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Queens Theft Crime Lawyer

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

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 10:57 pm


Queens Theft Crime Lawyer Article

If you have been accused of theft or larceny in Queens, New York, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Theft charges can lead to serious consequences like jail time, fines, probation, and a criminal record. But with the right lawyer, you may be able to get the charges reduced or even dismissed. This article will provide an overview of theft crimes and defenses in Queens, and how a knowledgeable Queens theft crime lawyer can help.

Types of Theft Crimes in Queens

There are a range of theft crimes you can be charged with in Queens, from petty shoplifting to grand larceny. Some of the most common include:

  • Petit larceny – Stealing property valued under $1,000. This is a misdemeanor.
  • Grand larceny in the 4th degree – Stealing property valued over $1,000. A felony.
  • Grand larceny in the 3rd degree – Stealing property valued over $3,000. A felony.
  • Grand larceny in the 2nd degree – Stealing property valued over $50,000. A felony.
  • Grand larceny in the 1st degree – Stealing property valued over $1 million. A felony.
  • Robbery – Using force or threat of force to steal property. A felony.
  • Burglary – Entering a building unlawfully with intent to commit a crime inside. A felony.

The value of the property stolen determines the severity of the theft charge. And it doesn’t take much to cross the line into felony territory. For example, shoplifting a $1,100 purse from Macy’s can turn into a felony grand larceny charge rather than a petty misdemeanor.

The Importance of a Lawyer for Theft Charges

Trying to navigate theft charges on your own, without a lawyer, is extremely unwise. These are serious criminal accusations that can impact the rest of your life. Even a misdemeanor conviction stays on your record forever. And prosecutors often seek the maximum penalties allowed under the law.

A knowledgeable Queens theft crime attorney levels the playing field. They know how to negotiate with judges and prosecutors on your behalf. A lawyer can get charges reduced, divert your case into a pretrial program to avoid conviction, or even get charges dismissed based on procedural mistakes by the prosecution. And if your case does go to trial, an experienced criminal defense lawyer knows how to defend you and fight to win.

In addition, a lawyer understands the complex New York theft crimes statutes and case law. Determining the degree of theft charges you face can be confusing to a non-lawyer. But an attorney knows how to analyze the facts to determine if you are overcharged.

Finding the Right Queens Theft Crime Lawyer

Not every lawyer has expertise in New York theft crime defense. When choosing a Queens attorney for your theft case, look for these important qualifications:

  • Extensive experience defending theft charges in Queens specifically. Familiarity with local courts and prosecutors is invaluable.
  • A track record of positive results on theft cases similar to yours. Ask about their success negotiating reductions and dismissals.
  • Knowledge of diversion programs. Pretrial diversion can lead to dismissal and seal your record.
  • Skill at arguing suppression motions. If evidence was obtained illegally, it may be suppressed.
  • Trial experience. If you can’t reach a favorable plea deal, you want a lawyer able to defend you at trial.

Also, make sure you feel comfortable and confident in the attorney you choose. You need someone who will fight aggressively on your behalf. Interview a few lawyers before deciding.

What to Expect at Your First Meeting

So you’ve been arrested for theft in Queens. You’re scared, anxious, and unsure of what happens next. Here’s what you can expect at your first meeting with a Queens theft crime lawyer:

  • They will listen carefully as you explain exactly what happened leading up to the arrest.
  • They will review the formal charges against you and potential penalties.
  • They will discuss possible defenses and strategy based on the circumstances.
  • They will explain the criminal justice process and court procedures.
  • They will advise you on what to say (or not say) if questioned by police.
  • They will inform you of your rights and options going forward.

A good lawyer will take the time to understand the details of your unique case. They know how to advise each client based on the situation. With an experienced theft crime attorney guiding you, you can feel empowered to make smart choices.

How Lawyers Investigate Theft Charges

After meeting with you, your Queens theft crime lawyer will begin investigating the circumstances of your arrest. This can include steps like:

  • Interviewing any witnesses to understand different accounts of what happened.
  • Visiting and photographing the crime scene to look for helpful evidence.
  • Obtaining and examining security camera footage if available.
  • Reviewing receipts, ownership documentation, or other relevant records.
  • Researching the background of any witnesses or accusers.
  • Determining the true value of any allegedly stolen property.
  • Looking into any police misconduct during the investigation.

This thorough investigation accomplishes two things. First, it allows the lawyer to advise you and build the strongest defense. And second, it provides leverage for negotiating with the prosecution to get charges reduced or dismissed pretrial.

Will a Theft Conviction Affect My Job or Schooling?

Yes, a theft conviction can negatively impact your career, education, and future opportunities. Here are some potential consequences:

  • Loss of professional licenses – Many jobs require licenses that can be revoked.
  • Firing – Employers often terminate workers charged or convicted of theft-related crimes.
  • Difficulty finding work – Many employers conduct background checks and don’t hire those with convictions.
  • Loss of financial aid – A federal drug conviction leads to suspension of federal student aid.
  • Expulsion from college – Schools have conduct policies prohibiting certain criminal acts.
  • Barred from military – Branches of the armed forces do not accept candidates with theft convictions.
  • Travel limitations – Some countries bar visitors with criminal records from entering.

This is why it’s so important to have an experienced Queens theft crime lawyer defend you and try to avoid conviction. A knowledgeable attorney understands these collateral consequences and will fight hard to protect your future.

Should I Just Plead Guilty to Theft Charges?

If you’ve been charged with theft in Queens, you may be tempted to simply plead guilty just to end the ordeal. But pleading guilty should be an absolute last resort. Here’s why:

  • You’ll have a permanent criminal record that can ruin future job and school prospects.
  • You may face jail time, fines, probation, community service, or other penalties.
  • You’ll lose leverage to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce charges.
  • There may be strong defenses you’re not aware of that could beat the charges.
  • Evidence may be suppressed or the case dismissed on procedural grounds if you fight it.

Instead of rushing to plead guilty, consult with an experienced Queens theft crime lawyer first. In many cases, they can negotiate with the prosecution to reduce charges significantly or even have them dismissed. It’s always best to avoid a conviction if possible. So don’t just give up – make the prosecutor work to prove their case against you!

How Can I Get Theft Charges Dismissed in Queens?

Although theft charges should always be taken seriously, there are ways an experienced Queens criminal lawyer may be able to get them dismissed. Some of the most common ways include:

  • Suppression of evidence – If evidence was obtained illegally, it may be suppressed at a pretrial hearing, causing dismissal.
  • Violation of right to speedy trial – If prosecutors violate your right to a speedy trial, the case can be dismissed.
  • Self-defense – In certain scenarios, an argument can be made you acted in self-defense, requiring dismissal.
  • Negotiated plea deal – Your attorney may negotiate dismissal of charges in exchange for a guilty plea on a lesser offense.
  • Pretrial diversion program – These programs can lead to charges being dismissed upon successful completion.

The key is having an attorney who knows how to effectively argue for dismissal and negotiate with prosecutors. Don’t simply plead guilty – make the prosecution prove their case against you and see if charges can be dismissed instead.

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