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Arrests at NYC Nightclubs and Bars, Part 4 (Theft)

The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo, PLLC Team

One of the great things about living in (and visiting) New York City is the amazing nightlife. The city is home to some of the best nightclubs and bars in the world, including places in the Meatpacking District like Tenjune, 1Oak, The Griffin, Gaslight, Beaumarchais, the Standard (The Top of the Standard and Le Bain),as well as other clubs throughout Manhattan, such as Lavo, Santos Party House, Provocateur, Output, the Jane Hotel, Mehanata, Verboten, Cielo, Webster Hall, the Pyramid Club, the 40/40 Club, and the Marquee, among countless others. Unfortunately, arrests for theft, assault, sexual assault, and drugs are common at these sorts of establishments, and some unfortunate people aresaddled with more than just a hangover after a night partying at these places.

The attorneys at the Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo have represented dozens of people arrested at nightclubs and bars throughout the city, and our experience as prosecutors and defense attorneys has taught us that certain types of cases are quite common. Through our experience on both sides we have also learned that these types of cases present unique challenges and opportunities for defense attorneys, and have learned how to best take advantage of the unique circumstances that these cases often present.

Arrests for theft-related charges are quite typical at NYC nightclubs and bars. Failing to pay a bar tab at a nightclub – where bottle services can cost thousands of dollars – can result in an arrest for Theft of Services (Penal Law Section 165.15), a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. We find that oftentimes the nightclubs are attempting to make outrageous and inflated charges and the patron is simply disputing those charges when being arrested. We have defended other individuals that were arrested before they could straighten out security checks imposed by their credit card companies. Typically, these cases can be resolved with non-criminal dispositions and payment for the services, and we have done that for many of our clients.

We have represented other individuals charged with stealing property from nightclubs. Thefts of purses and wallets typically result in felony charges for Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree (Penal Law Section 155.30) because they involve credit cards, but can even result in more serious charges where the stolen property is valued in excess of three thousand dollars. Intoxication can sometimes be a defense to those individuals that stole items accidentally or when too drunk to form the requisite criminal intent. Also, witnesses – such as out-of-town tourists and bouncers – are oftentimes unreliable or unavailable. We have successfully had all criminal charges dismissed for a client accused of stealing multiple purses from a well-known Manhattan nightclub, and have successfully defended other individuals accused of stealing from bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

If you or a loved one have been arrested or issued a Desk Appearance Ticket in connection with an alleged theft that occurred at a nightclub or bar in New York City, you should strongly consider contacting the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo. Their three attorneys were all former Manhattan prosecutors that used to investigate and prosecute crimes like these, and they have had considerable success getting theft charges dismissed for clients in cases originating in nightclubs and bars.

Client Reviews

I found myself in such a dark place thinking only God could understand and help me through this horrible situation. But Matthew Galluzzo did. And he did so in a very kind, compassionate and respectful manner. Enough said.


Matthew Galluzzo saved the day when the unthinkable happened. Every phone call was returned within minutes. All email correspondences were replied to expeditiously. Matt handled our case as if it was a member of his own family in the courtroom. Despite all the obstacles along the way, Matt's legal...


In less than an hour of assessing my case, Mr. Galluzzo had a clear direction and evoked a confident demeanor that was infectious. During the course of several court appearances he was always prepared, and took more than a personal interest when errors in court procedure occurred. Mr. Galluzzo...


We hired Matt when my son was arrested on several very serious felony charges. Matt is not only very knowledgeable about the law, he genuinely cares about his clients. He was patient and professional, inside the courtroom and out, in what turned out to be a very long process. He worked closely with...


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