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What counts as second-degree grand larceny?

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2021 | Theft

In New York, larceny offenses are categorized by degree. The circumstances of the offense determine the severity of the charges. For example, the larger the amount of property taken, the higher the charge and potential penalties. Second-degree grand larceny is a violation of New York Penal Law § 155.40.

Second-degree grand larceny in New York

Second-degree grand larceny in the state of New York is a class C felony. Under criminal law, a class C felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. However, the court has the discretion to sentence the individual appropriately within the minimum and maximum penalties. A second-degree grand larceny charge occurs under any of the following circumstances:

  • The value of property exceeds $50,000.
  • An offender commits the crime by instilling fear in the victim.
  • There is abuse of official duties on the part of an offender in a public position.
  • Failure to perform an official duty results in adverse harm to an individual.

One of these circumstances must be present in order for an offense to count as second-degree grand larceny. In New York criminal law, first-degree grand larceny is a more serious offense than second-degree grand larceny. Petit larceny and grand larceny in the third and fourth degree are both less serious offenses than grand larceny in the second degree.

Understanding second-degree grand larceny

Under criminal law, when a person faces grand larceny charges, the state must prove all of the elements of the charge. Among other things, the state must demonstrate the specific intent of the offender. In other words, prosecutors have to show that the offender acted with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of their property.

There are a number of defenses that may be available to a person facing a second-degree grand larceny charge. Joint ownership, honest mistake and permission may be viable defenses to the charge. There may also be constitutional errors during the police investigation that might result in the suppression of evidence. Understanding what counts as a second-degree larceny charge may help a defendant create a defense strategy and respond to the charges with the help of their attorney.