North Carolina Larceny Defense Attorneys

Larceny is a serious crime in North Carolina. While defendants may think larceny is just a simple, one-time mistake, future employers and colleges may see it as much more than that. Even after paying your debt to society through jail sentences, fines, and other punishments, the stigma of having a criminal record will continue to haunt you. A larceny conviction can substantially change someone’s life for the worst.

Facing Larceny Charges in North Carolina? Contact Our Law Firm Today

If you are convicted of larceny, you will need to jump through many hurdles to rebuild your life and your career. If you are facing a larceny conviction, it is essential that you hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer to help you quickly and successfully put the pieces of your life back together. Our legal team understands the significance of facing a larceny charge. We fight hard for the rights of our clients throughout the entire legal process.

Our lawyers use their extensive legal experience of the North Carolina legal process to the benefit of our clients. If you are facing larceny charges, contact our experienced law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.

North Carolina Larceny Laws

North Carolina has stopped recognizing the legal distinction between grand and petit larceny. If you have been charged with larceny in North Carolina, you have either been charged with petty theft or grand theft. You might hear others refer to these charges as petit and grand larceny, but prosecutors will refer to the crime as either grand theft or petty theft.

When a defendant has been charged with stealing property, he or she will face larceny charges. North Carolina’s larceny statute covers both felony larceny and misdemeanor larceny. When the property or goods were worth less than $1,000, a defendant will face Class 1 misdemeanor charges. Typically, class 1 misdemeanors are a class H felony. Those who face multiple misdemeanor larceny charges may face felony charges. For example, if you have been charged with four or more previous convictions for misdemeanor larceny, you will be charged with a felony.

The Elements of a North Carolina Larceny Charge

Prosecutors must prove every element of the crime of larceny beyond a reasonable doubt. Creating a successful defense strategy involves providing the court with evidence that one or more elements of the crime of larceny have not been met. To convict a defendant of larceny, it must be shown that he (1) took the property of another; (2) carried it away; (3) without the owner's consent; and (4) with the intent to deprive the owner of the property permanently.

Defenses to the Crime of Larceny

One of the most common and most successful defenses to the crime of larceny is the defense of abandonment. A party relying on the defense of abandonment must affirmatively show by clear, unequivocal, and decisive evidence that the owner intended to permanently terminate his ownership of the disputed property. A finding of abandonment by the court effectively drops the alleged charge of larceny because property which has been abandoned by the owner cannot be the subject of larceny. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC our attorney’s have extensive experience in defending clients against charges of larceny and successfully asserting the defense of abandonment against the charges.

Possessing or Receiving Stolen Goods

If you are convicted of receiving stolen goods or possession of stolen goods, you may be facing a felony charge under North Carolina’s criminal law. Possession or receiving stolen goods is felony larceny when the stolen goods are any of the following:

  • Chattel
  • Money
  • Property
  • Valuable security
  • Other items

The crime of possessing or receiving stolen goods is usually charged as a Class H felony in North Carolina. The sentence for your crime depends on mitigating and aggravating factors as well as the defendant’s prior criminal history.

Shoplifting Charges in North Carolina

Shoplifting is a form of misdemeanor larceny in North Carolina. The crime of shoplifting is referred to as shoplifting/concealment of goods. An individual will be found guilty of a misdemeanor if they willfully, without authority, conceal the goods or merchandise of a store without purchasing such concealed items, while still upon the premises of said store. If the individual exits the store, the charge will rise to the level of larceny.

In addition, an individual who purposely and impermissibly transfers any price tag from goods or merchandise to other goods or merchandise having a higher selling price or marks said goods at a lower price or substitutes or superimposes thereon a false price tag and then presents said goods or merchandise for purchase shall be guilty of a misdemeanor

Contact Our Skilled Defense Lawyers as Soon as Possible

The penalties for shoplifting can include incarceration, community services, probation, house arrest, and more. If you or someone you love is facing charges of larceny, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Call our office at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville, and Monroe.