Can I still be charged with larceny ifI made partial restitution?

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Can I still be charged with larceny ifI made partial restitution?

I illegally removed scrap from a scrapyard. I was caught and made an agreement to pay $1400 by a certain date. On this date I was unable to pay the amount. So I was given a second date, 4 days later, to come up with the money. Additionally, I had to sign a note that I would pay an extra $600. I paid the original $1400 that was agreed upon and was given a receipt stating such. Can I be brought up on criminal charges when I have a receipt stating the first $1400 was accepted? Is it now a civil case for him to obtain the other $600 that he wants? I was forced to avoid prosecution.

Asked on March 14, 2011 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the "debt" came from a criminal act, then--

1) You can be charged or prosecuted regardless of whether you make restitution; taking the scrap is a crime regardless of what happens next, though having made restition would certainly be considered in your favor.

2) The issue is, does the yard owner treat it as a crime? If he does, he can report it...though could also face some liability himself, since you are not supposed to use the threat of criminal prosecution to compel any payment (i.e. if it's a crime, it should be reported, not used as leverage to get money).

3) Since you are paying, it may be difficult, as a practical matter, for the owner to treat this as a crime and not as a civil dispute; again though, technically, if you commit a crime, you *could* be reported to the police regardless of restitution.

4) If you were to sued for the money, the most that you could be sued for is that value of what you took.


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