Can I be charged with grand larceny for removing furniture from an apartment that I shared with my husband?

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Can I be charged with grand larceny for removing furniture from an apartment that I shared with my husband?

Approximately 2 months ago I moved out of the apartment that I shared with my husband because he was being abusive (I went back briefly last month). Thereafter, he changed the locks on the apartment. Forward to yesterday, where I took the remaining furniture that I paid for out of the apartment, and he then called the cops on me. He said I stole the furniture. I have proof that I paid for the furniture because I used my debit account. Can I be charged with a crime? My name is still on the lease and I didn’t tell the management company I was leaving, I left quickly because of the abuse.

Asked on February 22, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Well first of all he had no right to change the locks in the first place unless a court gave him exclusive occupancy of the apartment.  But, you had no right to break in and take assets of the marriage without the same ok from the court.  Even if the charges were made on your debit card, if the purchased was made during the marriage and with marital funds (what's yours is his and vice versa when it comes to pay) then it is a marital asset and really only a judge can decide who gets what if you both will not agree.  I would strongly suggest that you seek legal consultation on the divorce at this stage of the game.  And stay away from him for the time being.  Good luck.


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