Introduction to Defenses Against Larceny Charges in New York

Larceny charges in New York can be daunting, but individuals facing such allegations have several defenses at their disposal. Understanding these defenses is crucial to protect one’s rights and achieve a favorable outcome in court. In this article, we will explore various defenses against larceny charges in New York, ensuring you are well-informed about your legal options.

It is important to note that even if the evidence against someone accused of larceny seems strong, a skilled defense attorney can still build a strong case and potentially have the charges reduced or dismissed. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney with experience in larceny cases is vital to ensuring the best possible outcome.

Related Aspects:

  1. Elements of larceny charges in New York
  2. Statutory definitions and penalties for larceny in New York
  3. Different types of larceny offenses
  4. Burden of proof in larceny cases
  5. Exploration of various defenses against larceny charges
  6. Importance of legal representation in larceny cases
  7. Role of evidence in larceny trials
  8. Potential consequences of a conviction for larceny in New York
  9. Differences between larceny and other theft offenses
  10. Strategies for negotiating plea bargains in larceny cases.

Defining Larceny

Before delving into defenses, let’s clarify what larceny entails in New York. Larceny is the unlawful taking of another person’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. It is crucial to establish the specific elements of the crime to formulate effective defenses.

Defenses against Larceny Charges

1. Lack of Intent

One of the most common defenses is challenging the element of intent. If it can be proven that you did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of their property, your charges may be reduced or dismissed. For instance, if you mistakenly took someone’s property believing it was yours, it can be a strong defense.

2. Consent

If you had the owner’s consent to take the property, it can be a powerful defense. Make sure you have documented evidence or witnesses to support this claim.

3. Claim of Right

A claim of right defense asserts that you genuinely believed you had a legal claim to the property, which negates the intent to commit larceny. This defense is applicable in cases where property ownership is disputed.

4. Ownership Dispute

If there is a legitimate dispute over property ownership, it can be a defense against larceny charges. The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not have a valid claim to the property.

5. Mistaken Identity

In cases where there is insufficient evidence to link you to the crime, a mistaken identity defense can be effective. Providing an alibi or establishing that you were not present at the scene can support this defense.

6. Duress or Coercion

If you were forced or coerced into committing larceny under threats or fear, it may serve as a defense. This defense highlights that you had no choice but to act against your will.

7. Age and Mental Capacity

If you were a minor or lacked the mental capacity to understand the consequences of your actions, it can be a defense. The court may consider diminished capacity as a mitigating factor.

8. Entrapment

If law enforcement induced you to commit larceny that you would not have otherwise committed, an entrapment defense can be raised. This defense argues that you were manipulated into the criminal act.

9. Shoplifting Prevention Programs

Participation in shoplifting prevention programs before trial may demonstrate your willingness to reform and can be considered a favorable factor in court.

10. Civil Settlement

In some cases, resolving the matter through civil means, such as returning the stolen property and compensating the victim, can lead to the withdrawal of criminal charges.


Facing larceny charges in New York can be challenging, but understanding the available defenses is essential. Whether it’s proving lack of intent, demonstrating consent, or establishing an ownership dispute, the right defense strategy can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Consult with an experienced attorney to navigate the legal process effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the potential penalties for larceny in New York?

The penalties for larceny in New York vary depending on the value of the stolen property and other factors. They can range from fines and probation to imprisonment.

2. Is it possible to have larceny charges expunged from my record?

Expungement of larceny charges in New York is generally not available. However, some cases may be eligible for sealing, which limits access to your criminal record.

3. How can I find a qualified attorney to defend me against larceny charges?

To find a qualified attorney, consider seeking recommendations from trusted sources, researching online reviews, and scheduling consultations to discuss your case.

4. Can I negotiate a plea deal to reduce my larceny charges?

Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be possible to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution to reduce your charges or penalties.

5. What should I do if I believe I have been wrongfully accused of larceny?

If you believe you have been wrongfully accused, it is crucial to consult with an attorney immediately to build a strong defense and protect your rights.

  1. 212(c) Waiver Lawyer
  2. Criminal and Immigration Attorney
  3. Aggravated Assault
  4. Asylum Lawyer
  5. Burglary Defense Lawyer
  6. Cancellation of Removal
  7. Criminal Defense Lawyer
  8. Cyber Crime Defense
  9. Deportation Defense
  10. Domestic Violence
  11. Drug Crimes
  12. Federal Immigration Crimes
  13. I-601 Waiver
  14. Immigration Appeals
  15. Immigration Bond
  16. Immigration Fraud Defense
  17. Motion 440.10 New York
  18. Motion to Change Venue
  19. Motion to Reopen
  20. Prosecutorial Discretion
  21. Reentry After Deportation
  22. Robbery
  23. S Visa
  24. Stay of Deportation Lawyer
  25. Theft Offenses
  26. U Visa Lawyer
  27. Writ Coram Nobis
  28. Writ Habeas Corpus