Consequences for Shoplifting in New York State

Many label New York as the shopping capital of the world, thanks to its luxury boutique selections and expansive malls. Unfortunately, that also means many opportunities for people to take things they did not pay for. To deter crimes like this, the state has implemented laws specific to shoplifting.

Shoplifting Defense Attorneys Can Protect You From These Consequences

By definition, shoplifting happens when someone wrongfully obtains, takes or keeps a particular property of another person – in this case, whoever is selling the product, with the intent of depriving the person of the said property.  In comparison to other states, the crackdown on shoplifting – also known as larceny – is more serious and extensive. Not only will the suspect be held in civil liability by the merchants he stole from, but he can also be tried with criminal liability. Together, they can incur suspect fines and even jail time.  Shoplifting defense attorneys can help to potentially reduce these consequences.

Like other crimes, the penalty often equals the gravity of the crime – which, here, is the value of the property stolen. If the value of the product that was stolen was under $1,000, then it’s considered petit larceny. That’s considered a class A misdemeanor, with a fine up to $1,000 and the possibility of a year in prison. This does not include the civil liability fines that the shoplifter could also be facing.

shoplifting defense attorneys

Any item stolen above $1,000 is considered as grand larceny under New York Penal Law 155.25. At $3,000 or less, the charge is a class E felony, with imprisonment up to 4 years and a fine of under $5,000. If the items amount to at least $5,000, the time in jail could last up to 7 years plus a $5,000 fine.

For bigger, more expensive items stolen that amount no less than $50,000 up to than $1 million, it becomes a class C felony and grand larceny in the second degree. What that means for the offender is up to 15 years imprisonment and a fine that amounts to twice how much he gained from shoplifting the items. By shoplifting products that total to more than $1 million, the offender has graduated to a class B felony. That translates to 25 years in jail. Again, none of these punishments include the fine you’ll be slapped with if the merchants win the civil case.

Merchants can choose to go after anyone, including emancipated minor and the parents of the kids or teenagers still supported by their parents. That means that parents, adults or emancipated minors also have to pay for the retail value of whatever they stole if what they stole is not found in a sellable condition. Add to that the penalty that costs either

Victimized merchants can sue adult and emancipated minor shoplifters (or the parents or legal guardians of unemancipated minor shoplifters) for the retail value of stolen merchandise, up to $1,500, if the merchandise is not recovered in sellable condition. Merchants are also entitled to five times the value of the stolen items or $75.

With proper representation, your rights can be protected.


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