In the first grand larceny case, Defendant was indicted for burglary in the third degree, attempted grand larceny in the first degree, and possession of burglar’s instruments, as a misdemeanor. The defendant desired to plead guilty to attempted grand larceny in the second degree to cover the entire indictment. Prior to accepting the guilty plea, the court asked defendant if he had entered the premises which he was charged with burglarizing with intent to steal money, and defendant responded that he had such intent but that there was no money on the premises. The criminal defendant was permitted to withdraw his plea of not guilty and to plead guilty to attempted grand larceny in the second degree to cover the entire indictment.
The Supreme Court, Queens County convicted the defendant, on his plea of guilty, of attempted grand larceny in the second degree. The Appellate Division affirmed the judgment of the Supreme Court. The defendant appealed to the Court of Appeals by permission of a Justice of the Appellate Division. The defendant contended in the Court of Appeals that the trial court erred in accepting his plea of guilty since the facts elicited from him by the Supreme Court did not establish the commission of attempted grand larceny, which required an attempt to take property of any value from any person or to take property in excess of a specified value in any manner. The People contended in the Court of Appeals that the fact that the defendant did not find any money on the premises did not make acceptance of his plea of guilty to the reduced charge improper.
In another grand larceny case, defendant appealed a judgment of the Supreme Court, Queens County convicting him of grand larceny in the fourth degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, possession of burglar’s tools, and jostling (three counts), upon a jury verdict, and sentencing him as a persistent felony offender to an indeterminate term of incarceration of 15 years to life on the count of grand larceny in the fourth degree, a determinate term of incarceration of one year on the count of criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, a determinate term of incarceration of one year on the count of possession of burglar’s tools, and determinate terms of incarceration of one year on each of the three counts of jostling, all to run concurrently. The court ordered that the judgment is modified, as a matter of discretion in the interest of justice, by vacating the defendant’s adjudication as a persistent felony offender, and reducing the defendant’s term of imprisonment for grand larceny in the fourth degree from an indeterminate term of imprisonment of 15 years to life to an indeterminate term of imprisonment of 2 to 4 years as a second felony offender; as so modified, the judgment is affirmed.
The defendant was convicted of grand larceny in the fourth degree based on evidence that he took the sum of $22 out of the pocket of an elderly man. He was also convicted of possession of stolen property in the fifth degree, jostling (three counts), and of possession of burglar’s tools, to wit, the sweatshirt which he used to cover his hand while pickpocketing.
Prior to trial, the trial court ruled, after a hearing, that to demonstrate the defendant’s intent and the absence of mistake or accident, the People could introduce evidence that the defendant previously had been arrested by the same officers who arrested him for the instant crimes, on another occasion when he used a sweatshirt to cover his hand while pickpocketing. Under the circumstances of this case, the evidence of the defendant’s prior crime and his modus operandi on the prior occasion was properly admitted, with limiting instructions, to show intent.
With respect to the adjudication of the defendant as a persistent felony offender, the court based that adjudication solely upon the defendant’s criminal record of misdemeanors and low-level felonies involving primarily pickpocketing offenses. In response, the defendant presented evidence of his good character. In light of the specific nature of the defendant’s criminal history and the totality of the evidence adduced at the hearing, the persistent felony offender adjudication should be vacated. Accordingly, the defendant should be sentenced for grand larceny in the fourth degree-a class E felony-to an indeterminate term of imprisonment of two to four years, which is the maximum permissible sentence for a second felony offender convicted of that crime.
In light of the court’s determination, the defendant’s challenge to the constitutionality of the persistent felony offender statute has been rendered academic. The defendant’s remaining contention is without merit.
Even petty crimes should not be tolerated, as this will lead to abuse. Here In Stephen Bilkis and associates, our Queens County grand larceny attorneys will help you defend your case. Don’t be a victim, know your rights. Call us now.