The Law Offices of John Ferrara

How Are Burglary And Larceny Defined In New York?


In New York, burglary requires one to “knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building with intent to commit a crime therein.” (PL § 140.20). If the building is a dwelling – – a place where people sleep – – or if the defendant brings a weapon or causes injury, the burglary becomes a higher degree and more serious crime.

In New York, “[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.” (PL § 155.05).

Are People Charged With Burglary Or Larceny Always Arrested?

I have not seen a case where the police have probable cause that one has committed either of these offenses and not arrested the defendant.

Can I Be Charged If I Am With Someone Who Commits A Burglary Or Larceny?

You can be charged as an accomplice if you (1) had the knowledge or intent required for the crime itself and (2) you solicited, requested, commanded, importuned, or intentionally aided the other person to engage in the burglary or larceny. (PL § 20.00).

I Have Now Been Arrested For Larceny, What Happens Next?

The first order of business is to arrange for pretrial release or bail. Second, I will need one or more complete interviews with you to see (1) what the prosecutor can prove and (2) whether we have any defenses. I also need to know about your criminal record and whether you are a United States citizen. Third, if there is sufficient evidence to convict you, we must explore if there is any way to mitigate your exposure (shorten the jail sentence; avoid a jail sentence, etc.). Fourth, we either will discuss the case with the prosecutor to see if we can settle the case, or get the case ready for trial.

What Happens At My First Court Appearance?

If you are in jail, the main focus of the first court appearance will be to argue for an affordable bail. In some cases (depending upon the level crime and the court where we appear), we will enter a not guilty plea. If you appear in court without counsel, the court must advise you of your right to an attorney.

What Does The Prosecution Have To Prove In These Cases?

There are numerous degrees of both larceny and burglary, each with different elements. But the most basic of both of these crimes requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of the following elements:

Larceny: (1) That on or about the date charged , in the county charged, the defendant, wrongfully took, obtained, or withheld a specific form of property from its owner, and (2) That the defendant did so with the intent to deprive another of the property or to appropriate the property to himself/herself to a third person.

Burglary: (1) That on or about the date charged, in the county charged), the defendant unlawfully entered [or remained] in a building located at; (2) That the defendant did so knowingly; and (3) That the defendant did so with the intent to commit a crime inside the building.

What Is The Legal Punishment For Larceny And For Burglary In New York?

This follows from the level crime and one’s criminal history.

If one has no prior felonies, Burglary in the Third Degree allows for sentences as low as probation and as severe as seven years. If one has no prior felonies, Burglary in the Second Degree allows for sentences of between 3 ½ years to 15 years plus post release supervision. If one has no prior felonies, Burglary in the First Degree allows for sentences of between 5 years to 25 years plus post release supervision.

Petit larceny allows for a conditional discharge up to one year in the county jail. The many felonies allow for different ranges of sentencing.

For more information on Burglary & Larceny Charges In New York, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (845) 794-1303 today.

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