What is larceny?
A defendant is charged with felony or misdemeanor larceny when they seize another person’s property without permission. Under North Carolina law, the terms “theft” and “larceny” are used interchangeably, and most theft-related crimes are classified as larceny charges. However, our state’s legal system differentiates between several types of theft, including grand larceny (felony), petty larceny (misdemeanor), and grand theft (aka grand larceny). Essentially, the legal jargon surrounding these offenses is cryptic and complex, making it crucial for legal professionals and individuals alike to understand the differences between these terms and their implications.
What are the main larceny charges in North Carolina?
Misdemeanor Larceny: For a theft to be charged as a misdemeanor, the stolen property must be less than or equal to $1000. The perpetrator must also display intent to permanently deprive the victim of their rightful property.
Misdemeanor Possession of Stolen Goods: An individual is charged with this crime if they possess property that they knew (or reasonably knew) had been stolen. For this possession to be classified as a misdemeanor, the items in question must be less than $1000.
Felony Larceny: Theft is charged under felony status when the stolen items exceed $1000. Additionally, specific circumstances are required for the crime to have a felony classification, such as robbery, burglary, or theft of a firearm or explosive.
Felony Possession of Stolen Goods: This charge requires that the stolen property’s value exceeds $1000 and that the theft meets the specific requirements (see previous) for felony larceny.
What evidence is required to prove larceny?
For the taking of someone’s property to be established as larceny in North Carolina, the prosecution must prove the following items beyond a reasonable doubt:
Unlawful Taking: The defendant seizes the property of another person without their knowledge or permission.
Carrying Away: The property was relocated from its original position. There are no parameters on distance.
Ownership: The property in question did not belong to the defendant.
Lack of Permission: The owner did not provide the defendant with consent to take their property.
Intent: The defendant displayed an intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property.
Value: The value of the stolen property (whether it was greater or less than $1000) determines whether the offense is classified as felony or misdemeanor larceny.
What are common larceny crimes in North Carolina?
- Shoplifting – the concealment of merchandise in a store.
- Removing a shopping cart from its designated store.
- Stealing gasoline from a gas station.
- Stealing high-value motor vehicle parts.
What penalties accompany a larceny charge?
Felony larceny charges, under North Carolina law, are classified as Class H felonies. Misdemeanor larceny is considered a “petty misdemeanor.” If you’ve been charged with felony or misdemeanor larceny, possible repercussions you could be facing include:
Class 3 and Class 2 Misdemeanors: If you’re charged with a first-time shoplifting offense, it will be marked as a Class 3 misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for Class 3’s is a 30-day jail time and a $200 fine. Class 2 misdemeanors occur when an individual is charged with a second shoplifting offense within a 3-year period from their first offense. The Class 2 maximum penalty is 60 days in jail and a $1000 fine.
Class 1 Misdemeanors: Misdemeanor Larceny is charged as a Class 1. The maximum penalty is 120 days in prison and a fine amount that is determined by the judge.
Class H Felony: For felony larceny and possession, the maximum penalty is 4 months to 2 years in jail with the possibility of being sentenced to 5 – 6 years’ incarceration.
CHARGED WITH LARCENY? CALL THE GROSS LAW GROUP TODAY.
Theft of another person’s property, regardless of the quantity or value, can leave lasting repercussions on your criminal record and day-to-day life. If you are charged with felony or misdemeanor larceny, call a criminal defense lawyer in Wilmington, NC who can ensure your rights are protected. Choose The Gross Law Group led by Attorney David K. Gross for expert criminal defense. Protect your future with personalized attention and aggressive representation. Trust a former police officer and experienced legal advocate to defend your rights. Contact us now. 910.666.0693