Obviously a felony, Grand Larceny comes in multiple in degrees. Depending whether the alleged theft is more than $1000, $3,000, $50,000 or $1 million, the potential sentence will vary. The three lesser offenses, Grand Larceny in the the 4th, 3rd and 2nd Degree, do not require a mandatory term of incarceration as a matter of law for a first time offender. That being said, the potential maximum sentence is 4, 7 and 15 years respectively.
Assuming your crime was of the 4th Degree or 3rd Degree variety, you will be in a better position to work out a disposition. The 2nd or 1st Degree felonies are obviously much more serious. I do not know the facts of your case, the amount allegedly stolen and whether you have a defense that can "beat" the case (is there a factual defense, issues with evidence or witnesses, procedural or CPL 30.30 avenues?). Jail is certainly a possibility, but if the value is closer to the lower thousands, you can make restitution, you have an otherwise impeccable record in the community, school, etc., you should be working not merely to avoid jail, but a felony or even a misdemeanor conviction. It is not the jail that will necessarily be the worst part of this case, but being saddled with a felony or even a misdemeanor is. These convictions will not go away. Certainly, when you apply for a job or need a certification to practice your profession, a misdemeanor or felony will likely be devastating.
I would recommend that you discuss a plan with your defense attorney, see what you need to put together to present yourself in the most favorable light, and get things moving forward.
AS the first answer said, it depends upon how much money was involved. Just the fact that it is "your first time" doesn't mean a whole lot if it is a huge amount stolen.
On the other hand, it is your first time and it is in NYC so you may have a better chance than if it was upstate NY.
My suggestion is that you hire the best attorney you can who frequents that court (I believe you're in Bklyn, right?) and see if there is any basis with which to fight the case or get a substantial enough reduction in the charges that you don't suffer a conviction for a felony. In that case, if the money is returned "up front" there's a good chance you could receive Probation, depending upon the circumstances, but there is no guarantee of any such thing.
One great attorney who works in that area is Charles Hockbaum. Look him up. You won't go wrong with him.
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