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  1. #1

    Default New York: Petit Larceny, Class A Misdemeanor (155.25)


    I'm 19 years old, an academically successful college sophomore and I've got a completely clean record. I was arrested for the listed offense. My friends and I went to a gas station to get food. I had a canvas bag with me, and I placed some candy items in the bag. The clerk was wise to me and as my friends had Subway sandwiches made for them, the police drove up to the store and entered it.

    They asked what I had in my bag, and I immediately blurted out that I was going to pay for it. Equally as immediately, the officer began aggressively asking questions like "So which one of you has the marijuana?," "How much have you been drinking tonight?," "and Have you ever smoked before?", refusing to accept that firstly a) none of us have even touched marijuana, and b) we certainly didn't have any that night, nor alcohol.

    The cop took all of our licenses and my wallet, checking to see how much money I had (only $2). Then he opened my bag and went through the items of food I had stolen: five items, totaling $8.35. He then instructed me to place my hands behind my back, and I was handcuffed. He took me out to the back seat of his police car, and went back inside to continue questioning my friends. Then he came back, opened the door, and as he was digging around through my back pockets in a hopeless and desperate attempt to find marijuana, he began asking me questions such as why I didn't ask my friends to lend me the money, since they had it (I answered that in retrospect, I should have); whether I felt what I did was wrong (I answered yes); and if I had stolen from the store in the past (I answered no).

    My friends eventually were told to leave after their pockets were also searched for any sort of drugs, which none of them had. I was taken to the police station, patted down and frisked (still no marijuana), handcuffed to the bench, asked various questions about myself and fingerprinted. Ultimately, I was not taken to the county jail on bail because I was a "gentleman" and entirely calm and cooperative throughout the proceedings, and I also live just a block from the police station. But I was handed sheets of paper charging me with petty larceny and told I had a court appearance in less than a month.

    When I got home, I read the charges and realized the third sheet of paper listed that "the DA intends to offer into evidence certain voluntary oral and/or written statements made by the defendant to cop's name on date.

    The substance of said statement:

    'In retrospect I know it was wrong and I shouldn't have done it'"

    I was also told that if I wished to "attack the alleged statements as involuntary, [I] am hereby required to notify the DA of said fact within the time period provided," and whether I desire a preliminary hearing on such issues.

    I'll be consulting some lawyers I know soon for unpaid advice, but in the mean time, I have some questions.

    1) My statement to the officer, in my view, was far from "voluntary." I was being searched as an intimidating police officer asked me several pointed questions about the incident, and on top of that, I was never read my rights. Unfortunately, I don't have very much faith in the local law enforcement officials and I believe it would most likely be my word against his.

    2) On top of that, could challenging the voluntariness of my collected statements have negative implications on my sentencing? Is it risky?

    3) Keeping in mind my status as a previously 100% clean record, as well as a college student at a prestigious public university with a high grade point average, as well as what could be perceived issues regarding the offense ($8.35 not even stolen from the store, but with my "intent" based upon a "confession" to which I was not read my rights), what do you think a probable sentence is? I'm a little scared considering this is a class A misdemeanor, which according to my preliminary research, carries between a sentencing of one year probation (minimum) to one year in prison (maximum.)

    4) I've yet to even tell my family about this, as they'd be very upset with me as well as worried given the maximum sentence even if I'm unlikely to receive it. We don't have much money and I'm not sure I'll be able to afford a lawyer. I'm beginning to realize that a lawyer will probably be necessary, though. How much approximately do you think this will cost for a case such as mine? Is there any possibility I could have a lawyer appointed to me for free?

    If I think of any more questions or issues, I'll post them here for your advice as well - I haven't really had it all together lately, so there are probably things I've neglected to detail here, in addition to spelling and grammatical errors - for all that, I apologize. Thank you very much in advance for any help you could possibly offer me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: New York: Petit Larceny, Class A Misdemeanor (155.25)

    Unpaid, nothing. Hire a lawyer to represent you in court. It isn't clear whether you were in custody when you were questioned; if not, Miranda has no relevance. A lawyer can help clarify that based upon all of the facts and circumstances, but more importantly a lawyer may be able to help you avoid a conviction. To determine local prevailing rates, you will have to ask area lawyers what they would charge to represent you.

    If you are convicted you are almost certainly going to get probation, but why be convicted if you can avoid it?

  3. #3

    Default Re: New York: Petit Larceny, Class A Misdemeanor (155.25)

    I've hired a lawyer and we've been looking at what I believe are bargaining possibilities under NYS law such as ACD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal) and the reduction of charges to a disorderly conduct violation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: New York: Petit Larceny, Class A Misdemeanor (155.25)

    Hi, I am Medical Doctor I work in the Intensive care unit over night. During the day after a 24 hour CALL in the hospital I was at a grocery store shopping, My wife called me to pick her up from work, I left my groceries in the cart infront of the security desk and went to pick her up. I took an item from the store worth 10 $ and placed it in my car before I went to pick up my wife. The empty package from the item was left behind in the cart. When I came back with my wife we did some more shopping during which I took some items off the cart which included the empty package and a tea pot and some soda. While she was at the check out counter she asked me to go get some more stuff. When we were done checking out the security officer called me to the television monitoring room and asked me if I has paid for everything. I replied I think I have. She asked again and I remembered what she was talking about. Since security had gone to my cart and checked it while I was Gone and they has seen the empty package on the cart. NOw they kept on asking me where is the Empty pack I was like I must have thrown it some where with the other stuff which I didnt want. Then I told them the item was out side in my car. They called the Police who hand cuffed me and took me to the station and Got pictures of me and took my finger prints. And then let me go with a little sheet sayin I was charged with Petit larency 155.25.
    NOw my question is that maximum sentence of this Class A misdemeanor is 1one year imprisonment I could lose my JOb my home and everything if I am charged. I have NO previous record , I Was definalty in an impaired state of mind since I had worked 24 hours prior to the incident, I gave my address my social security, My drivers licence , I told them where my car is before the police came so they could take out the item , I did all that Voluntarily and cooperated with the security officer.
    During the time they were asking me hostile questions and I tired to get up and go out since my wife was out side and she had no idea wat was goin on. The manager got really pissed off when I got up from my chair and start yelling at me to sit down and Forced my arms behind me. When the officer came he did not say anything AT ALL, Did not read my rights, Did not even go to the car to get item , he just asked my wife to get the item and return it to the manager.
    My concern is that How bad does it look, Am I goin to jail, Should I hire a lawyer, how much does it take to hire a lawyer( Ball park figure) , and What are all the options available. Like should I plead guilty since they have me on video taking out the item from its case and into my car and then dumping the package later. Actually they could never find the package and thats what pissed them and they said give us the package and we will let you go. They also made me take off my shoes and empty my pockets and found nothing.
    I am very sad after this incident since my profession requires me to have the highest moral standards and I have maybe failed to regard them. Its effecting my sleep and my work which involves critical decisons regarding seriously ill pateints. I dont have the guts to tell anyone at work. Please help me.

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