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Court Rules Upon Third Petit Theft Conviction, Offense is a Felony


In a court proceeding, a man filed an appeal for his conviction and sentence for felony petit theft. He asserts that the subsection of the statue convicting him does not permit consideration of convictions for petit larceny.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said that based on records, petit theft is normally a misdemeanor and the law specifically provides that upon a third or subsequent conviction for petit theft, the offender shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree. Therefore, in order to be sentenced under the felony provisions, the offender must have been convicted twice previously with a petit theft (petit larceny) case. Yet, the trial court indicated that they considered two previous convictions of the man, one for petit larceny and one for attempted petit larceny, as the basis for the man’s enhanced sentence. Since the statute does not permit consideration of the attempted petit larceny conviction, the trial court erred in sentencing the man.
Consequently, the court finds no distinction between the two statutes for the purpose of sentencing. As a result, the court decided to reverse the sentence and remand the cause for resentencing.

In another case, a man was charged with robbery. But, he requested that the jury be instructed upon the lesser included offenses of assault with intent to commit robbery, grand larceny, assault with intent to commit grand larceny, petit larceny and assault with intent to commit petit larceny. The jury found the man guilty of robbery but the man alleges that the refusal to grant the requested instructions was reversible error.

A Staten Island Criminal Lawyer said on the authority of the Supreme Court’s decision citing another case, they compelled to agree on it. On the said case, the court mandated strict compliance and the instructions were given on a category III and IV offenses. Those are lesser included offenses which are necessarily included in the offense charged and those which may be or may not be included in the offense charged, depending on the severe pleading and evidence. In addition, the assault charges are in a category IV offenses. But, in the man’s case the robbery information and evidence supported the assault instructions. Based on re cords, the trial court thus committed reversible error in failing to give the requested instructions.

As a result, the court considered the man’s other point on appeal and found it without merit. Therefore, the cause is reversed and remanded for a new trial.

Lastly, another man was also charged with larceny of a cow. The man and his companion were stopped while driving a truck containing two cows. He was tried, found guilty and placed five years probation with the condition to serve six months in jail.

The court also examined the points that the man raises on the appeal and found them to be without merit. However, the court stated that they should vacate the decision and sentence since at the time the man committed the offense. The larceny of a cow was not a specific crime although the man’s conduct did fall within the general larceny decree.

At the time of the offense, the larceny law provided for the crimes of grand larceny, involving the theft of property of the value of $100 or more and petit larceny, involving property valued at less than $100. Based on records, there was no special provision dealing with the theft of livestock. But, there was sufficient evidence to show that the man was guilty of a larceny and there was no testimony as to the value of the cows.

Consequently, the court decided to vacate the decision and sentence and direct the lower court to enter a decision of petit larceny. The man was resentenced accordingly.

It is upsetting to be a victim of theft, robbery or sex crimes. If you need legal assistance in pursuing your legal action against the person who robbed you, you can seek help from the NYC Criminal Lawyer. However, if you wish to consult more than one legal expert, the NY Petit Larceny Attorney or New York City Grand Larceny Lawyers at Stephen Bilkis and Associates are always ready to receive your call.

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