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Court Discusses Elements of Grand Larceny


On the night of the accident, a city police officer, while in his patrol car, stopped a man’s automobile in the area where the breaking and entering had occurred. An officer with the sheriff’s department saw a record player, a record player stand, assorted women’s clothing, and a rifle in the rear of the man’s vehicle. After the man was arrested, he tried to hide some cuff links, a watch, a ladies’ wrist watch, and other items.

The victim, whose home was broken into, identified several items in the man’s automobile that had been stolen from her home, including a white sweater, a three-piece suit, a stereo, and a watch. She estimated the value of the said items.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the man was tried for and convicted of the crime of breaking and entering with the intent to commit grand larceny. But appealed from the decision and sentence based upon a jury verdict.

Based on records, the jury was required to determine from the evidence the value of the property intended to be stolen and the conduct of the perpetrator while in the house. In addition, if the property stolen is of the value of $100 or more, the offender shall be guilty of grand larceny, which crime is punishable by imprisonment.

The basic question presented in the court for the determination of the man’s appeal is whether the evidence at the trial was sufficient to support the conviction, particularly the evidence of the value of the property which the man intended to steal.

The court cited previous case similar to the man’s case, where the perpetrator was also charged with breaking and entering a dwelling house. The person responsible to the crime was seen in, and leaving, the house. However, there was no evidence that he took anything and no evidence of the value of the contents of the house. In another case, a man was also convicted with the same matter. A witness testified that the man had told her that he had to see someone about a television set, and they subsequently entered a grade school building. Other witnesses saw two persons leaving the said building with a television set. A Queens Criminal Lawyer said the police arrived at the scene while the man was still there, and he fled and dropped the television set nearby. However, because of the insufficiency of the evidence to show the present value of the television set, the court reversed the judgment of conviction.

Consequently, the court stated that the proof about the stolen object was worth $115.55 when it was originally purchased two years earlier is not proof of its value at the time of theft. In this regard, the prosecutors might be well advised to consider using persons having knowledge of the value of used personal property in the market place as value witnesses to eliminate a defect in the evidence found by our courts over the years in the case.

As the proceeding came to an end, the court considered the following to be a fair statement of the rule established in the state on the present subject about the man’s charges. The essential element of the offense is his intent at the time of his breaking and entering to commit grand larceny that is to steal property of the value of $100 or more. While, a New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said in the absence of other evidence or circumstances, the best evidence of his intent is what he did steal, nevertheless, his said intent may be proven by such other evidence or circumstances.

As a result, the decision appealed is reversed and the cause is remanded with directions to enter a judgment of conviction of the lesser included offense of breaking and entering with intent to commit petit larceny, and with directions to re-sentence the man accordingly.

Because of the financial crisis we are all facing, some people will do anything just to obtain money. If you’ve been a victim of theft or robbery, you can ask legal assistance from the NY Grand Larceny Lawyer or NYC Petit Larceny Attorney. Similarly, your family can also ask legal guidance from the ever reliable team of New York City Criminal Lawyers at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.

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