Shoplifting Laws in New York: Learn About New York Shoplifting Laws

by Renz Q.

New York Shoplifting Laws, Shoplifting Laws New York

What are the Shoplifting Laws in New York

In the city of New York, shoplifting is considered a misdemeanor. Usually, the proposal suggests that there will be no imprisonment and that the culprit will have to pay a fine, varying between $1000 to a million dollars, depending on the number of goods picked up. In reality, this can be a little more complicated so read on to find out what are the shoplifting laws in New York, exactly. In particular, you will find out that the value of the item lifted matters.

Shoplifting Definition

Shoplifting generally refers to the theft of merchandise from a store or place of business and is considered a type of larceny, criminalized by Article 155 of the New York Penal Law. A larceny occurs when a person takes the property of someone else without their permission, and with the intent of permanently keeping that property from its rightful owner. 

It is not necessary for a shoplifter to exit the store without paying in order to commit shoplifting. Even the slightest gesture that proves an intention to steal is sufficient. This can include placing the item under one’s clothing, or hiding it inside another item. A person can can also be accused of committing shoplifting if they altered or removed a price tag as this shows an intent to take money from the merchant, by attempting to pay less for the item than the tag originally specified.

Different Classes

In New York, larcenies are punished by degree, or class, meaning that the value of the property stolen changes the offense charged. No matter what the crime is, cotton candy, or a piece of jewelry, the offense has a stringent punishment, and one would need to hire an expert barrister to go scot-free, as such misdemeanor can result in paying hefty fines, spending up to one year in prison, having a criminal record, and being subject to a civil lawsuit by the company whose goods were stolen. But here are a few rules that generally apply. 

New York classifies shoplifting as a class A misdemeanor which can result in paying fines of up to $1,000, spending up to one year in jail (not state prison), and being subject to probation. This is also called a Petit Larceny, and concerns the unlawful taking of property valued at less than $1000. 

Theft of property valued between $1,000 and $3,000 constitutes Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree or an E felony. This also includes theft of firearms, cars, and credit cards. For a first offender, a conviction for this offense can lead to up to 1 to 3 years in state prison. Probation is also an alternative sentence. Sentences can also include a definite sentence of one year or less, or a “shock probation” split sentence. 

For property valued anywhere between $3,000 to $50,000, we talk about Grand Larceny in the Third Degree or D felony. Convictions can include a sentence of up to 2 to 7 years’ incarceration. 

Shoplifting Laws New York

A C felony or Grand Larceny in the Second Degree concerns the theft of property valued between $50,000 and $1 million. It is punishable by probation, but it can also carry a prison sentence of up to 5 to 15 years’ in prison, depending on a person’s criminal history.

Over $1 million, a conviction will result in a period of incarceration, from 1 to 3 years’ in state prison for someone with no criminal history, but for as long as 8 to 25 years for someone who has a criminal history. This is the highest form of shoplifting in New York and is called Grand Larceny in the First Degree or B felony.

The Case That Takes Place Is A Plea Deal

Sometimes the court of law takes cognizance that something could have been picked up by mistake, is restored, and hence there is no case of law, or else that you just borrowed something that you wanted to return and that is a valid ground of law.

There is usually a wait before the formal charges, the court always protects the innocent is the maxim, and no innocent should go unpunished by the law. Usually, this is a felony for which there is a term of 8 years in jail, and often the case if for three years before the law. If you suspect a crime, then the court asks you to report the same, and the civil litigation demands the return of the amount stolen. There are different degrees of sin.

If you go from a country of origin to New York and commit a crime or a felony of a misdemeanor there in some shop as you shoplift something, then you are allowed to leave the USA, and you cannot enter back in the US.

 New York Shoplifting Laws
This is a crime of moral turpitude. You will also be charged with criminal possession of the stolen property. The attorney can appear on behalf of the criminal. Fighting from outside without looking from the court is always a better idea and option. Usually, the case gets wrapped up in 6 months. If you are a repeat offender, then you may get more fine along with a jail term. If you are suspected of hiding something, then that is possible that they may arrest you for suspecting that you are a criminal. You may also be issued a trespass notice, and your right to return to the shop will be revoked.

Either way, shoplifting will impact your criminal record which in turn can affect your ability to rent an apartment, obtain a job, or apply for financial aid or credit. An increasing number of landlords, employers, and financial institutions are requiring background checks and a shoplifting conviction will show up for the rest of someone’s life as New York law does not allow shoplifting convictions to be expunged from a criminal record.

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