Previous posts here have mentioned that the two types of theft crimes in New City are the crimes of larceny and embezzlement. In New York, there are various levels of larceny, ranging from petit larceny to grand larceny in the first degree. Being accused of these crimes is a serious matter, since there can be harsh consequences upon conviction. However, it may help to know that under New York law there are some affirmative defenses to the crimes of embezzlement or larceny committed by trespassory taking.
First of all, if the property at issue was taken under a good faith claim of right, this may be used as an affirmative defense argument. After all, theft crimes are crimes of intent and if a person has a good faith reason to believe that they had a right to the property, this may be made a part of their defense argument.
Second, when it comes to accusations of larceny by extortion, wherein the victim is afraid that either he or a third party will face criminal charges, an affirmative defense argument may be made if the accused held the reasonable belief that the criminal charges being threatened were viable, and if the accused’s only purpose was to make the victim take reasonable steps to remedy the wrong.
Affirmative defenses can be an important part of the accused’s case when it comes to theft crimes in New York. The successful implementation of such defenses can be the linchpin to being found not guilty.