What is “stealing” you ask? A mere taking of someone’s property without their permission or authority? Yes, in part, but actually much, much more. While those unfamiliar with the criminal law may see theft, larceny and stolen property related crimes through their own respective lenses, the New York Penal Law defines these offenses – Petit Larceny, Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property – with elements that every prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt and every criminal defense lawyer actively challenges to prevent the District Attorney from doing so.
Drafted by the legislature into Penal Law 155.05(1), to violate either misdemeanor Petit Larceny or any degree of felony Grand Larceny, you must have the intent to deprive another person of his or her property or appropriate the same for yourself or another party. Not only must you have this goal when taking the property, but you in fact must do so successfully and wrongfully.