A husband and wife were accused of having issued checks that bounced. A New York Drug Crime Lawyer said there were nineteen checks issued altogether and the value of each check amount to no less than twenty dollars and no more than thirty dollars. The checks were issued as payment of items bought at nine different stores and business establishments.
The public prosecutor brought these facts to the Grand Jury and asked the Grand Jury to hand down an indictment against the spouses for grand larceny. The grand larceny issued an indictment for grand larceny. Before arraignment, the accused couple asked the trial court to order the district attorney to file a bill of particulars to state the facts on which the charges are based.
When the district attorney had complied and had submitted the bill of particulars, the couple moved for the dismissal of the charges. The couple argues that grand larceny cannot be charged against them as each check represents a separate crime. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the checks were issued not to one person and they were not negotiated at any one establishment. Thus, the couple contends, no crime of grand larceny was committed because none of the checks issued amounted to $250 dollars although the aggregate value of all the checks, if added together, amounts to $425. The couple maintains that the nineteen checks cannot be considered as a whole or as an aggregate sum.
The Court is faced with a determination of whether or not a charge of grand larceny can be based on facts that allege the commission of several petit larcenies such as in this case where nineteen bouncing checks were issued but none of the checks were valued beyond thirty dollars.
The Court found that it was required to pass upon the issue of whether or not the nineteen bouncing checks were issued because of a single criminal impulse or if they were issued to execute a common fraudulent scheme.
A Queens Drug Possession Lawyer said the Court asserted that in the past, several petits larcenies have been considered as one grand larceny because although several bouncing checks were issued, the checks were issued or negotiated as against one business establishment or one person such that the value taken from the victim of the larceny was only one person.
There were other cases similarly decided by the court where several petits larcenies were considered as one grand larceny because all the petits larcenies were committed in one place. There were other cases where the petits larcenies were considered one grand larceny when a common fraudulent intent was proved and there was only one victim.
The Court held that in those cases decided by the Court, the facts were clearly alleged. A Nassau County Drug Possession Lawyer said that in so doing, the Grand Juries that brought down the indictment had sufficient legal basis to find that the numerous petits larcenies constituted only one grand larceny.
In this case the facts alleged by the district attorney before the Grand Jury were not comprehensive. There was no allegation that there was one common criminal design. There was no allegation that there was a common fraudulent intent. There was no allegation that the checks were all issued by one and the same person, using one and the same account, and issued from one single place. Thus, there was no fact by which common fraudulent intent can be inferred.
The Court found that there were no sufficient facts on which the Grand Jury could have based an indictment for grand larceny. There was also no sufficient basis for the Grand Jury to indict for petits larcenies. There may be facts on which a charge for misdemeanor of issuing a fraudulent check may be based but no such charge was made.
The Court granted the motion filed by the couple. The indictment for grand larceny was dismissed.
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