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Phillip J. Murphy Attorney at Law New City Criminal Defense Attorney
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New City Theft & Shoplifting Attorney

Property Crimes Attorney

Theft means taking someone else’s property without permission. If you are suspected of a theft crime, the severity of the charges filed against you varies, depending on the value of the stolen property. Theft charges can result in fines and jail time. But because theft is a crime that goes to a defendant’s honesty, theft or shoplifting charges can affect many areas of a person’s life. An experienced New City theft & shoplifting attorney can help you protect your rights, and perhaps mitigate your charges.

Property crimes may include charges for:

  • Burglary;
  • Robbery;
  • Shoplifting;
  • Petit and grand larceny;
  • Credit card theft;
  • Auto theft;
  • Embezzlement;
  • Possession of stolen goods; and
  • Many more offenses.


A theft crime is committed when a person steals either goods or services. “Property” is broadly defined. It includes

  • Money;
  • Tangible property, like electronics or jewelry;
  • Real property;
  • Intellectual property, such as trade secrets or computer software;
  • Financial instruments
  • Documents;
  • Contract rights;
  • Services; and
  • Any other type of personal or real property, whether tangible or intangible.


In order to commit a theft crime, the property must be taken. But this does not need to be a physical taking. A person could, for example, fraudulently obtain an interest in real property, steal labor, or fraudulently obtain title to property, such as a house or car.

Taking may also be by force or by deception. Theft by deception means obtaining property through trickery or lies. A person commits robbery by taking property from another’s person. Unlawfully taking property from a house or building may be burglary. The theft of services may include getting medical care without intending to pay, or tampering with a utility meter to avoid paying for what you use.

New York

In New York, a person commits the offense of grand larceny by stealing property valued at $1,000 or more. Grand larceny is a felony offense, and the class of felony depends on the value of what was stolen. Petit larceny is for stolen property worth less than $1,000, and is a misdemeanor. The possession of stolen property is also a criminal offense.

New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, a person commits theft by unlawfully taking or exercising control over another’s property. The severity of the charges depends on the value of the stolen property. Under New Jersey law, shoplifting is a separate offense from theft.


In Connecticut, the crime of larceny includes offenses like embezzlement, extortion, theft of services, receiving stolen property, shoplifting, stealing automobiles, theft by deception, etc. The greater the value of what was stolen, the more serious the degree of larceny.


Theft offenses are serious crimes with far-reaching consequences. Even after all fines have been paid and all jail time served, they can affect a person’s life. Trust issues often dog those convicted of theft offenses. Potential employers may be unwilling to trust you, and educational opportunities may be closed to you because of a theft conviction.

If you have been charged with theft, you should retain the services of an experienced theft attorney, who can help you formulate your case and understand defenses such as illegal search and seizure, return of property, or entrapment. Please contact New City theft attorney Phillip Murphy for a free initial consultation.

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