In the past several years, the five boroughs of New York City have become increasingly relaxed when it comes to arresting shoplifting offenders. While this lax approach has led to more shoplifting crimes throughout the five boroughs, the same cannot be said for Nassau County, Long Island.

If you find yourself arrested for alleged shoplifting in the Nassau County, Long Island area, the need for robust legal representation cannot be overstated. Contact Nassau County, Long Island theft crimes attorney Gianni Karmily for dedicated legal support and guidance. Contact our Great Neck office at (516) 630-3405 or our Hempstead location at (516) 614-4228 to secure your defense.

Criminal Prosecution for Shoplifting on Long Island vs. The Boroughs of New York City

Long Island, encompassing Nassau County and Suffolk County, has taken a notably tougher stance on prosecuting retail theft compared to the five boroughs of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island). This variation in approach may be attributed to the differences in legal enforcement policies between the two regions.

In recent years, New York City has seen a shift towards more progressive policies aiming to reduce incarceration for non-violent crimes, including shoplifting. While prosecutors will charge for an arrest made in New York City, there is an increasing number of shoplifting offenders that New York City police officers aren’t arresting. Additionally, retail establishments decided to remove security measures that were once in place in order to deter shoplifting.

In contrast, Long Island’s legal framework remains relatively stringent for larceny, shoplifting, criminal possession of stolen property, and other related crimes. Police officers on Long Island have continued to make arrests for shoplifting in most cases. Long Island prosecutors pursue larceny cases with the same degree of rigor as always, utilizing the full extent of New York State’s Penal Law.

This includes charging shoplifters with larceny, which can range from a misdemeanor petit larceny for lower-value thefts to a felony grand larceny for higher-value items. Long Island authorities justify this tough approach by highlighting their commitment to protecting local businesses and maintaining community safety.

The difference also extends to the judicial process, where Long Island courts are perceived to be less lenient in sentencing for shoplifting offenses. This stricter enforcement reflects a broader strategy aimed at deterring would-be offenders through the threat of significant legal consequences, contrasting with New York City’s emphasis on diversion programs and alternative sentencing aimed at rehabilitation and reducing recidivism among non-violent criminals.

Shoplifting Penalties for a Criminal Conviction in New York

Nassau County Theft Lawyer

In New York State, the penalties for a shoplifting conviction reflect the value of the stolen property and, in some cases, the criminal record of the accused. New York Penal Law categorizes these theft crimes from petit larceny to grand larceny, with penalties ranging from fines and community service for a lesser criminal conviction to significant prison time and probation for more severe charges.

Misdemeanor Petit Larceny

Misdemeanor petit larceny in New York is the theft of property valued at $1,000 or less according to New York Penal Law § 155.25. This crime is considered a class A misdemeanor, which means that it’s one step below a felony charge.

The consequences for a petit larceny conviction can be significant and result in 364 days in jail, probation, fines, and community service. Not only can misdemeanor crimes result in legal penalties, but they can also affect an offender’s employment opportunities, professional license, and immigration status.

If you’ve been charged with petit larceny, working with Nassau County, Long Island misdemeanor defense attorney Gianni Karmily can increase your chances of receiving a reduced or alternative sentencing.

Felony Grand Larceny

According to New York law, felony grand larceny is the unlawful taking of property valued over $1,000. The state categorizes the crime into four degrees, with the severity of charges escalating with the value of the stolen property.

  • Fourth-degree grand larceny is considered a Class E Felony. Theft of items valued more than $1,000 and $3,000 can lead to a maximum 4-year prison sentence and fines up to $5,000. (New York PL § 155.30)
  • Third-degree grand larceny, classified as a Class D Felony, involves the theft of items worth more than $3,000 and $50,000, with potential penalties including up to 7 years in prison and similar fines. (New York PL § 155.35)
  • Second-degree grand larceny can be charged for theft crimes of property worth more than $50,000 to $1 million. This Class C Felony offense carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison and fines. (New York PL § 155.40)
  • First-degree grand larceny is a Class B Felony and can be charged in cases where the property stolen is valued at more than $1 million. If convicted, penalties for a Class B Felony can result in up to 25 years in prison and fines up to $5,000. (New York PL § 155.42)

For those accused of larceny or theft, it’s critical to hire a Nassau County, Long Island felony defense attorney like Gianni Karmily due to the potentially life-altering consequences of a conviction, including a felony charge on your criminal record.

Civil Liability

In New York, retail establishments affected by shoplifting can pursue a civil action against the individual who unlawfully took merchandise, seeking compensation for the value of the stolen goods worth up to $1,500 and additional punitive damages. This legal mechanism, known as civil liability, serves as a deterrent against shoplifting by imposing financial consequences on top of criminal penalties.

Individuals caught shoplifting in New York can face criminal charges and the burden of compensating the retailer for their losses and, in some cases, covering legal costs associated with the civil claim.

nassau county shoplifting lawyer

When charged with shoplifting in New York, an experienced criminal defense attorney like Gianni Karmily can be a valuable asset to your case. Not only can he challenge the evidence against you, but he can negotiate with prosecutors in an attempt to reduce or dismiss the shoplifting charges.

Nassau County, Long Island criminal defense attorney Gianni Karmily can also explore alternative sentencing options, such as diversion programs, focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment for first-time or non-violent offenders.

Facing Criminal Charges for Shoplifting? Call a Nassau County, Long Island Theft Crimes Attorney Today

Nassau County, Long Island criminal defense attorney Gianni Karmily understands the challenges that even a misdemeanor shoplifting case can bring and is prepared to provide a robust defense strategy to secure the best possible outcome. If you or a loved one is facing a shoplifting charge in Nassau County, Long Island, contact the Law Firm of Gianni Karmily to schedule a free consultation.

Criminal defense attorney Gianni Karmily has two offices in the Nassau County, Long Island area. Call (516) 630-3405 for the Great Neck location or (516) 614-4228 for the Hempstead location.