If you find yourself in a situation where you’re facing charges for theft, larceny, or fraud, it’s crucial to get an experienced Asheville criminal defense attorney who can advocate in court on your behalf. The penalties for theft cases can vary greatly, and having a skilled lawyer not only improves your chances of getting a favorable outcome in your case, but also provides you the aggressive defense you deserve.
With the skills and experience that Doug Edwards Law brings, clients can rest easy knowing they have an experienced and competent lawyer defending their rights in any theft case. If you are in a situation where theft charges are filed or might be on the way, it’s time to protect yourself by hiring an experienced Asheville theft defense lawyer.
Contact us at (828) 702-8743 for a free initial consultation so we can discuss your case and what we can do to protect you and your rights in court.
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What Is Considered Theft Under North Carolina Law?
The legal definition of theft in North Carolina is when someone takes or carries away someone else’s personal property, specifically with the intention of depriving the legal owner of its benefit.
This applies whether it is temporary or permanent. If you are accused of stealing or accepting stolen goods you may be charged with a larceny offense.
There are different levels and classifications of theft in North Carolina. The level of the crime and the potential sentence is determined by the value of the property that was stolen, and in some instances the manner in which it was taken. These classifications are crucial as they determine the potential penalties that will be associated with the charge and whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony.
There are only a few levels of theft in North Carolina when you combine both misdemeanor and felony offenses, each with its own distinctive traits, classifications, and set of penalties. The major determination is always the value of what was stolen, and the manner in which it was taken.
In order of least serious to most serious, here are the classifications of theft that are recognized by courts in North Carolina.
This offense is commonly referred to as shoplifting. If you are caught concealing non-purchased merchandise in your clothes, bag, pockets, etc. in a retail store, you may face a shoplifting charge.
Shoplifting is a Class 3 Misdemeanor offense. The maximum possible sentence is up to 20 days in jail. In some instances, community service may be required as a condition of the sentence.
If this is a second offense and one that is within three years of the previous charge, then it is a Class 2 Misdemeanor which can carry up to 60 days in jail.
A theft is classified as misdemeanor larceny when the value of the stolen property is $1,000 or less. In the State of North Carolina, this is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Misdemeanor larceny is punishable by up to 120 days in jail in addition to a fine of up to $1,000.
A theft is classified as felony larceny when the stolen property is valued at more than $1,000. Any amount over $1,000 is considered a felony under North Carolina law.
There are additional situations where a larceny could be considered a felony even if the amount stolen is under that $1,000 mark. A larceny is a felony when the amount stolen is under $1,000 if any of the following situations are met:
In these situations, the charges are felony offenses.
In North Carolina, a person charged with receiving stolen property is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if the property received is less than $1,000.
Under the North Carolina statute, receiving stolen goods is a Class 1 misdemeanor when:
North Carolina law provides that a person who commits a Class 1 misdemeanor offense receives a sentence between 1 day and 120 days, depending on the person’s prior criminal history. It is possible for a person with one or more prior convictions to receive an active jail sentence as a punishment.
On the other hand, if the property received or possessed is more than $1,000 or if the person knew or had reasonable grounds to know that the property was taken in a manner which would result in a felony larceny charge, then the person has committed a class H felony. The circumstances that would give rise to a felony include the taking from the person of another, larceny after breaking and/or entering, or the taking of a firearm or explosives.
If convicted of a Class H felony may receive a prison sentence of up to 39 months in prison.
A skilled Asheville theft defense lawyer will be able to negotiate with the prosecutor to reach a favorable outcome for you under the circumstances. If negotiations fail, the attorneys at Doug Edwards Law are skilled and experienced to fight your charges at trial.
In North Carolina, there are two main differences between misdemeanor and felony larceny in North Carolina. First, a misdemeanor larceny is the unlawful taking of propery of another with the intent to permanently deprive the person of the property, and the property is valued at less than $1,000. A felony larceny is the unlawful taking of property of another when the property is valued at more than $1,000.
Additionally, the value does not matter if the larceny is of a firearm or explosive, the larceny occurred after breaking and/or entering, or the larceny is committed from a person. Other states have different levels of larceny (like grand larceny) but that’s not the case in North Carolina.
The differences generally come in the amount that is stolen and the manner in which the taking occurred.
Misdemeanor larceny carries a maximum possible punishment of120 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. A felony larceny conviction carries a maximum punishment of up to 39 months in jail and fines of $10,000 or more. In both misdemeanor and felony cases, if you are convicted of larceny, you may be required to pay restitution to the victim as part of a judgment, if convicted.
You should hire Doug Edwards Law if you are charged with a larceny offense or are under investigation, because larceny charges are serious, even on the misdemeanor level. There are many consequences for a larcey-related conviction.
Time in jail, fines, fees, and a permanent conviction on your criminal history can lead to collateral consequences. Collateral consequences include loss of employment and housing, and can potentially result in issues finding future employment. If convicted of a felony, you will no longer have the right to possess a firearm, among other consequences.
Doug has vast experience in the criminal justice system, from prosecution to defense. This means he knows how prosecutors think, how they try cases, and how to best prepare to defend a client against larceny charges that a prosecutor is bringing to court. Being able to understand the law, what needs to be proven, and where reasonable doubt may be shown is important when preparing a defense.
Doug Edwards Law is committed to providing the absolute best defense for our clients and that real-life experience from many years in the courtroom is invaluable when it comes to mounting the best possible defense for our clients.
If you find yourself facing a larceny or stolen property charge in Asheville or Buncombe County, then you want to have a capable and competent defense lawyer on your side. Call Doug Edwards Law at (828) 702-8743 to arrange an initial consultation.
If you’ve been charged with any type of theft, it’s important to get a quality theft defense lawyer who can advocate in court on your behalf. The penalties for theft cases can vary greatly, and having a skilled lawyer will allow you to focus on moving forward, while we focus on getting a favorable outcome in your case.
With the skills and experience that Doug Edwards Law brings, clients can rest easy knowing they have an experienced and competent lawyer defending their rights in any theft case. If you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony larceny, don’t hesitate to contact us today at (828) 702-8743 for a free initial consultation.
We will review your case and help you understand your options moving forward. We will work together to prepare a vigorous defense and aggressively defend you in court. Contact our Asheville law firm today at (828) 702-8743 to set up that initial consultation.