Of those who are arrested in Manhattan for shoplifting and directed to
appear in Midtown Community Court in New York City, we often encounter
clients who fail to take the situation they are in seriously. These clients
are arrested and issued Desk Appearance Tickets (D.A.T.s) and then released
without going through the unpleasant experience of being transported to
Central Booking. As we've stressed before in prior blogs, the D.A.T.
is to be taken seriously - this blog deals specifically with appearance
tickets issued in cases involving shoplifting where defendants are directed
to appear in Midtown Court, located at 314 West 54th Street.
In the typical shoplifting case, the defendant is observed by store security
guards (usually on camera in larger department stores such as Bloomingdale's
and Macy's) either conceal merchandise openly on camera, or go to
an area of the store where the cameras cannot film them and secret the
items on their person, only to emerge seemingly empty-handed. Store security
stops the individuals before they exit the store without paying (the law
doesn't require that they actually make it out of the store - a larceny
only requires a "moving" of the property with an intent to permanently
deprive the owner of it) and the police are notified. Usually, in cases
where a New York State resident with valid identification with no arrest
record is caught shoplifting, responding police officers will issue a
Desk Appearance Ticket in lieu of "putting the accused through the
system", meaning they get to avoid sitting in a holding cell downtown
for at least 24 hours before seeing a judge. This is where we see clients
fail to take the situation seriously – ("they just gave me
a ticket, what's the big deal?") - but the truth of the matter
is these clients are generally charged with two class "A" misdemeanors,
both of which are punishable by up to one year in jail - petit larceny,
and its accompanying charge, criminal possession of stolen property in
the fourth degree. Those charges are listed below:
§ 155.25 Petit larceny.
A person is guilty of petit larceny when he steals property.
Petit larceny is a class A misdemeanor.
§ 165.40 Criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree.
A person is guilty of criminal possession of stolen property in the
fifth degree when he knowingly possesses stolen property, with intent to
benefit himself or a person other than an owner thereof or to impede the
recovery by an owner thereof.
Criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree is a class
The accused shoplifters in these cases are directed to appear several weeks
later at 314 West 54th Street at 9:30 a.m. to be arraigned on criminal charges. If no disposition
is worked out by a lawyer on that day, all of the cases are then adjourned
to continue towards trial at the Criminal Court on 100 Centre Street.
There are two primarily concerns that we stress to our clients in these
cases – one is that their failure to appear on the return date in
Midtown Court will result in a warrant being issued for their arrest (not
a good thing). The other is that it is imperative to avoid incurring a
criminal record in every case possible. In other words, if you've
been charged with Petit Larceny and/or Criminal Possession of Stolen Property,
it is important to hire an attorney who can work out a disposition for
you which does NOT include a plea to any crime. The imposition of a criminal
record is a devastating thing and can have serious collateral consequences.
At Galluzzo & Arnone LLP, our team of former NYC prosecutors are experienced
in dealing with these specific cases, both on the prosecution side and
on the defense side - and have handled many cases at Midtown Community
Court, which we are very familiar with. We have represented individuals
from all walks of life and secured the bests results for them. If you
or a loved one has been issued a D.A.T., don’t just call a shoplifting
contact our lawyers immediately and schedule a free consultation. Do not risk incurring a criminal record and jeopardizing your future.’
“Shoplifting Desk Appearance Tickets and NYC Midtown Community Court”
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