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New York Penal Code %c2%a7 155 40 Grand Larceny Second Degree

By Spodek Law Group | July 17, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 27, 2023)

Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 04:34 pm

An In-Depth Look at New York Penal Code § 155.40 Grand Larceny Second Degree

Hey there! As a criminal defense attorney practicing in New York for over 15 years, I’ve handled my fair share of larceny cases. Today, I wanted to provide an overview of one of the most common larceny charges – New York Penal Code § 155.40 Grand Larceny Second Degree.

Now, I know legal mumbo jumbo can be about as exciting as watching paint dry. So rather than just regurgitating the complex legalese from the penal code, I’ll break things down in simple terms with some real-world examples sprinkled in. Get ready for a wild ride into the riveting world of Grand Larceny Second Degree!

The Basics

New York Penal Code § 155.40 is the state statute defining the crime of Grand Larceny Second Degree. This charge applies when a person steals property valued over $50,000.

Yep, you read that right – fifty-thousand big ones.

To be convicted, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant:

  • Took, obtained, or withheld property from an owner
  • Did so with intent to deprive another of property or appropriate property to themselves or a third person
  • The property was valued over $50,000

Seems simple enough, but let’s unpack things further.

Property Value is King

The value of the property stolen is the lynchpin of any Grand Larceny Second Degree charge. The prosecution will obtain expert valuations and appraisals of any items taken to determine their fair market value. This includes jewelry, electronics, vehicles, art, or any property involved in the alleged theft.

For example, let’s say someone nabs a rare Fabergé egg worth $75,000. Bada bing, bada boom – we’ve met the magic $50k+ number for a second-degree grand larceny charge.

But what if they grab an armful of watches or bracelets? The prosecution will tally up the total value of all items taken to see if it crosses that felony threshold.

Intent is in the Eye of the Beholder

To convict on larceny, the prosecution must also prove the defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of their property.

But how can you ever really know what someone was thinking or intending? It’s not like intent tattooed on someone’s arm.

This is where circumstantial evidence comes into play. The prosecution might point to:

  • Lack of permission from the owner
  • Steps taken to conceal the theft
  • Evidence the stolen property was being sold
  • Statements by the defendant

They’ll essentially argue – “just look at what they did after taking the property – obviously they meant to keep it!”

But the defense can poke holes in this. I’ve had cases where we convinvingly argued the defendant intended to return property or thought they had permission to use it temporarily.

Intent can be a gray, murky area, which provides opportunity for aggressive defense.

Real-World Examples

Let’s move from the theoretical to the actual. I’ll walk through some real-world scenarios I’ve seen charged as Grand Larceny Second Degree:

The Disappearing Disc Jockey

A DJ was hired to provide music and entertainment at a lavish wedding reception. He showed up with speakers, lighting equipment, and a full DJ rig leased from a local company.

After the reception ended, witnesses saw him hastily packing up the equipment and loading it into his van. The DJ then disappeared without returning any of the leased gear.

Police eventually tracked him down, and he was arrested for second-degree grand larceny. The combined value of the leased equipment was over $55,000!

The Secretive House Sitter

A homeowner left for a 2-week vacation and hired a house sitter to watch her home, collect mail, water plants, etc. When she returned, she realized several valuable paintings were missing.

Police discovered the house sitter had sold the pieces to an art gallery for $65,000! He claimed the owner said he could have them as “payment” for house sitting.

But without evidence to prove his story, he was charged with second-degree grand larceny based on the value of the artwork taken.

The Unfaithful CPA

A certified public accountant was hired to manage the finances and investments for a wealthy client. Over 18 months, the CPA siphoned over $750,000 from the client’s accounts and funneled the funds into his own personal accounts.

When confronted about missing money, the CPA made excuses and claimed the funds were tied up in investments. But an audit proved otherwise, and he was arrested for second-degree grand larceny for the massive theft.


Now for the not-so-fun part – the potential consequences if convicted of Grand Larceny Second Degree.

This charge is a Class C felony under New York law. Penalties include:

  • 1 to 5 years in prison
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Probation up to 5 years
  • Restitution to the victim

The judge has wide discretion in sentencing, taking into account the specific circumstances of the crime and history of the defendant.

But make no mistake – we’re talking felony-level punishment here. Not just a slap on the wrist.

Fighting the Charges

If you’re facing accusations of second-degree grand larceny, the situation certainly seems daunting. The prosecution wields significant power and resources against you.

But there are ways to fight back and protect your future. An experienced criminal defense lawyer knows how to exploit weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and hold them to their burden of proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

In preparing your defense, we’ll scour the evidence and circumstance of your case to answer critical questions like:

  • Are the property valuations legitimate or inflated?
  • Is the ownership clear or disputed/uncertain?
  • Can we argue you lacked intent to permanently deprive the owner?
  • Does the timeline match up with the allegations?
  • Are there credibility issues with the witnesses or accusers?

I can’t promise miracles. But I CAN promise to passionately defend your rights every step of the way. And sometimes that makes all the difference.

If you or a loved one are under investigation or charged with Grand Larceny Second Degree, call for a free consultation today at 212-300-5196. During this call I’ll:

  • Review the charges and evidence against you
  • Discuss possible defenses and strategy
  • Provide expert case evaluation from 15+ years of experience
  • Answer all your questions and address concerns

Don’t leave your future to chance. Schedule your free call today and start building the strongest possible defense. The sooner we can get involved, the better positioned we’ll be to protect your freedom and reputation.

I’m Attorney Todd Spodek of Spodek Law Group. My team and I have helped hundreds of clients facing larceny and theft charges. Let’s sit down, go over the specifics of your case, and map out a path forward together.

You can learn more about my record of success defending theft crimes at https://www.nyccriminalattorneys.com or in this video:

Don’t wait to protect your future. Reach out today and take the first step!

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