Any attorney who claims that white collar crimes are not as serious as those involving violence is a lawyer who likely has neither the knowledge nor experience how thefts, larcenies, frauds and other schemes are investigated and prosecuted in New York City or elsewhere in the Hudson Valley. While a theft crime for Embezzlement, Extortion, or another related offense may not require mandatory prison and incarceration upon conviction in most circumstances for first time offenders, the practical reality is that a sentence “upstate” is far from atypical. Even those who don’t face a sentence of this magnitude recognize that a felony conviction will forever tarnish their name, follow them throughout their lives and careers, and end never be expunged. Want to work in the financial sector, public sector, as a teacher, lawyer, physician, accountant, nurse or merely have a professional career? It will be a long time before you ever, if you can, run away from a conviction. Fortunately for a recent Crotty Saland PC client charged with Second Degree Grand Larceny, New York Penal Law 155.40(1), Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, New York Penal Law 165.45(1), and Fourth Degree Grand Larceny, New York Penal Law 155.30(4), an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal will remove one of the most horrific experiences of our client’s life within six months.
Our client, a college student, was at a party in Manhattan when our client was stopped by one of the homeowners and confronted after someone claimed our client stole jewelry from the parents’ bedroom. Upon “strip searching” our client, the homeowner recovered some items and rightfully threw our client out of the home. What happened next, however, threw the criminal case and felony arrest into a bit of chaos to the benefit of our client.
While having a party with underage drinkers hosted by an underage person does not mean he or she is lying about being a crime victim, what started off as a few thousand dollars of alleged theft (and recovery) developed into an alleged theft of well north of $50,000 in expensive jewelry and a credit card. Adamantly denying removing anything from the home including the jewels or a credit card, our client was ready to admit to some degree of wrongdoing influenced by youth and intoxication. However, the young homeowner minimized the number of people at the party and denied that he stripped down our client.
Fortunately, due to what can likely be described as the immaturity and need for instant gratification that has permeated much of today’s youth, the homeowner posted a video on youtube of him and others confronting our client and searching him. Moreover, the video reflected dozens of people at the party. Because prosecutors were unaware of the video, Crotty Saland PC inquired as to how many people were at the party (under the theory hat others could have stolen the credit card or additional jewelry if true) and whether our client was searched (if our client was searched then any outstanding jewelry would have been recovered). As expected, the complainant denied the search and minimized the number of people at the party in complete contrast to the video that at the time prosecutors did not know existed.
Armed with this inconsistency and clear lack of credibility, one of our criminal defense lawyers asserted that the lie by the complainant confirmed that our client neither stole a credit card nor jewelry valued beyond $50,000 and shared the video. As such, our client was not guilty of Grand Larceny nor Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. Maybe there was a theft and it could have included a credit card, but it was at the hand of another underage drinking party-goer.
Upon reviewing the video, our assertions, and the strength of the case, or lack thereof, the District Attorney adjourned the case for dismissal pursuant to an ACD. No conviction. No admission of any guilt. No criminal record. Equally important, our client learned a valuable lesson that will not soon be forgotten even if the experience did not leave our client damaged with a life altering record.
To learn about the varying degrees, subsections and types of New York Grand Larceny, including the class “C” felony of Second Degree Grand Larceny, review the links found here and read the content found throughout our blogs and websites listed below.
Crotty Saland PC is a New York criminal defense firm founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors.