Theft, Burglary, Shoplifting / Unlawful Concealment, Breaking and Entering

The crime of burglary is normally considered a theft crime; however, an individual can be convicted of burglary even when no theft has occurred because the important factor in these cases is the intent of the perpetrator. In North Carolina, first-degree burglary is considered entering into a dwelling house when inhabited or occupied. On the other hand, if the house that is entered into is empty, the crime is defined as second-degree burglary.

The harsh penalties associated with burglary make it a very serious offense because they can have a lasting impact on an individual’s life. A conviction of first-degree burglary carries the penalties associated with a Class D felony, while a second-degree burglary is tried as a Class C felony.

If you are charged with burglary it is important that you contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to begin your defense. Our attorneys will focus exclusively on your case and have vast experience with the criminal process. Contact us today and let our attorneys fight for you.

Shoplifting & Unlawful Concealment

Shoplifting, also referred to as unlawful concealment, is a crime that involves stealing goods from any retail establishment. Like other theft crimes, the penalties associated with shoplifting will depend upon the value of the goods involved and one’s prior criminal history. This offense can carry a serious punishment and result in prison time. As a result, retaining an experienced criminal defense lawyer is imperative to your defense.

Many individuals admit to shoplifting when they are detained by security guards or employees for questioning. As a result, these individuals do not have the opportunity to talk to a lawyer before confessing. Furthermore, if an individual leaves the retail store without paying for the goods the crime becomes larceny, which is a serious Class 1 misdemeanor.

Depending on your criminal history, our attorneys will be able to work for the best possible resolution. If this is your first offense, it will be easier for our attorneys to advocate for a lesser punishment, such as community service. Furthermore, it may be possible to seek a deferred prosecution that can dismiss your charges. For students or other individuals without a criminal record, deferred prosecution can be a good way to keep one’s criminal record clean for the future. However, if you have several other offenses, a judge will be more likely to give a more serious punishment. In these cases, our attorneys will work out a deal in order to achieve the best possible solution.

A conviction of shoplifting will be permanently listed on your criminal record and can have a detrimental impact on many facets of your life. Since no business owner wants to hire a thief, if you have been charged with theft, shoplifting or another crime, it is in your best interest to contact our office today. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our attorneys will aggressively defend your case and work on your behalf to achieve the best resolution.

Breaking & Entering

Breaking into or entering the residence or business of another individual is a very serious offense. Offenders are likely going to be subject to serious punishment and a guilty conviction could result in significant fines or jail time. These repercussions are very strict and reflect the fact that people normally commit this crime in order to further other serious offenses. Additionally, breaking and entering is a serious violation of a property owner’s safety and security. As a result, it is important that anyone facing these charges seek qualified representation immediately.

Because of the nature of most breaking and entering cases, an experienced attorney can greatly increase the chances of a favorable result. In fact, in many cases, the prosecution may have little compelling evidence connecting the accused to the crime. Additionally, even though many buildings and homes are now equipped with some form of surveillance video, the quality of these videos are often so poor as to prevent a positive identification of the suspect. Furthermore, when the prosecution’s case relies on fingerprints there are often only partial fingerprints or other circumstances that an effective cross-examination can help to overcome. Armed with years of experience, our attorneys can help beat any charges you may face.


What Is Breaking and Entering?
Breaking and entering is the act of entering another’s property without consent and by using some amount of force. If there is some proven intent to commit another crime, such as theft, it is considered burglary.

What Are Normal Sentences for Breaking and Entering?
Misdemeanor charges are the most common for breaking and entering. However, depending on one’s criminal history and the time of the offense, a more serious punishment such as jail time may result. Furthermore, some juveniles may be subject to stricter consequences under juvenile detention laws.

Should I Consult a Lawyer if I’m accused of Breaking and Entering?
It is definitely a good idea to seek legal advice when facing pending charges, such as breaking and entering.


If you are facing any of these charges, it is extremely important that you seek help from our experienced team. Let our criminal attorneys assist you in developing a strong legal strategy to achieve the best possible outcome. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Blog - Theft
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