New York Grand Larceny Laws & Charges + Statute Of Limitations

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The Penal Code in New York defines grand larceny as the wrongful withholding, obtaining, or taking of property away from the rightful owner. In order to secure a conviction of larceny within a New York court room, the guidelines demand that the prosecution must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had the specific intent to withhold the property from its owner for a significant period of time, in order to decrease its benefit or worth, or exercise control over that property for an extended period.

In New York, the state Judiciary and legislature has expanded the definition of the word “property” to mean any personal property, money, real property, computer program or data, thing in action, evidence or contract, article, substance, or thing of value. The value of the property that is subject to grand larceny will be determined by the market value at the place and time of the crime, or the cost of replacing that property within a reasonable period of time following the crime.

Laws and Penalties

Grand larceny charges in New York refer to many forms of theft, including theft by fraud, trick, or deception, including scams, con games, insider trading, fraudulent products or programs, and other misrepresented schemes. Grand larceny might also refer to theft by taking, such as removing a property to a different place.

Examples of grand larceny include extortion, auto theft, and shop lifting. In New York, grand larceny is a Class E felony when the stolen property is worth more than $1,000, it is a class D felony when the property is valued at more than $3,000, and it is a class C felony when the property is valued at over $50,000. Grand larceny becomes a class B felony when the property is worth over $1 million.

Fines, penalties, and imprisonment as a result of a grand larceny conviction will depend on both the value of the property and the existence of other aggravating factors. New York laws recognize the difference between larceny theft and theft at a misdemeanor level. Grand larceny at a federal level can lead to prison time of between 12 and 90 months.

The sentencing guidelines for grand larceny cases in New York use a system of points wherein six points is classed as the basic level of offense. Larceny theft with losses that exceed more than $5,000 for the value of the property in question will receive an additional number of points. An increased number of points can be added to a defendant’s case based on various aggravating factors, including the nature of the larceny and the previous criminal history of the defendant. Imprisonment in cases of grand larceny can range up to twenty years or more, particularly if that larceny case involves other crimes such as breaking and entering that might take the penalties higher.

Grand Larceny Defenses

As with most crimes, grand larceny in New York can be addressed with a number of different defenses, including:

  • The claim of right – if the accused believes that he or she has a right to the property, such a belief can be used as a defense.
  • The ownership of the property – if the lawyer for the defendant can prove that the defendant owned the property that he or she is accused of stealing, then that person cannot be charged with larceny.
  • Specific intent – If the lawyer for the defendant can prove that the defendant did not have a specific intent to commit larceny, then that person is entitled to a not-guilty verdict.
  • Permission – If it possible to prove that the defendant had permission to convert or take the property for his or her own use, then that person cannot be charged with larceny.
  • Lack of knowledge – Finally, if the lawyer can prove that the defendant had no knowledge that he or she was taking something that belonged to someone else, then that person may be able to avoid a charge of grand larceny.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations in New York for grand larceny is the same as any felony in the state of New York. The statute of limitations will last for five years, and if no charges are filed before that time expires, the accused cannot face penalties for the crime. The exception to this statute of limitations applies to people who continuously spend time outside of the state. In these cases, the state can be extended for additional five years, which gives the prosecutor time to find and extradite the accused back into the state of New York.

New York Grand Larceny Cases

Geoffrey Nathan, Esq.

About Geoffrey Nathan, Esq.

Geoffrey G Nathan is a top federal crimes lawyer and Chief Editor of He is a licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 1988, admitted to practice in both Federal and State courts. If you have questions about your federal case he can help by calling 877.472.5775.