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Henderson Theft Crimes Attorney
There are several common types of larceny, or the crime of wrongfully obtaining someone else’s property, we see at Scharff Law Firm. Our Henderson theft crimes attorneys have experience defending against charges such as embezzlement, shoplifting, fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud, prescription fraud, burglary, and robbery. North Carolina refers to most theft crimes as larceny, which is a Class H felony unless state law specifically states otherwise. A guilty verdict can lead to fines, community service, and even imprisonment. Protect your rights by retaining a skilled Henderson NC theft crimes attorney.
Penalties for Theft Crimes in Henderson, NC
North Carolina General Statutes punish theft crimes according to the value of the property stolen. The courts look at what the defendant took – property or services – gauge its value, and classify the theft crime accordingly. The classifications and penalties for theft crimes in Henderson are in order from least to most severe:
- Class 3, Class 2, and Class 1 misdemeanor. Concealment of merchandise (when the shop owner apprehends the suspect before he/she leaves the store) is a Class 3 misdemeanor upon a first offense and Class 2 upon a second offense, if the second offense is within three years of the first. Class 3 misdemeanor penalties may include 24 hours of community service in lieu of jail time. A Class 2 misdemeanor can carry 72 hours of service and/or 72 hours in jail in lieu of a maximum jail sentence of up to 60 days. For third or subsequent offenses committed within five years after the date the defendant was convicted of two other offenses of Concealment, the defendant shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, the defendant must serve at least 11 days in jail in lieu of the maximum jail sentence of up to 120 days.
- Class 1 misdemeanor. Stealing property or services valued at $1,000 or less is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable with one to 120 days of jail time.
- Class H felony. If the goods or services stolen are more than $1,000 in value, the courts classify it as a Class H felony larceny. However, larceny is a felony regardless of value if the defendant took the property off another’s person, the defendant was guilty of breaking and entering, or if the stolen property is an explosive device, firearm, or record from the NC State Archives. Felony larceny is punishable with four to 39 months of imprisonment.
On top of criminal penalties, someone who is guilty of larceny in North Carolina may also face civil charges if the shop owner decides to sue for damages, such as damage to the property and attorney fees. The defendant may have to pay $150 to $1,000 in civil damages. A theft crime conviction can stay on your criminal record forever, limiting your rights. Since most larcenies are felonies in NC, make sure to retain a skilled defense lawyer to stand up for your rights in court.
Common Defenses used by Theft Crime Lawyers
The courts will find a person guilty of larceny in NC if he/she takes someone else’s property and carries it away without consent and with the intent to permanently deprive the person of the item, knowing it was not his or hers to take. Scharff Law Firm knows there are a number of legal defenses that could apply in larceny cases, proving the defendant innocent or at least bringing a felony charge down to a misdemeanor. We’ll listen to the details of your case during a free consultation and list potential defense options, such as:
- You had a good faith belief that the property you took was yours.
- You were intoxicated at the time of theft and did not have the intent to steal.
- You were a victim of entrapment.
- You were borrowing the property with the intent to return it to the owner.
Whether we recommend you take the case to trial or you are taking a plea deal, rest assured the advice we give you is in your best interest. Scharff Law Firm is a trusted source of criminal defense in Henderson, NC, including larceny defense. Contact us at (919) 457-1954 to schedule your consultation today.