Every state has its own definitions and classifications of theft. One of the factors that affects the seriousness of the offense is the value of the object or dollar amount taken. In New York, grand larceny applies to misappropriated property that is worth $1,000 or more.
A person who faces grand larceny charges may have a potentially successful defense strategy available, depending on the circumstances. Here are three grand larceny defense tactics that some defendants have used to receive a lesser or deferred sentence, lower fines and restitution and other positive outcomes.
- Property is lower in value
The value of any object may not be a straightforward dollar amount. If the defendant can show that the allegedly stolen item may have a value lower than the threshold of $1,000, the prosecution may lower the charge to petty theft, which is a misdemeanor.
- Claim of ownership
Ownership is another factor that is not always as straightforward as it may seem. If the defendant can show that he or she has good reason to believe that he or she shares ownership of the item, or that there is no evidence to the contrary, then good faith ownership may be a possible defense strategy.
- Property owner consent
Not all grand theft charges are valid; some involve false accusations. Sometimes plaintiffs allege theft when they cannot recall giving property or permission to the defendant, do not want to honor an agreement or do not want to accept the return of property after the defendant borrows it.
There may be other options for defense strategies that can lead to a better outcome for people facing a grand theft charge. The results will be contingent on the circumstances and evidence in the case, as well as the strength of the criminal defense team.