What Is Larceny in New York?

The crime of larceny happens when someone takes another’s property (without the use of force) with the purpose of denying the rightful owner of that property either perpetually or for a considerable amount of time. Basically, larceny is the same as common theft; the term itself is rooted in English common law. New York is one of a handful of states that still use the term larceny for what is commonly known as theft. Reach out to our legal team today to speak with a skilled Rockland County criminal defense attorney. We are on your side.

What are the elements of larceny?

The accused, when stealing the property, had the clear intent to either:

  1. Cause the property to be withheld from its owner permanently or for such an extended period as to significantly decrease its worth or benefit; or
  2. To exercise control over the property (or enable a third person to do so) permanently or for such an extended period as to reap the major portion of its worth or benefit.

What is the statutory definition of property?

Property can be defined as any money, personal property, real property, computer data, computer program, thing in action, evidence of debt or contract, or any article, substance, or thing of value, including any gas, steam, water, or electricity, which is provided for a charge or compensation.

What are the methods of committing larceny in New York?

Section 155.05 lists the eight identified methods for committing larceny. The first four variations are those historically recognized as larceny:

  • Common law larceny by trespassory taking (the taking of personal property from its owner without his or her consent)
  • Common law larceny by trick (the use of fraudulent misrepresentations to come into possession of property)
  • Embezzlement (the conversion of property belonging to another which was entrusted to the embezzler)
  • Obtaining property by false pretenses (the making of an intentionally false statement concerning a material fact to acquire title or possession of personal property)

The last four variations are more modern products of the offense:

  • Larceny by acquiring lost property
  • Larceny by committing the crime of issuing a bad check
  • Larceny by false promise (obtaining property by means of an express or implied promise to engage in certain conduct in the future pursuant to a scheme to defraud)
  • Larceny by extortion (obtaining property by wrongful use of fear which is induced by a threat of physical injury, damage to property, or other harmful consequence)

If the prosecution cannot demonstrate that the defendant used one of the previously stated means to commit the crime, no conviction may be acquired.

Contact our experienced Rockland County firm

Those facing criminal charges in New York need a strong criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system. Call today or contact The Law Office of Carl Spector online to schedule a free confidential consultation.