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If you’re dealing with petit larceny in Long Island, the right lawyer can make all the difference. We have Long Island petit larceny lawyers who can fight to get your case dismissed or get you an acceptable plea deal.
When you’re charged with petit larceny, it’s likely that you were either arrested or received a desk appearance ticket. Here’s what you need to know about this type of crime and how we can assist you along the way.
What Is Petit Larceny?
Petit larceny is when you take either property or services with a value of $1,000 or less. The crime is a class A misdemeanor, and as such, the potential penalties are up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Although these sound like severe penalties, keep in mind that it’s very unlikely you’ll receive the maximum, especially if this is your first offense and you have a qualified petit larceny lawyer to defend you.
Petit larceny covers any theft when the value is up to $1,000, which is obviously a wide range. It doesn’t matter if you are charged with stealing a $1 pack of gum or a $700 jacket, both would fall under petit larceny.
What Are Your Options When Charged with Petit Larceny?
This will vary depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, it makes a big difference if this is your first criminal charge or if you’ve been convicted or crimes in the past.
However, like any other charge, your options are to fight it in court or negotiate a plea deal, both of which tend to go much better when you have a petit larceny lawyer to represent you.
If you feel that the prosecutor doesn’t have a good case against you, then you may wish to fight the case. It could end up getting dismissed, or the court could find you not guilty. But often, your bet is to make a deal, as you won’t need to spend more time than necessary going to court. It’s also usually to negotiate if the prosecutor has a strong case.
What Plea Options May Be Available?
Although we can’t predict how a specific case will go or what a prosecutor will offer, we can tell you what we’ve seen in our experience. If this is your first criminal charge, there are a couple potential options you could have available.
The first would be pleading guilty to disorderly conduct instead of petit larceny. The benefit here is that disorderly conduct is not considered a crime, which means you won’t have a conviction on your record when you plead guilty to it and the penalties are less than they would be for petit larceny.
With disorderly conduct, potential penalties include a fine which can be as much as $250, a one-day shoplifting class and community service. The court could sentence you to one of these or multiple punishments.
The second option for a Long Island petit larceny charge is an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD). How this works is the case is adjourned for six months. After six months, as long as you haven’t had any other legal issues, the court dismisses and seals your case.
You don’t admit guilt to anything, and since you’re not admitting guilt, the court can’t fine you. It can require you to do community service or go to a shoplifting class as conditions of your ACD.
This isn’t always an option and will depend on your history and the factors of your case. For a first-time offense where you are charged with stealing something of little value, an ACD is far more likely than an offense where you’re charged with stealing something valued at $900.
The only difference between an ACD and disorderly conduct is that with an ACD, you won’t have anything on your record. With disorderly conduct, your record will show that you pled guilty to acting disorderly, although it typically won’t have specifics. There usually isn’t a major difference in the effect this has on your life.
Talking to a Long Island Petit Larceny Lawyer
There are many factors to consider in a petit larceny case. The right lawyer can evaluate all your options to see if you have a suitable defense that could lead to a dismissal. If a plea is the better move, a lawyer can argue why you’re deserving of an ACD, and if not that, he can try to get you a plea deal for disorderly conduct.
Whether this is your first offense or you have prior offenses, contact our Long Island petit larceny lawyers to figure out your next move.