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155.25 (Petit Larceny)

Petit Larceny 155.25

Under New York State law,

"A person is guilty of petit larceny when he steals property." (Petit larceny is a class A misdemeanor.)

Stealing is the commission of larceny which is defined below. In most shoplifting cases, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 165.40 is charged as well.


  1. A person steals property and commits larceny when, with intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or to a third person, he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds such property from an owner thereof.
  2. Larceny includes a wrongful taking, obtaining or withholding of another`s property, with the intent prescribed in subdivision one of this section, committed in any of the following ways:
  • By conduct heretofore defined or known as common law larceny by trespassory taking, common law larceny by trick, embezzlement, or
  • obtaining property by false pretenses;
  • By acquiring lost property. A person acquires lost property when he exercises control over property of another which he knows to have been lost or mislaid, or to have been delivered under a mistake as to the identity of the recipient or the nature or amount of the property, without taking reasonable measures to return such property to the owner;
  • By committing the crime of issuing a bad check
  • By false promise. A person obtains property by false promise when, pursuant to a scheme to defraud, he obtains property of another by means of a representation, express or implied, that he or a third person will in the future engage in particular conduct, and when he does not intend to engage in such conduct or, as the case may be, does not believe that the third person intends to engage in such conduct. In any prosecution for larceny based upon a false promise, the defendant`s intention or belief that the promise would not be performed may not be established by or inferred from the fact alone that such promise was not performed. Such a finding may be based only upon evidence establishing that the facts and circumstances of the case are wholly consistent with guilty intent or belief and wholly inconsistent with innocent intent or belief, and excluding to a moral certainty every hypothesis except that of the defendant`s intention or belief that the promise would not be performed;
  • By extortion. A person obtains property by extortion when he compels or induces another person to deliver such property to himself or to a third person by means of instilling in him a fear that, if the property is not so delivered, the actor or another will:

(i) Cause physical injury to some person in the future; or

(ii) Cause damage to property; or

(iii) Engage in other conduct constituting a crime; or

(iv) Accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be

instituted against him; or

(v) Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or

false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule;


(vi) Cause a strike, boycott or other collective labor group action

injurious to some person`s business; except that such a threat shall not

be deemed extortion when the property is demanded or received for the

benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act; or

(vii) Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or

information with respect to another`s legal claim or defense; or

(viii) Use or abuse his position as a public servant by performing

some act within or related to his official duties, or by failing or

refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some

person adversely; or

(ix) Perform any other act which would not in itself materially

benefit the actor but which is calculated to harm another person

materially with respect to his health, safety, business, calling,

career, financial condition, reputation or personal relationships.

There are many defenses for petit larceny. Please contact us for a confidential case evaluation.

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