Statute of Limitations for Grand Larceny in New York State

By Bernadette A. Safrath
New York prosecutors only have five years to bring charges against someone for grand larceny.

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In New York, there are two classes of larceny: grand larceny and petty larceny. Classification is based on the value of the property taken. If a person is accused of grand larceny, he must be charged before the statute of limitations for this crime expires. Statutes of limitations dictate the amount of time a prosecutor has to file charges against someone for committing a crime.


New York law defines larceny as intentionally taking the property of another by using trickery, deceit or threats. Examples include shoplifting, auto theft and extortion. Grand larceny is a Class E felony in New York when the stolen property is worth more than $1,000; a Class D felony when the property is valued at more than $3,000; a Class C felony when the property has a value of more than $50,000; and a Class B felony when the property is worth more than $1 million dollars.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for grand larceny begins to run on the date the crime was committed. Grand larceny, regardless of the degree, is a felony in New York. Most felonies, including larceny, have a statute of limitations of five years. If no charges are filed before that period expires, the accused can never be tried or face penalties for committing that particular crime.


The only exception to the five-year statute of limitations applies to people who are continuously outside of New York or left the state altogether. In such cases, the statute of limitations is extended for an additional five years, giving the prosecutor time to locate and extradite the accused back to New York to face grand larceny charges.


If charges are filed before the statute of limitations expires and the accused is convicted, he will be sentenced to prison as punishment. The sentence for the lowest-level grand larceny offense is up to four years in prison. The maximum sentence for the most serious grand larceny offense is up to 25 years. The court can also order the payment of fines up to double the value of the property stolen.

About the Author

Bernadette A. Safrath is an attorney who has been writing professionally since 2008. Safrath was published in Touro Law Center's law review and now writes legal articles for various websites. Safrath has a Bachelor of Arts in music from Long Island University at C.W. Post, as well as a Juris Doctor from Touro College.