There is no predetermined or precise amount of incarceration one might face if convicted of a theft or larceny crime in New York. Generally, the New York theft and larceny sentencing guidelines establish ranges for potential sentences as opposed to finite and specific terms of imprisonment. While a New York criminal defense attorney who regularly represents individuals for such crimes as Petit Larceny, Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property can explain in great detail the nuances of each crime and its respective sentence, the following sentencing guidelines should serve as a useful guide whether you are charged with the misdemeanors of NY PL 155.25 and NY PL 165.40 or the felonies of NY PL 155.35 or NY PL 165.50.
Misdemeanor New York Theft & Larceny Crimes
Petit Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.25) and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fifth Degree (New York Penal Law 165.40) each carry a maximum sentence of one year in jail. This means that regardless of your criminal history, you cannot be sentenced to a term greater than this. Further, even if you do have a record, a legal sentence includes, probation, community service or even a conditional discharge to stay out of future trouble.
Felony New York Theft & Larceny Crimes
Unlike their misdemeanor brethren, felony offenses have a much greater potential for incarceration. The lowest “E” felony offenses of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree (New York Penal Law 155.30) and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree (New York Penal Law 165.45) carry a maximum sentence of four years in state prison. The actually sentences, however, are broken down differently. If an individual is not a predicate felon (a person who has a felony conviction in the past ten years), then he or she would face a maximum of one and one third to four years in prison. Probation, community service, and conditional discharges are all possibilities. On the other hand, if he or she is a predicate felon, then the mandatory minimum sentence would be one and one half to three years with a maximum of two to four years in state prison.
If you did not notice, the “split” in years differs from non-predicate to predicate felons. While the years are broken down into thirds for the first time offenders, predicate felons have sentences that are multiplied are split by two (one to three years as opposed to two to four years incarceration).
As the degree of the Grand Larceny or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property increases, so does the potential minimum and maximum sentence. Grand Larceny in the Third (New York Penal Law 155.35) and Second Degrees (New York Penal Law 155.40), as well as Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third (New York Penal Law 165.50) and Second Degrees (New York Penal Law 165.52) are punishable by sentences ranging from no incarceration and up to two and one third to seven or five to fifteen years in state prison respectively. Those defendants who have prior felony convictions and are deemed predicate felons face up to as much as three and one half to seven or seven and one half to fifteen years in state prison for the respective felony convictions.
Where sentences get the most “dangerous” and “painful” are those New York theft and larceny crimes that involve First Degree Grand Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.42) and First Degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property (New York Penal Law 165.54). No prior arrest? No criminal record in New York or elsewhere? Irrespective of your criminal history, or lack thereof, a first time defendant convicted of this crime will face a mandatory one to three years in prison and up to as many as eight and one third to twenty five. If you are a predicate felon things will get exponentially worse as the minimum becomes four and one half to nine years and tops off at twelve and one half to twenty five.
Remember, each allegation, arrest and indictment is unique even if the theft or larceny charge is the same. While the sentencing guidelines do not change, a criminal defense attorney may (or may not), be able to challenge the evidence and obtain a reduction in the degree or level of the charge. Instead, your criminal lawyer may be able to mitigate your conduct and decrease the degree of the Grand Larceny or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. While the guidelines are still the same, by knocking down the level of the offense your exposure will be decreased as well. Certainly, in the best case scenario your case is either dismissed or an acquittal is obtained after trial.
No friend, family member, colleague or criminal lawyer can guarantee a precise outcome of any criminal case. What you can do, however, as part of the defensive strategy to best put yourself in a position to exonerate yourself or minimize the consequences of a theft or larceny allegation in New York is to increase your knowledge of New York criminal statutes and procedures. To that end, follow the links above and below to start the learning process.
Crotty Saland PC, a New York criminal defense firm, represents those accused of Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property and other white collar and theft crimes throughout New York City and her suburbs. Crotty Saland PC was established by two former Manhattan prosecutors.