Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property: When a Theft Requires a Mandatory Prison Sentence

I have blogged extensively on the criminal law and specifically as it relates to New York criminal defense and the charges of Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. In fact, as criminal defense attorney at Crotty Saland PC and a former Manhattan prosecutor, I have successfully handled these crimes more times than I can count. In the past year alone, I represented two clients in Manhattan Supreme Court both of whom avoided jail. One of those individuals was alleged to have stolen multiple millions of dollars while the other was alleged to have stolen property valued in the multiple tens of thousands of dollars. While the charges may be the same – Grand Larceny – each crime and each person accused requires a unique and individualized plan of attack to analyze and implement a formidable defense. These crimes are not going away any time soon.

Only yesterday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced the indictment of Richard Garaventa, Jr. for stealing $2,514,519 from his former employer, Morgan Stanley. Mr.Garaventa is accused of issuing fifty checks that he ultimately funneled back to himself for a period of approximately seven years. The checks ranged in value from about $8,000 to over $70,000. Mr. Garaventa is charged with Grand Larceny in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the First Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree.

At this stage, Mr. Garaventa knows or should know how critical it is to put his defense into motion whatever it may be. The necessity of a implementing an aggressive defense is important in all matters, but is imperative in cases where the law requires a mandatory minimum sentence if you are convicted of the charges. In the area of Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Mr. Garaventa has exceed that threshold.

Even if Mr. Garaventa’s alleged theft does not require imprisonment if convicted, that does not guarantee he will not end up incarcerated. Although the law may not require a mandatory minimum a judge may still impose a significant jail sentence. Assuming you have no record, however, a theft must equal or exceed $1,000,000 before jail times is required by law. If you possess or steal that money then one to three years is the minimum sentence you will face and the maximum would be eight and one third to twenty five years in prison. Again, if you steal less – $1000 or more, $3,000 or more or $50,000 or more – you may not face a mandatory minimum sentence, but you do face up to four, seven and fifteen years respectively. Make no mistake, a prosecutor and judge will not throw their hands up in the air if you are accused of stealing $5,000, $15,000 or $60,000 merely because jail is not required by law if you are convicted. If you do not implement a plan with an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend your freedom and liberty you could, and likely will, find yourself behind bars for years to come.

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