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Felony Manhattan Shoplifting Arrest Reduced to Non Criminal Violation: From PL 155.30 to PL 240.20

Theft and larceny related arrests in New York involve crimes that not only have immediate impacts in terms of incarceration and criminal charges, but have the collateral consequence that complicate careers and jobs. For example, if you are an employee of New York City, your arrest whether by Desk Appearance Ticket or due to a felony allegation, will trigger a formal action on the part of the administration. What is of critical importance, and something that your criminal lawyer should stress to you, the ultimate outcome of your case. Yes, an arrest is bad, but a felony or misdemeanor conviction is worse. Far worse. Fortunately for a client of Saland Law PC, an arrest for Fourth Degree Grand Larceny, New York Penal Law 155.30, resulted in a non criminal violation of Disorderly Conduct. Checking off the box of avoiding a criminal conviction, our client’s shoplifting arrest from Century 21 involving just shy of $2,000.00 in clothing will ultimately be sealed without any public record.

As much as any criminal attorney would like nothing more to exclaim that if you hire him or her you will always get the best result or a dismissal, but simply such an assertion would be an unethical lie. Every single case (let’s repeat that in our heads) is unique and different. Every prosecutor has a different view of the evidence before him or her, and different jurisdictions have varying guidelines for these crimes. In this particular case prosecuted in Manhattan, also known as New York County, the arrest charge was NY PL 155.30 for a theft in excess of $1,000.00, but no more than $3,000.00. After getting the client in front of a judge and out of jail without any bail at the client’s arraignment, one of our criminal defense attorney’s immediately set the defense into motion. Saland Law PC recognized that a legal or evidence based defense would be quite difficult because on its face it appeared as if the client too an excessive amount of clothing and didn’t pay for the property. Why, however, would a person who otherwise have the means do such a thing? Could there be an underlying issue? Is the client otherwise a reputable and hard working person? Would a conviction – misdemeanor or felony – destroy our client’s career with the City of New York?

After multiple conversations with the client and the District Attorney’s Office, our criminal lawyers were able to convince the assigned prosecutor that while a conviction or indictment could ultimately be secured, no greater good would be served. Listening to our advocacy, the assigned prosecutor first offered our client a plea to Petit Larceny, New York Penal Law 155.25, and a withdrawal a year later if our client completed community service and was not rearrested. Assuming our client was compliant, our client would be allowed to plead guilty to Disorderly Conduct, New York Penal Law 240.20. PL 240.20 is not a crime.

While on its face the above offer avoided both a felony and misdemeanor, our criminal lawyers sought a better resolution because of the nature of our client’s employment and accounting degree. Ultimately, the Assistant District Attorney listened to the mitigation we provided in defense to the shoplifting arrest and the prosecutor agreed to drop the misdemeanor plea requirement and allowed our client to plead guilty directly to a Disorderly Conduct. This disposition avoided the year long misdemeanor plea and guaranteed a noncriminal resolution.

Certainly, both Saland Law PC and our client would have been ecstatic if the case was ultimately dismissed, but the evidence and amount of items allegedly shoplifted from Century 21 did not support such a resolution. This non-criminal plea, however, still provided closure and a sealing of the public record while not decimating our client’s livelihood.

To learn more about New York felony shoplifting crimes and misdemeanor shoplifting arrests, larceny offenses including PL 155.30 and PL 155.25, case results and other related areas of the New York Penal Law, review any of the content on our blogs and websites listed below.

Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, the New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC represent clients in all theft and larceny offenses throughout New York City and many suburban municipalities.

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