The Fourth Tier of Grand Larceny in New York
What is Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree?
New York’s statue for fourth-degree grand larceny is fairly long, but essentially, it describes thefts of property worth between $1,000 and $3,000, as well as several specially defined categories. Those categories include public records, firearms, credit and debit cards, secret scientific materials, religious items taken from places of worship, and any item taken from a person (for instance, through pickpocketing). There are also provisions addressing the theft of chemicals needed to make methamphetamine and devices which provide illegal access to telephone service.
When The Charge Of Grand Larceny In The Fourth Degree Applies
There are many situations in which a fourth-degree grand larceny charge can be applied. The most common is a theft in which the property taken is worth more than $1,000, distinguishing it from petit larceny. The theft can take many forms, such as the contractors who took payments from elderly people but never performed the agreed repairs to their houses. Pickpocketing is another common crime that is charged as fourth-degree grand larceny, since it involves stealing property from a person, often without their knowledge, and might include credit or debit cards, if the property taken is a wallet or purse.
There are many more crimes that fall under the definition of grand larceny in the fourth degree. The most important thing to remember, though, is that if you are charged with this crime, you should panic. Your life will not necessarily be ruined by the charge. Many ordinary people make mistakes and get charged with fourth-degree grand larceny. Just remember that you have rights, stay calm, and get an experienced lawyer to represent you.
NY PENAL § 155.30: The Charge of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree
The New York State penal code says:
A person is guilty of grand larceny in the fourth degree when he steals property and when:
- The value of the property exceeds one thousand dollars; or
- The property consists of a public record, writing or instrument kept, filed or deposited according to law with or in the keeping of any public office or public servant; or
- The property consists of secret scientific material; or
- The property consists of a credit card or debit card; or
- The property, regardless of its nature and value, is taken from the person of another; or
- The property, regardless of its nature and value, is obtained by extortion; or
- The property consists of one or more firearms, rifles or shotguns, as such terms are defined in section 265.00 of this chapter; or
- The value of the property exceeds one hundred dollars and the property consists of a motor vehicle, as defined in section one hundred twenty-five of the vehicle and traffic law, other than a motorcycle, as defined in section one hundred twenty-three of such law; or
- The property consists of a scroll, religious vestment, a vessel, an item comprising a display of religious symbols which forms a representative expression of faith, or other miscellaneous item of property which:
- has a value of at least one hundred dollars; and
- is kept for or used in connection with religious worship in any building, structure or upon the curtilage of such building or structure used as a place of religious worship by a religious corporation, as incorporated under the religious corporations law or the education law.
- The property consists of an access device which the person intends to use unlawfully to obtain telephone service.
- The property consists of anhydrous ammonia or liquified ammonia gas and the actor intends to use, or knows another person intends to use, such anhydrous ammonia or liquified ammonia gas to manufacture methamphetamine.
Grand larceny in the fourth degree is a class E felony.
What Can Happen To Me If I Am Charged With Grand Larceny In The Fourth Degree?
Although fourth-degree grand larceny is a class E felony, the lowest class of felony, it is still a very serious charge and you should treat it as such. If you are convicted, you can be sentenced to as much as four years in prison. However, unless you have a prior felony conviction, the court has a lot of discretion when assigning a sentence for this level of felony. Your sentence can be probation instead of jail, if you can demonstrate good character and there are mitigating circumstances. So you need to have an experienced lawyer who understands how to get the best deal for his clients.
What Should I Do Next?
If you are charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree in Nassau, Queens, or Suffolk County, don’t panic! Your Long Island criminal defense attorney has seen many of these cases before and can help you to understand the legal process. He knows how to argue effectively for you in court, challenging the charges and advocating for lenient sentences. If you find yourself facing a fourth-degree grand larceny charge, let your lawyer speak for you.