are tremendous resources on criminal statutes, analysis of legal decisions and commentary on cases in the news. Armed with this education, take the steps to preserve your future and contact the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law to set your defense in motion.

Call the New York Grand Larceny 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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