Shoplifting Defense

by Michael J. Redenburg on Jul. 06, 2010

Criminal Misdemeanor 

Summary: The most common shoplifting charges I see are petit larceny, Penal Law Section 155.25 and criminal possession of stolen property, Penal Law Section 165.40.

A defendant charged with shoplifting / petit larceny in Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island, New York is often given a Desk Appearance Ticket, if this represents their first arrest. Even if given a Desk Appearance Ticket, an individual accused of shoplifting / petit larceny has been arrested. However, rather than making the accused spend the night in jail and appear before the judge for arraignment, the officer who arrested you is trusting that you will appear on the date indicated on the Desk Appearance Ticket for your arraignment. Many times, I have been successful in getting an ACD for clients accused of shoplifting, where it is their first arrest, and the dollar amount in question is relatively small.

Do not take a shoplifting charge too lightly. Shoplifting is a crime and if you are convicted, you will have a criminal record which most background checks will reveal. Most employers consider this a sign of dishonesty, and such a conviction may limit your ability to obtain employment in the future. Shoplifting is a Misdemeanor and New York does not allow for the expungement of Misdemeanors.

Macy's, Sephora, American Apparel and Duane Reade, to name a few, are known to employ plain clothes security personnel within their stores to look for shoplifters.

Legal Articles Additional Disclaimer is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice. Content posted on is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such content originated and is not reviewed or commented on by The application of law to any set of facts is a highly specialized skill, practiced by lawyers and often dependent on jurisdiction. Content on the site of a legal nature may or may not be accurate for a particular state or jurisdiction and may largely depend on specific circumstances surrounding individual cases, which may or may not be consistent with your circumstances or may no longer be up-to-date to the extent that laws have changed since posting. Legal articles therefore are for review as general research and for use in helping to gauge a lawyer's expertise on a matter. If you are seeking specific legal advice, recommends that you contact a lawyer to review your specific issues. See's full Terms of Use for more information.