Introduction to New York’s Petit Larceny Laws

In the world of immigration law in the United States, it is very important to know how the penalties that are imposed can influence the immigration status of an immigrant in the country. This article, written by an experienced New York and New Jersey criminal immigration attorney, delves into the complexities of New York’s petty theft laws and their legal implications on an immigrant’s immigration status.

The petit larceny laws in New York

The petit larceny laws in New York not only have significant implications in the criminal justice system but also hold important consequences for individuals involved in immigration processes. Understanding these laws is crucial, especially for those seeking to immigrate to the United States.

The Immigration and Nationality Act,

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, certain criminal offenses, including petit larceny, can make a foreign national inadmissible or removable from the country. The act categorizes crimes involving moral turpitude, which includes petit larceny, as one of the grounds for inadmissibility. This means that if a person is convicted of petit larceny, they may be denied entry into the United States or be subject to deportation if they already reside here.

The level of offense and the specific circumstances surrounding the petit larceny

It’s important to note that the level of offense and the specific circumstances surrounding the petit larceny case can greatly impact the immigration consequences. For instance, if the value of the stolen property is below a certain threshold, it may be considered a misdemeanor offense rather than a felony. This can affect the severity of the immigration consequences and may provide some potential relief in certain cases.

Additionally, legal defenses and mitigating factors can also play a role in minimizing the impact of petit larceny charges on an individual’s immigration status. Working with an experienced immigration attorney who understands the complexities of both the criminal and immigration systems is essential.

Navigating through petit larceny charges in New York while considering the potential immigration implications can be a complex and daunting process. It is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the laws and seek proper legal guidance to protect one’s immigration status. Consulting with an immigration and criminal defense attorney who specializes in these matters can provide the necessary support and expertise to ensure the best possible outcome.

I. Defining Petit Larceny and Its Legal Framework

Petit larceny, often referred to as petty theft, is defined as the unlawful taking of property valued at less than $1,000. To comprehend its immigration implications, we must first understand its legal framework under New York law (NY Penal Law § 155.25).

Petit larceny, commonly known as petty theft, is a criminal offense that involves the unauthorized acquisition of property that is worth less than $1,000. It is important to note that petit larceny has significant immigration consequences, specifically in New York where it is governed by the legal framework outlined in NY Penal Law § 155.25.

Expanding on this topic, it is worth mentioning that petit larceny can have long-lasting consequences on an individual’s immigration status. In addition to the potential criminal charges and penalties, a conviction for petit larceny can result in deportation or exclusion from the United States. This is particularly relevant for non-US citizens who might be living in New York.

II. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Overview

This section explores the critical provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that pertain to criminal convictions and their potential consequences on immigration status. INA is the cornerstone of immigration law in the United States.

III. The Intersection: Petit Larceny Convictions and Immigration Status

Now, we delve into the heart of the matter—how a petit larceny conviction can impact an individual’s immigration status. We’ll discuss the potential consequences, including detention, removal proceedings, and deportation.

IV. Relief from Deportation

For those facing deportation due to petit larceny convictions, there are avenues for relief. We’ll explore possible forms of relief, such as asylum, cancellation of removal, and waivers, providing hope and options for affected individuals.

V. Expert Insights from a New York and New Jersey Attorney

Drawing on the author’s extensive experience as an immigration and criminal defense attorney in New York and New Jersey, this section offers valuable insights into navigating the legal complexities of petit larceny and immigration.

Using Abreviations and Acronyms

Throughout this article, we’ll utilize common legal abbreviations and acronyms, such as “NTA” (Notice to Appear) and “INA” (Immigration and Nationality Act), with explanations when first introduced.


Understanding New York’s petit larceny laws and their immigration implications is paramount for immigrants and their legal advocates. By offering clear definitions, legal explanations, and expert insights, this article serves as a valuable resource for anyone navigating this challenging terrain.

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