Long Island Shoplifting Attorney

What should you do if you or a loved one has been arrested for shoplifting in Nassau or Suffolk County, Long Island? Contact us to discover important rights and options available in Suffolk County shoplifting cases. We have offices in Queens and in Midtown and Downtown Manhattan and offer case evaluations. We frequently defend first and second arrest shoplifting cases throughout Long Island, New York. We are often able to avoid criminal convictions, jail, and other undesirable consequences of a shoplifting arrest by negotiating non-criminal outcomes with the Nassau and Suffolk County District Attorney.

Common Long Island Theft Charges

Petit larceny (New York Penal Law Section 155.25) says that

"A person is guilty of petit larceny when he steals property." Property is defined by section 155.00 as "any money, personal property, real property, computer data, computer program, thing in action, evidence of debt or contract, any article, substance or thing of value, including any gas, steam, water or electricity, which is provided for a charge or compensation."

Clothing, makeup, and perfume (including testers) are considered "property" under section 155.00. Stealing under section 155.25 can be charged even if you didn't leave the store if you concealed store property or otherwise took possession of store property under circumstances showing an intention to steal. Even if it's your first arrest, a misdemeanor shoplifting conviction can result in up to a year in jail, and fines of up to $1,000 for each count. By fighting the charges and negotiating with the prosecutor, we are often able to highlight the favorable facts of your case and obtain much better outcomes.

Criminal possession of stolen property (New York Penal Law Section 165.40) says that

"A person is guilty of criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree when he knowingly possesses stolen property, with intent to benefit himself or a person other than an owner thereof or to impede the recovery by an owner thereof."

Possession of stolen property can be charged even if the possession was very brief. At the time of your shoplifting arrest, you are often charged with either petit larceny (155.25) or criminal possession of stolen property (165.40). In court, you will probably be charged with both. This is because the district attorneys in Long Island often charge you with as many violations of the penal law as possible. Because shoplifting involves the taking and possession of store merchandise, this gives the prosecutor the ability to charge you with two crimes instead of one. Each carries a maximum of one year in jail and a permanent criminal record but this can be avoided depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. Contact us today for a case evaluation and to learn more about what outcome might be possible in your case.

Alternatives to Consider

Many district attorneys will consider negotiating a resolution but the exact terms and whether jail or a criminal conviction will be part of this resolution will depend, in large part, on what your attorney has negotiated. Negotiations often focus on the unique facts and circumstances of your case. While it may be possible to avoid a criminal conviction or do community service instead of jail, this application must be properly made at the right time and will depend on the facts of your case.

Grand Larceny (4th Degree)

New York Penal Law Section 155.30 explains that "A person is guilty of grand larceny in the fourth degree when he steals property and when (1) the value of the property exceeds $1,000, or (2) the property consists of a public record, writing or instrument kept, filed or deposited according to law with or in the keeping of any public office or public servant; or (3) The property consists of secret scientific material; or (4) The Property consists of a credit card or debit card: (5) he property, regardless of its nature and value, is taken from the person of another; or (6) The property, regardless of its nature and value, is obtained by extortion; or (7) The property consists of one or more firearms, rifles or shotguns, as such terms are defined in section 265.00 of this chapter; or (8) The value of the property exceeds one hundred dollars and the property consists of a motor vehicle, as defined in section one hundred twenty-five of the vehicle and traffic law, other than a motorcycle, as defined in section one hundred twenty-three of such law; or
(9) The property consists of a scroll, religious vestment, a vessel, an item comprising a display of religious symbols which forms a representative expression of faith, or other miscellaneous item of property which: (a) has a value of at least one hundred dollars; and (b) is kept for or used in connection with religious worship in any building, structure or upon the curtilage of such building or structure used as a place of religious worship by a religious corporation, as incorporated under the religious corporations law or the education law. (10) The property consists of an access device which the person intends to use unlawfully to obtain telephone service. (11) The property consists of anhydrous ammonia or liquefied ammonia gas and the actor intends to use, or knows another person intends to use, such anhydrous ammonia or liquefied ammonia gas to manufacture methamphetamine.

Grand larceny can result in significant jail time. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your grand larceny case, it may be possible to avoid jail time but this varies from case to case.

Long Island Courts

Nassau County Court

The Nassau County District Court is located at 99 Main Street in Hempstead, New York and hears shoplifting cases from about 9:00 am to about 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Appearance tickets are often issued following a Nassau County shoplifting arrest and after arraignment, they are transfered to another courtroom at the same courthouse. Cases are often not resolved on the first court date because the District Attorney reviews shoplifting cases very carefully in Nassau County.

Suffolk County Court

The Suffolk County District Court is located at 400 Carleton Avenue, Central Islip, New York. Shoplifting cases are heard from about 9:00 am to about 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Appearance tickets are often heard in the same courtroom where your case will continue to pend. Shoplifting cases are often not resolved on the first court date because the District Attorney reviews shoplifting cases very carefully in Suffolk County.

If you have been accused of shoplifting, retail theft, or felony shoplifting, don't go to court alone. You need the advice and skill of an experienced New York Shoplifting Attorney who fight on your behalf to reduce the severity of your situation. At Lance Fletcher, & Associates, you will find the advice of former prosecutors and experienced shoplifting defense attorneys who are each capable of working tirelessly to advocate for you. Any shoplifting conviction can lead to permanent employment, immigration, and other consequences so contact us today for a shoplifting case evaluation.

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