A larceny conviction has serious consequences. Even a petit larceny (shoplifting) charge that is plea-bargained down to a disorderly conduct in New York can wreak havoc with one's employment prospects. On top of that, a person's reputation, their ability to get a loan, their ability to obtain and retain professional licenses can be severely compromised. Clearly, people who have made a one-time mistake and are accused of shoplifting or even grand larceny deserve a second chance. Moreover, if you are contemplating a career in finance or working for a bank it is imperative that you have your shoplifting or larceny charge handled properly by a lawyer who understands all of the regulations regarding theft charges and banking rules, particularly FDIC regulations.
As for shoplifting charges, the prosecutors in New York City have programs which allow people accused of shoplifting for the first time and under certain dollar amounts to keep their records clean. Talk to your lawyer about these programs. Sometimes, the prosecutors, under some conditions, will even allow people to get their charges dismissed early. Again, talk to your lawyer about it.
While felony grand larceny charges are taken very seriously and dealt with harshly in many circumstances by the NYC criminal justice system, depending on the circumstances and the dollar amount, it is sometimes possible to persuade the prosecutor to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor and/or to avoid jail time.
Remember that employers and schools view theft convictions harshly and that criminal convictions in New York are permanent. There is no expungement and there is no sealing. A conviction for theft in New York will be available for background checkers to see for your entire life. There is currently no way to avoid that. So, make sure that you have the best legal advice you can get before you plead guilty to theft.