When it comes to determining the value of allegedly stolen property, police and prosecutors in New City may want to place as high a value as is possible, to bolster their case against the accused. However, it is important that any value placed on allegedly stolen property is both fair and appropriate, as it can affect the charges and penalties the accused faces.
With regards to larceny charges in New York, per New York Penal Code Section 155.20, in general, the value of the item allegedly stolen will be the same as the market value of the item at the time and location of the reported crime. If this value cannot be ascertained, then the value will be determined to be that which it would cost to replace the item within a reasonable amount of time.
If the item allegedly stolen does not have a readily available market value, such as bonds and securities, the definition of "value" becomes more complicated. For example, the value of an item that constitutes the evidence of a debt, such as a check or promissory note, will be determined to be the amount due thereon minus any indebtedness that has been satisfied.
If the item allegedly stolen is the right to a service, such as a transportation or entertainment ticket, the value will be the price stated on the ticket. If the ticket does not state a price, the value will be determined to be that which the issuer of the ticket would charge the general public.
If the item allegedly stolen is a utility, such as electricity, water or gas, the value of the item will be the value of the item within 12 consecutive months. Finally, if none of the above methods can determine the value of the item allegedly stolen, the value of the item will be determined to be under $250.
Those charged with larceny or other theft crimes may be facing an uphill battle, especially when it comes to determining a fair value of the item allegedly stolen. Since this value can have an effect on the penalties a person could face if he or she was convicted of larceny, he or she may want to seek legal advice, so that his or her rights are not infringed upon.