What to do if my friend and I got arrested for petty theft a couple weeks ago?

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2013

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What to do if my friend and I got arrested for petty theft a couple weeks ago?

It totalled about $70. This “undercover” Protection Officer stopped us at the door and asked us to come back to his office. He made me empty my purse. Then he asked for our ID’s but since they were in the car he said he had to call the cops. We got “arrested”, no handcuffs or anything. The cop didn’t even read us rights. We went willingly and cooperated with everyone. The Protection Officer said he wasn’t going to ban us because we were nice and didn’t give him any trouble. So we got fingerprinted and got a ticket for a court date coming up next week in town court. This is our first offense ever.

Asked on August 3, 2013 under Criminal Law, New York


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You and your friend need to get a lawyer as soon as you can.  New York criminal laws use the term “larceny” to describe theft laws. In New York, larceny occurs when a person “wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds” property from its rightful owner, with the intent to deprive the owner of such property. (N.Y. Penal Law § 155.05.)

Theft as Petit Larceny. The lowest-level theft offense in New York is called "petit larceny," or petty theft, which is the unlawful taking of property or services valued at no more than $1,000. New York law classifies petit larceny as a class A misdemeanor. (N.Y. Penal Law § 155.25.)

A sentence for conviction of a class A misdemeanor in New York may include imprisonment for a term not to exceed one year and a fine not to exceed $1,000. (Penal Law § 70.15, § 80.05(1).)

I don't care how "nice" everyone seemed.  Get a lawyer now.

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