Shoplifting Charges in New York

Learn about the laws, penalties and civil consequences of a shoplifting charge in New York. Find out if you can avoid a conviction and criminal record

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Shoplifting in New York is a crime with serious penalties, including potential fines and jail time. In addition to facing criminal penalties, shoplifters can be sued by merchants in civil court to recover damages.

New York Shoplifting Laws

Shoplifting is punished as larceny in New York. Larceny is committed when a person wrongfully takes, obtains, or withholds the property of another person, with the intent to deprive that person of the property.

Shoplifting carries a variety of criminal penalties, which vary depending on the value of the stolen property. Shoplifting is charged as petit larceny if the value of the items stolen is $1,000 or less, and as grand larceny if the value is above $1,000 (New York Penal Law 155.25). In addition to criminal penalties, shoplifters in New York face civil lawsuits by victimized merchants to recover damages.

New York Shoplifting Criminal Penalties

Charge

Classification

Penalty

Shoplifting property with a value of $1,000 or less

Petit larceny; class A misdemeanor

Imprisonment up to a year; fine up to $1,000

Shoplifting property with a value of more than $1,000 and equal to or less than $3000

Grand larceny in the fourth degree; class E felony

Imprisonment up to four years; fine not to exceed the greater of $5,000 or double the offender's gain from the shoplifting

Shoplifting property with a value of more than $3,000 and equal to or less than $5000

Grand larceny in the third degree; class D felony

Imprisonment up to seven years; fine not to exceed the greater of $5,000 or double the offender's gain from the shoplifting

Shoplifting property with a value of more than $50,000 and equal to or less than $1 million

Grand larceny in the second degree; class C felony

Imprisonment up to 15 years; fine not to exceed the greater of $5,000 or double the offender's gain from the shoplifting

Shoplifting property with a value of more than $1 million

Grand larceny in the first degree; class B felony

Imprisonment up to 25 years; fine not to exceed the greater of $5,000 or double the offender's gain from the shoplifting

Civil Liability

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 a penalty equaling the greater of $75 or five times the value of the stolen merchandise, up to $500.

Diversion Programs and Plea Bargains

Certain individuals accused of first-time and low-level crimes may qualify for diversion programs. If an accused completes the program requirements, which could include activities such as paying restitution and performing community service, the criminal charges will be dropped.

If diversion programs are not an option, the accused may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. In a plea bargain, the accused typically agrees to plead guilty in exchange for lesser charges or lighter sentencing.

Learn more about diversion and pretrial options.

Getting Help

Whenever you face criminal charges, getting a criminal defense attorney is essential. Your lawyer can assist you in exploring your options, such as raising defenses or negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutor to get you the best possible results.

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