A man was charged with grand larceny for having taken a car from its owner. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the car was valued at $500. The indictment stated that the man intended to deprive the owner of the car the use and benefit of the car. And when he took the car, he fully intended to use and operate the car for his own profit use and benefit. The indictment also alleged that the taking of the car was without the consent of the owner of the car.
The man pleaded guilty to the charge of grand larceny. The man’s plea of guilt was made after he was duly advised by the court that he had a right to be represented by a lawyer of his choice and if he could not afford a lawyer, one can be provided for him. Even when he did not have any lawyer present, the man still pleaded guilty. The trial court sentenced the accused to imprisonment for not less than five years and not more than ten years spent in hard labor.
The accused then filed a motion to vacate his conviction. This time, he asked for a lawyer to be provided for him. A private lawyer was appointed to defend him pro bono. The lawyer asked for an adjournment so that he can prepare a brief of his arguments to support the motion to vacate the man’s conviction for grand larceny. The adjournment was granted. The lawyer for the man filed a brief and trial was scheduled. No testimony was offered during the hearing.
A Manhattan Criminal Lawyer said the question in this motion to vacate the conviction is whether or not the indictment has sufficiently alleged the facts that support the charge of Grand Larceny.
The Court first noted that the writ applied for was granted in other cases in the past for an accused who was convicted despite a finding that he was insane at the time of the trial; when the guilt of the accused was procured by perjured testimony; when the prosecution withheld material testimony which could have resulted in the acquittal of the accused; when the accused was convicted despite his minority; when the accused was not represented by counsel and when the indictment does not charge a criminal act.
Here, the indictment does not allege facts which would support a charge for grand larceny because the value of the car stolen was only $500. Since the facts alleged in the indictment are not sufficient to charge the accused with grand larceny, then his plea of guilt to a defective charge cannot be sustained.
There is also the question of his plea of guilty without the assistance or presence of a lawyer. There is no satisfactory proof that the accused waived his right to counsel knowingly. That is, there is no showing that the accused knew what he was doing. In fact, the facts show that he needed the assistance of a lawyer: he did not know that in order to constitute the crime of grand larceny, the value of the property taken must be more than $1000. Even if he has been indicted for other crimes in the past, there is no showing that the man intelligently waived his right to counsel or that he understood what right he was giving up or waiving at that time. Under these circumstances, it cannot be said that the accused competently waived his right to counsel with full understanding of the consequences of his waiver.
Are you accused of grand larceny? Are you scheduled for arraignment? Are you thinking of pleading guilty to the charge? Even if you are going to plead guilty to the charge of grand larceny, you must still seek the advice of counsel. A New York City Grand Larceny Lawyer can explain to you the nature of the charge against you. A New York Grand Larceny Lawyer can tell you if the indictment properly charges the crime of grand larceny against you. Confer with any of the NYC Grand Larceny attorneys from Stephen Bilkis and Associates, whether you have been charged with theft, sex crimes or drug possession. Come and speak with any of the NY Grand Larceny lawyers on staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.