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juvenile Delinquent is on probation

In the first case, a juvenile delinquency proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 3, the appeal is from an order of disposition of the Family Court, Kings County, which, upon a fact-finding order of the same court, made after a hearing, finding that the appellant had committed acts which, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the crimes of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, petit larceny, unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree, and criminal mischief in the fourth degree, adjudged him to be a juvenile delinquent and placed him on probation for a period of 12 months.

A Kings County Grand Larceny attorney said that the appellant contends that the evidence presented at the fact-finding hearing, which established that he was a passenger in the back seat of a stolen automobile, was legally insufficient to establish that he committed acts, which, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the crimes of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, petit larceny, and criminal mischief in the fourth degree.

The Court agrees. As defined by the Penal Law, the term “possess” means “to have physical possession or otherwise to exercise dominion or control over tangible property”. The record is devoid of any evidence that the appellant exercised “dominion or control” over the stolen automobile, and his mere presence as a passenger in the vehicle “cannot be equated with his possession thereof”. Further, in the absence of evidence that the appellant “possessed” the subject automobile, the inference of guilt arising from the unexplained or falsely-explained possession of recently stolen property is not applicable, and the finding that the appellant committed the offenses of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, grand larceny in the fourth degree, and petit larceny cannot be sustained. Moreover, while the stolen automobile was extensively damaged, the circumstantial evidence adduced at the fact-finding hearing was insufficient to establish that the appellant was the individual who damaged the vehicle, or that he acted in concert with the individual who damaged the vehicle. Accordingly, we vacate the Family Court’s finding that the appellant committed the offense of criminal mischief in the fourth degree.

However, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the presentment agency, the Court finds that it was legally sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant committed an act, which if committed by an adult, would have constituted the crime of unauthorized use of a vehicle.

In another case, a juvenile delinquency proceeding pursuant to Family Court Act article 3, the appeal is from an order of disposition of the Family Court, Kings County, which, upon a fact-finding order of the same court, made after a hearing, finding that the appellant had committed acts which, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the crimes of attempted grand larceny in the fourth degree, menacing in the third degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, adjudged him to be a juvenile delinquent and placed him on probation for a period of 24 months.

A Kings County Grand Larceny lawyer said that the evidence adduced at the fact-finding hearing reveals that on the date of the incident, the appellant and another youth approached the complainant on a southbound “L” train. There was only one other person in the car, who was asleep at the other end of the car. The appellant and the other youth stood a few feet in front of the complainant. The appellant asked the complainant if he had anything in his pocket, as he and the other youth produced two wooden sticks from their pants, each holding one stick in his right hand at his side. The complainant hesitated and then said “What?” The appellant then asked the complainant what he had in his pockets, as he shook the stick in his hand. The complainant said “Excuse me?” The appellant then told the complainant to give him what was in his pockets, as he shook the stick in his right hand. The complainant testified that he “feared bodily harm.”

Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the presentment agency, the Court is satisfied that it was legally sufficient to establish that the appellant committed acts which, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the crimes of attempted grand larceny in the fourth degree and menacing in the third degree. Moreover, upon the exercise of our factual review power, we are satisfied that the findings of fact with respect to attempted grand larceny in the fourth degree and menacing in the third degree were not against the weight of the evidence.

The Court noted that the Family Court incorrectly stated in the order of disposition that it had found that the appellant committed acts which, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the crime of attempted petit larceny, instead of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, which the Family Court had found the appellant had committed in the fact-finding order. The Family Court dismissed the attempted petit larceny charge in the fact-finding order, but nevertheless included that charge in the order of disposition. Therefore, the Court modify the order of disposition by deleting the provision regarding attempted petit larceny. Nevertheless, based on the factual findings of the Family Court that the appellant committed acts which, if committed by an adult, would have constituted the crimes of attempted grand larceny in the fourth degree and menacing in the third degree, the Court otherwise affirm the disposition.

Here in Stephen Bilkis and Associates, our Kings County Grand Larceny lawyers make it a point that a thief will be liable to his acts no matter how big or small is the value of the property. Call us now.

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