I was Arrested at the Palisades Mall in West Nyack: Understanding Shoplifting Crimes in Clarkstown Justice Court

The Palisades Mall in West Nyack, Rockland County, is one of the area’s premier shopping centers. But having high end stores selling expensive merchandise does lend itself to a fair share of problems. Yes, the costs of some items may be prohibitive, but the bigger issues is when someone decides that while at the Palisades Mall they are going to shoplift and steal from The Home Depot, Modell’s, Gap, Staples, DSW or any of its dozens of stores. Depending on the nature of the theft, and remember you do not need to leave the store or the mall itself to be arrested for shoplifting, and the value of the property you attempt to steal, an accused shoplifter can face either misdemeanor or felony charges. These crimes range from Petit Larceny to Grand Larceny as well as the “sister” crimes of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. This blog entry will address shoplifting Crimes in Rockland’s County’s Palisades Mall, prosecution for these crimes in Clarkstown Justice Court and the potential offenses that can land an alleged shoplifter ultimately in Rockland County Court.

Whether you tag switched, removed security devices, or merely hid clothing or other items in you jacket or bag, value generally dictates the type of larceny crime you will face. Assuming the items collectively are equal to or less than $1,000.00, then the likely crimes you will face when arraigned in Clarkstown Criminal Court will be Petit Larceny, New York Penal Law 155.25, and Fifth Degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, New York Penal Law 165.40. While PL 155.25 is the unlawful taking of the property, PL 165.40 is the unlawful and criminal possession of that property irrespective of whether you were the person who actually removed the property. A conviction for either of these crimes is punishable by a year in the Rockland County Jail, but the law allows for probation, community service and even a fine. Equally concerning, because a misdemeanor conviction is indelible, meaning it never gets erased, should you be arrested for shoplifting at the Palisades Mall your goal is to fight the case to exoneration if the evidence lends itself to this possible defense or minimize your exposure to a non-criminal resolution such as an ACD or Disorderly Conduct.

If your theft accusation and arrest involves an item valued north of $1,000.00 or more than $3,000.00, then the crimes you will face are still larceny offenses, but felony shoplifting crimes. These offenses include Fourth Degree Grand Larceny, New York Penal Law 155.30, and Third Degree Grand Larceny, New York Penal Law 155.35, respectively. Fourth Degree Grand Larceny is an “E” felony with a prison sentence up to four years while Third Degree Grand Larceny is a “D” felony with a potential term of imprisonment topping off at seven years. Just as in the misdemeanor scenarios, the knowingly unlawful possession of this property is Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, New York Penal Law 165.45, and Third Degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, New York Penal Law 165.50. These two offenses are punishable just as their equally designated “sister” crimes of Grand Larceny.

Should you be arrested for and charged with misdemeanor offenses, your case will be prosecuted in Clarkstown Justice Court. Similarly, even if your crime is a felony you will likely appear in Clarkstown. The difference, however, is in the even the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office decides to proceed on a felony charge an not make a lesser offer, your case could then go to a Grand Jury. If you are indicted then your case will be transferred to a felony judge sitting in County Court. As bad as misdemeanors can be and in fact are, felonies are that much worse.

This blog entry is not an attempt to substitute an examination of the factors and evidence in your particular case by your own criminal defense lawyer who will  determine what the best defense is for your case. Simply, a blog entry cannot answer that question. Instead, this entry can give you the foundation to better understand larceny crimes, shoplifting offenses potential exposure and how a case may proceed in a Palisades Mall shoplift. To better understand the crime or crimes, possible defenses, and how you can best protect yourself, consult with your criminal lawyer.

Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense firm established by two former Manhattan prosecutors. The New York criminal lawyers at Saland Law represent clients throughout the lower Hudson Valley and the New York City area including both Rockland and Westchester Counties.

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