A person steals $5000 from a victim in Manhattan, $2000 from a victim in Brooklyn and $45,000 from a victim in White Plains. Jurisdictional issues aside, can each of these crimes be aggregated so that prosecution can charge this person with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (theft of $50,000 or over) or must there be three separate and lesser counts of Grand Larceny?
The general rule applied in these circumstances is that if there is a scheme whereby a person steals from the same victim or location, then there can be an aggregation. However, the above scenario may be different because the victims and locations are different.
While the answer is not always clear, what is clear is that there must be evidence of a separate intent for each separate and distinct theft. See People v. Ramos. Furthermore, a prosecutor in the Grand Jury or a judge at trial must instruct the jury that even though there were thefts on multiple dates, the jury must find a “single intent” despite those different dates. See People v. Tighe.
While the above scenario appears complicated, an experienced criminal defense attorney should be prepared to challenge the criminal complaint or indictment. That is why before you retain counsel to represent you in a complicated criminal matter you should seek out a criminal defense attorney with practical training and experience necessary to guide you through this process.