How does Syracuse Handle Allegations of Theft?

Strictly speaking, the courts in Syracuse cannot charge you with “theft.” This is because there is no crime known as theft listed in New York Penal Law. Instead, actions that would otherwise be known as theft are re-labeled as “larceny.”

The general concept, however, remains the same. According to New York Penal Law §155.05, a person is guilty of larceny if they wrongfully take any other party’s property with the intent of keeping it. This definition incorporates all type of theft, including shoplifting, theft by extortion, and embezzlement.

The severity of a theft charge in Syracuse is determined mainly by the dollar value of the items taken. However, the severity may also be affected by the type of item.

Categories of Theft

In total, there are five categories of larceny that a Syracuse theft attorney can help defend against. Petit larceny, listed under New York Penal Law §155.25, is the most minor version of larceny and applies to all thefts valued under $1,000. A conviction here is a class A misdemeanor.

The next level of larceny—grand larceny in the fourth degree—applies when the value of the items is between $1,000 and $3,000. However, as stated in New York Penal Law §155,30, this charge also applies when the stolen item is of a religious nature, is a public record, or is a credit or debit card. Fourth-degree grand larceny is a class E felony.

The classification of felony grand larceny continues through the third, second, and first degrees—respectively, felonies of classes D, C, and B—with the cutoff values dividing each category being $50,000 between third and second and $1 million between second and first.

Any theft of over $1 million worth of money or goods is first-degree grand larceny, according to NYPL §155.42. In addition, NYPL §155.35 establishes that any theft from an ATM is automatically third-degree grand larceny, and NYPL §155.40 makes any theft achieved through extortion automatically second-degree grand larceny.

Qualifications and Consequences

When a Syracuse court determines how to classify a theft offense, it bases the final charge on the total value of all the items involved. For instance, a person accused of taking four $500 televisions could be charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree, since the total value of the items is $2,000.

Beyond the prison sentences that can be applied to any conviction for larceny, the court may also require a defendant to pay heavy fines, as well as restitution for the value of the items taken to the property owner. A Syracuse theft lawyer could help you fully understand the potential ramifications of a conviction.

Speak with a Syracuse Theft Attorney Today

Allegations involving theft are always a serious matter. For even a misdemeanor-level offense, a conviction could result in a prison sentence, the payment of heavy fines, and the creation of a criminal record. Furthermore, grand larceny charges are felonies for which you could be sent to prison for multiple years.

As such, the stakes are high in any larceny case, and you should be prepared to defend themselves at every opportunity. Whether your goal is to come to a fair plea deal in an attempt to avoid jail time or to take your charges to trial, a Syracuse theft lawyer from the Tully Rinckey PLLC legal team is available to assist. Schedule a consultation in Syracuse today by calling 8885294543 or emailing

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