Larceny in North Carolina

In North Carolina, larceny is charged when a person illegally obtains the property of another. Unlike other theft crimes, it is not broken down into categories such as “petty larceny” or “grand larceny”; This offense is charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the fashion in which the property is taken. It's important to note that although their definitions may seem similar, this crime is not to be confused with serious felonies like robbery and burglary.

If you have been charged with larceny in North Carolina, you probably are wondering about the type of penalties you could possibly be facing. For the purposes of this article, we'll provide a brief overview of what constitutes larceny in the state and penalties associated with this offense. For a more detailed explanation of these laws and how they may apply to your case, you should consult with an attorney at our firm.

Misdemeanor Larceny

Under North Carolina statutes, a person is guilty of misdemeanor larceny if a prosecutor is able to provide clear and comprehensive evidence that the defendant exhibited the following elements:

  • Took the personal property of another
  • And carried it away
  • With intentions of not ever bringing it back
  • While knowing that he or she is not entitled to that property.

Misdemeanor larceny is deemed a class 1 misdemeanor - the most serious misdemeanor in the state. A conviction for this offense results in a $1,000 fine and a maximum jail sentence of 60 days.

Felony Larceny

Misdemeanor larceny is elevated to a felony offense when under specific circumstances, such as:

  • The stolen property is valued at more than $1,000 (or the value of multiple items added together reaches the $1,000 mark)
  • A defendant has stolen a firearm
  • A defendant tampered with or disabled a security mechanism or other security devices to obtain the property of another
  • A defendant has stolen from an employer
  • The larceny was committed in the commission of breaking and entering or a burglary

Felony larceny is categorized as a class H felony. This offense carries penalties of 4 to 25 months of imprisonment.

An individual who maintains a genuine belief that the property was once theirs or is theirs upon obtaining the property of another cannot be charged with larceny, even if this inclination is incorrect. Also, larceny is only charged once per transaction. This means that a person may steal multiple objects, but if they were stolen all in one setting, only one count of larceny will be charged.

North Carolina Defense Attorneys

As you can see, being convicted of larceny warrants harsh legal consequences in North Carolina. If you have acquired a larceny charge, you need the assistance of a legal professional who has extensive experience defending people who have been in your current situation. The attorneys at Caulder & Valentine have successfully protected the rights of people who have been charged with felony and misdemeanor larceny. Contact their firm today for a consultation.