There are very strict and unforgiving laws in New York State. The New York Penal law, when addressing financial crimes, has dollar amount thresholds that upon their breach the crime is enhanced. What this means is that if you steal by any means property valued in excess of $1,000 is an “E” felony of Fourth Degree Grand Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.30). If that amount exceeds $3,000 then it is a “D” felony of Third Degree Grand Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.35). The next thresholds are at $50,000 and $1 million. There are corresponding offenses for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property (again, it is value based for the most part barring some exceptions so the nature of the property is irrelevant). Not only is there a concern for an accused that he or she can face incarceration in prison – up to four years on an “E” felony and seven years on a “D” felony – there are other concerns for professionals and foreign nationals. Even without stepping foot in a jail, a conviction can end a career or make a person inadmissible in the future. Potentially, for the latter group of individuals, the offense could be an Aggravated Felony. Due to all of these collateral and direct concerns with felony arrests, it is imperative to formulate a plan when accused of these or any crime and your exposure is great. Unfortunately, a scenario played out for a Saland Law PC client who was both a physician and a foreign national.
Our client was a physician in our client’s native country, but was not licensed to practice in the United States or the State of New York. Recently, our client moved to the United States without friends or family outside of a spouse. Unable to work as a physician and in a new and unfamiliar environment, our client lacked the support and outlet one would normally have. On the day of our client’s arrest, our client was allegedly observed for multiple hours inside a department store where our client removed dozens of clothing items from shelves and placed those items in bags. It was alleged that the value of all of these items exceed $4,000.00, well north of the “D” felony minimum of $3,000.00. Facing a Grand Larceny in the Third Degree charge, New York Penal Law 155.35, our client was in a difficult situation. Not only was there a video of the time our client was allegedly stealing and shoplifting in the store there may have also been some inculpatory statements. Further, the property belonging to the department store was recovered from our client. Simply, there was no viable factual or legal defense to the arrest and charge.
As briefly described above, we addressed many of the issues as to why an individual, who lacking support, under duress from moving to a new country, and dealing with other matters, might have committed an offense that the prosecution could likely prove beyond a reasonable doubt, but was worthy of a significant departure from the felony shoplifting arrest. Upon putting together a package of relevant materials and articulating thoroughly and great detail why our client’s conduct should be mitigated, prosecutors agreed to allow our client to obtain an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal or ACD. As such, after six months the case gets both dismissed and sealed as long as our client is not arrested again for any matter during this time period. Making the disposition even better, there will be no public record subject to certain exceptions. Does it mean that ICE or the Federal Government will not know of the arrest? No, but the ACD is neither a crime nor an Aggravated Felony, Crime Involving Moral Turpitude or any of the potential offense types that would result in removal, deportation or future inadmissibility.
When you are arrested and accused of a felony you may never completely escape your past, but the New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC put forth the best defense that would allow our client to honestly state that our client had no criminal record when asked by immigration authorities and professional licensing agencies. As each case rises and falls in its particular set of facts and evidence, the person accused and potential legal defenses, there is no guarantee that similarly situated individuals involved in identical crimes or charges will obtain the same results. However, with hard work and diligence, this particular client was served well.
To find out more about any degree of Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property regardless of whether it involves shoplifting, embezzlement, extortion or any other means, examination of this blog, the NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyers.Com and New-York-Lawyers.org (both linked below) will provide ample information to start your education process.
Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense firm established by two former Manhattan prosecutors. The New York criminal defense attorneys at Saland Law PC represent clients in theft and financial crimes throughout New York City and the suburban region for offenses involving all dollar amounts, offense degrees and stages of criminal investigation.